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Vitamin K, what is it for?

Vitamin K belongs to the terpene family. It is fat-soluble, that is to say it is absorbed if it is ingested with a fatty substance. This means that if you take it as a supplement, it must be taken with a meal. Be careful not to confuse it with the mineral K which is potassium.

According to studies, it has beneficial effects on osteoporosis, the formation of arterial calcifications and blood clotting.

It exists in 3 bioactive forms:

-Vitamin K1 or phylloquinone

-Vitamin K2 or menaquinone (MK). Most scientific studies focus on the MK4 and MK7 fractions of vitamin K2. It is in this form that vitamin K has the most beneficial effects.

-Vitamin K3 or mendione, a synthetic product with significant side effects and which is therefore no longer on the market.

Vitamin K and Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a weakening of the bones due to a reduction in the density and resistance of the bone. According to studies, vitamin K2 promotes bone consolidation and therefore helps fight against osteoporosis. Its effect is even better if you take it with vitamin D. This is why some food supplements on the market offer the Vit D + Vit K combo.

In addition, if you are taking a treatment against osteoporosis (generally based on bisphosphonates), Vitamin K2 would improve its effectiveness.

Finally, taking long-term glucocorticoids promotes bone demineralization (and therefore osteoporosis). Fortunately, vitamin K2 can counter this side effect.

Vitamin K and vascular health

When the cells of blood vessels (and more generally, smooth muscles) are subjected to stress such as inflammation, hypertension,...they transform into cells susceptible to forming calcium deposits. Vitamin K2 is able, by inhibiting an enzyme, to thwart this transformation and therefore to avoid calcium deposits in your blood vessels.

In addition, this vitamin has shown a beneficial effect on the elasticity of the arteries. However, the more elastic your arteries are, the better for your cardiovascular health ;-)

Where can I find vitamin K in my food ?

As you will have understood, vitamin K in the K2 form is the most interesting bioactive form. It is found mainly in natto (fermented soy beans), but also in small quantities in egg yolk and fermented cheeses.

Also, if you have a healthy gut microbiota, it will also be able to produce a small amount.

Vitamin K1 is found in green vegetables and vegetable oils.

What are your vitamin K needs?

It is not necessary to make yourself a good cheese platter to meet your daily needs...You only need 70 µg per day (I will tend to say a little more because nowadays microbiota are rare in good health !). Your needs will also need to be increased if you have osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis, or a vitamin K absorption problem (as is the case if you are on treatment for high cholesterol, fat binder, or if you suffer from a biliary, hepatic, pancreatic or intestinal pathology). Certain medications also limit the absorption of vitamin K.

In supplementation, the most effective and best absorbed form is the MK7 fraction of vitamin K2. Be carefull, vitamin K is contraindicated if you are taking certain medications including wafarin. I remind you that any supplementation must be supervised by a health professional.

To learn how to improve your health through diet if you have osteoporosis or cardiovascular disease, make an appointment, I would be happy to help you :-)

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