Vitamin K is not a nutrient that people often worry about, but it does play an essential role in the health of our bodies.
Today, we tell you why you should make sure to consume this element in sufficient quantities.
Vitamin K is actually a group of fat-soluble nutrients that comes in two different forms: vitamin K1, also known as phylloquinone, and K2, also called menaquinone.
The first is found in green leafy vegetables; while the second, in derivatives of meats and fermented foods such as cheese.
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In our body, vitamin K performs different functions of extreme importance. They are:
Help in blood clotting
One of the main roles of vitamin K in our body is to help blood clot. This nutrient is essential for the production of proteins responsible for this process, such as prothrombin.
People with clotting problems may have a harder time healing wounds and are at higher risk of bleeding.
Contribute to bone health
Vitamin K plays a central role in the metabolism of calcium, which is the main mineral in our bones and teeth. This vitamin stimulates the action of two proteins, osteocalcin and the matrix protein Gla, which help build and maintain healthy bones, Healthline details.
Prevent heart disease
The buildup of calcium in the arteries around the heart significantly increases a person’s risk of heart disease.
Some studies suggest that vitamin K is able to help prevent calcium from being deposited in the arteries and, therefore, help prevent heart problems, point out the National Institutes of Health of the United States.
Vitamin K deficiency may lead to:
- Extended prothrombin time, meaning it takes longer for the blood to clot
- Excessive bleeding or hemorrhage
- Decreased bone mineral density, resulting in osteopenia or osteoporosis
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