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Everything You Need To Know About Vitamin K

Everything You Need to Know About Vitamin K

Vitamin K does so many good things for your body! It’s rare to be deficient in Vitamin K, and it’s also rare to reach toxic levels because your body is able to break it down quickly for excretion. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that comes in two forms. The main type is called phylloquinone (1) and the other type is called menaquinones. You can get Vitamin K from foods and you can also find it as a supplement. 

Where Can You Find Vitamin K?

As previously mentioned, vitamin K comes in two forms – phylloquinone and menaquinones. Phylloquinone is found in green leafy vegetables (collard greens, kale, spinach), and can also be found in extra virgin olive oil. Menaquinones are found in some fermented foods (Natto), and animal foods (meat, cheese, eggs). It can also be produced by the bacteria in your body. Adequate intake (AI) varies depending on your age and body needs. On average, the AI for males over 19 is 120 mcg. It’s 90 mcg for females over 19.

Why Should You Take Vitamin K?

Vitamin K plays a role in blood clotting, bone health, and heart disease. It helps heal wounds and stop bleeding. Its anticoagulant effect also prevents blood clots from forming in the legs, lungs, and heart. As women age, they lose a lot of calcium from their bones, in turn making their bones more fragile. A three-year study in Asia showed that consuming vitamin K “Improved bone strength and decreased the loss in vertebral height in the lower thoracic region of the vertebrae in postmenopausal women” (2). There are a lot of studies currently being done, but some studies have shown that vitamin K prevents the further weakening of bones in our body and lowers the risk of fractures. 

Vitamin K And Beauty

Vitamin K also has a role in beauty. Many people use it for stretch marks, scars, dark spots, spider veins, and under-eye bags/circles.

If you’re interested in adding extra virgin olive oil to your meals, check out our Orecchiette with Pumpkin and Bitter Greens Recipe.

Written by Mandy Zhen
Reviewed by Kelly Powers, MA, RDN, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who takes a holistic approach to nutrition and health. Kelly is a recipe developer with a food blog highlighting whole foods, simple recipes, and her life in San Francisco. She’s the creator of 52 Weeks, a weekly meal plan program that helps users get back in the kitchen and feed themselves well. Kelly is also a co-founder of Olivaio.