Vitamin K’s benefits may not be widely-known, but it’s one of the most important anti-aging therapies.Since it’s discovery in 1929, Vitamin K has been recognized as being crucial to the process of blood coagulation – in fact, the “k” stands for koagulation, the German form of the word coagulation. But recent research has shown that this often-forgotten vitamin may be a vital tool in the prevention and treatment of a host of age-related disorders.Research Reveals That Vitamin K Plays Many Roles in Maintaining HealthOne of the most important discoveries about vitamin K is that it regulates the production and flow of calcium. This ability makes it a key player in the prevention and treatment of many of the most common and debilitating age-related diseases.Vitamin K and Osteoporosis: Osteoporosis is a degenerative bone disease that occurs when calcium is leached from the bones. Recent studies have shown that people who had the highest vitamin K levels had a significantly lower risk of osteoporosis and related problems such as hip fracture.
Vitamin K and Arteriosclerosis: Arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is a progressive disease caused by arterial calcification, which happens when calcium leaks into the arteries. This process is closely linked to heart damage and disease. Animal studies done in Japan showed that the introduction of additional Vitamin K effectively reduced arterial calcification, and it reduced related heart damage as well.Vitamin K and High Blood Pressure/Stroke: Excess calcium has been identified as a major causative source of high blood pressure and resulting strokes. By regulating the amount and distribution of calcium in the body, ample amounts of Vitamin K could potentially act as both a preventative and a healer.
Vitamin K and Diabetes: Japanese studies have demonstrated that animals with a measurable vitamin K deficiency had pancreatic problems that caused the release of too much insulin into the blood – a scenario similar to that of diabetes in humans. Ongoing studies are investigating the possibility that vitamin K could be used to in the treatment of diabetes.Vitamin K and Alzheimer’s Disease: Research has indicated that there is a correlation between vitamin K deficiency and the presence of a specific genetic variant associated with Alzheimer’s. It has been suggested that without sufficient vitamin K to regulate the creation and flow of calcium throughout the system, arterial damage may lead to problems with brain function.
Who Needs Supplemental Vitamin K?The body can actually manufacture vitamin K, but because we generally synthesize only a third of the amount that we need, it’s important to eat foods that contain it (leafy green vegetables and liver) to avoid deficiency.The recommended daily requirement for adults is around 100 mg, an amount that should easily be met via a reasonable healthy diet. However, there are some circumstances in which additional vitamin K could be needed. Liver and gall bladder disease are known to deplete vitamin K, as are diseases of the intestinal tract. Some medicines, including long-term antibiotics and cholesterol lowering drugs can also cause deficiency.