"Your back bones connected to your hip bone, your hip bones connected to your"… Vitamin K intake? ...
We've all heard about the relationship between calcium and bone health, but very few people know about the importance of Vitamin K. Vitamin K is required for the production of osteocalcin the protein web-like structure upon which bone is built.
Simply put, through osteocalcin, Vitamin K attracts calcium to bone tissue, playing a role in the formation, remodeling and repair of bone. This is especially important for menopausal women or those with a history of osteoporosis in their family. Osteoporosis is a skeletal disease which causes low mineral bone density or bone mass due to a progressive deterioration of bone. It leaves bone fragile and can increase susceptibility to debilitating fractures, such as hip and spine fractures.
Vitamin K also plays an integral role in blood clotting. It is responsible for the manufacturing of clotting factors, such as prothrombin and clotting factors VII, IX and X. These clotting factors play an essential part of hemostasis, the innate physiological process that prevents excessive blood loss from damaged blood vessels by first plugging and then repairing the damage. Ineffective coagulation can lead to hemorrhage and can be life threatening.
Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin made in two naturally occurring forms. Vitamin K1, also known as phylloquinone, is found in green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach and broccoli, as well as fruits, such as avocado and kiwi. It is also found in vegetable oils, such as canola, soybean and olive oils. Vitamin K2 is another usable form made by our own gut bacteria, but these stores are small and are rapidly depleted without regular dietary intake of K1. Individuals taking large amounts of antibiotics which alter the balance of normal gut flora, are susceptible to deficiencies. Also at risk for deficiency are individuals with impairments in fat absorption, those with significant liver damage or disease and those taking vitamin K antagonist anticoagulant drugs.
Vitamin K deficiency results in impaired blood clotting, usually demonstrated by laboratory tests that measure clotting time (PTT, PT,etc.). Symptoms include easy bruising and bleeding that may be manifested as nosebleeds, bleeding gums, blood in the urine, blood in the stool, tarry black stools, or unusually heavy menstrual bleeding. In infants, a vitamin K deficiency may result in possibly life-threatening bleeding within the skull (intracranial hemorrhage).
Individuals who have a clotting disorder, which leaves them more susceptible to forming clots (ie; atherosclerosis), as well as those already taking anticoagulant drugs (such as warfarin), are cautioned against Vitamin K supplementation. These individuals must also be cautious when consuming large amounts of Vitamin K in their diet, as it will counteract the drug's effects.
Most people do not think about bone health until they are in their later
years. This is a mistake because significant increases in bone density can
only be made in childhood or early adulthood (up to age 30). For the
remainder of our lives the goal is to maintain our bones.
is a loss of bone density. The bony matrix is of normal composition but
decreased amounts because more bone is being broken down than is being
produced. Testosterone and estrogen maintain bone density by promoting bone
building and slowing bone removal. This is one reason why bone density
decreases as we age
Stay active to increase your bone health. Immobility and insufficient weight
bearing exercise cause bone loss. Gravity puts a stress on the bone and the
body responds by increasing the density of the bone. Exercising in youth
actually increases bone density above normal and exercise throughout life
protects against bone loss. Maintain appropriate weight because people that
are underweight also are at a greater risk for osteoporosis. Their bones are
not stressed as much as the bones of people who are of normal weight.
A healthy diet, with sufficient protein intake, is one protective factor
against bone loss. Dietary deficiencies of protein cause bone loss because
the bone is constantly remodelling itself. Up to 7% of our bone mass is
turned over every week. Choose lean meats, fermented dairy products and
legumes to fill your daily protein requirements. Supplement with protein
powder or amino acid complex if you cannot consume enough protein.
There are a multitude of minerals that form the matrix of the bone.
Deficiency in any one of these nutrients can lead to bone loss. Minerals can
be lost in the cooking process so eat your vegetables and fruits raw or
lightly steamed. Drink filtered or spring water. If you drink reverse
osmosis or distilled water replace the missing minerals with a supplement.
Vitamin D helps bring calcium into the bone. It is one of the fat-soluble
vitamins that are poorly absorbed through the digestive process as we age.
In areas away from the equator, skin production of vitamin D is limited
during certain times of the year. Eating vitamin D rich foods like fish and
egg yolks, and taking vitamin D supplements, will maintain your bone