Have you ever read about vitamin K? It is a vitamin that is essential for the bones and blood. As produced by intestinal bacteria, it rarely lacks our body. Yet it is found in foods such as spinach and other green leafy vegetables. Symptom of its deficiency is the calcification of the cartilage and poor wound healing.
There are three common types of this vitamin, namely vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) – is obtained from plants, vitamin K2 (menaquinone) – produced by intestinal bacteria, and vitamin K3 (menadione, fitomenadion), which is produced synthetically and is not found in nature. The presence of vitamin K1 and K2 is found in the tissues of animals and humans.
Vitamin K activates proteins involved in blood clotting and prevents calcification of the arteries and tissues, strengthens the bones and is responsible for cellular processes.
Eat spinach in combination with oil
K-vitamin is fat soluble (lipophilic), which means that it is very much bound to the fat. A good source of vitamin K is cooked spinach. If we eat it along with oil, the body will absorb 20 percent of the K-vitamin. However, vitamin K is not absorbed from raw spinach.
It is not necessary that the body derives vitamin K only from food, as is also produced by using bacteria in the intestines. How much vitamin K is produced in such a way it has not yet been studied well enough.
Lack of vitamin K – dangerous for babies
Since breast milk contains little of this vitamin thereof the lack may affects newborns. In case of shortage of vitamin K it can lead to hemorrhage (including brain). After the birth, it is therefore advisable to take supplement of vitamin K as prevention.
What about the vitamin K deficiency in adults?
If the intake of vitamin K is too low in adults it can lead to calcification of the arteries, osteoporosis and deterioration of cognitive functions. Even clotting time is extended.
Many foods contain vitamin K, in very high volumes, and therefore normal balanced diet cover the needs for this vitamin. Most of it is found in green leafy vegetables and liver, meat and dairy products do not contain it much. Vitamin K is not sensitive to oxygen and heat treatment – so that is maintained in the cooked food. It is degradable only when exposed to daylight.