60% of the world’s population suffers from its deficiency, 97% of people have never even heard of it, although it is very important for our body.
Vitamin K—what is this element, how to determine its deficiency, and how does it relate to Covid-19?
And most importantly, where to buy this vitamin?
Find out in this article.
What vitamin K is for
Vitamin K activates proteins that play important roles in blood clotting, calcium metabolism, and heart health.
- Blood clotting.
Vitamin K helps produce 4 of the 13 proteins required for blood clotting.
This process helps prevent internal and external bleeding.
People who take anticoagulants (such as warfarin) to prevent blood clots are often recommended to follow a special diet low in the vitamin.
It can counteract the effects of blood-thinning drugs.
Although much of the attention in this area has focused on dietary sources of vitamin K1, it is also important to control intake of vitamin K2.
A study found that one serving of vitamin K2-rich natty changed blood clotting rates more than foods high in vitamin K1.
- Bone Health.
Osteoporosis is a common bone disease, more common in older women, and increases the risk of fractures.
Vitamin K2 plays a central role in the metabolism of calcium, the main mineral found in bones and teeth.
It activates the actions of two proteins that help build and maintain the skeleton.
A 3-year study involving 244 women in, showed that those who took vitamin K2 supplements had a much slower decline in age-related bone mineral density.
Bones aged much slower.
- Heart disease.
Vitamin K may also play a significant role in preventing heart disease.
It activates a protein that helps prevent calcium deposition in the arteries.
These deposits contribute to the development of plaque, a precursor to heart disease.
Several studies have shown that vitamin K2 is more effective than K1 in reducing these calcium deposits and reducing the risk of heart disease
One experiment found that people with a high intake of vitamin K2 were 52% less likely to develop arterial calcification and had a 57% lower risk of dying from heart disease.
Another study involving 16,000 women found that participants with high vitamin K2 intake had a much lower risk of heart disease.
However, more long-term and detailed studies of vitamin K2 and its effects on heart disease are needed.
What functions of Vitamin K1 and K2 perform
First, vitamin K2 activates special proteins and enzymes that direct calcium to bones, teeth, and nails.
This prevents deposits where they are not needed.
It also has a number of other benefits:
- It participates in the regulation of blood clotting;
- Maintains the health of the nervous system and brain activity;
- It improves insulin production;
- It has an anti-inflammatory effect;
- Strengthens the immune system.
Symptoms of vitamin K deficiency
In order to determine the level of vitamin K in the body, it is necessary to consult a doctor.
The main sign of deficiency of this element is internal or external bleeding.
And while external bleeding is easy to notice in places of cuts and wounds, internal bleeding can manifest itself in different ways:
- Easily appearing bruises, even from minor blows;
- Small clots of blood under the fingernails;
- Dark black stools that contain some blood.
In infants who are more prone to vitamin K deficiency than others, it may be indicated by the following signs:
- Bleeding in the area where the umbilical cord is removed;
- Bloodletting from the nose, gastrointestinal tract, or other areas;
- Bleeding from the penis if the baby has been circumcised;
- Sudden bleeding in the brain, which is extremely life-threatening.
Vitamin D or vitamin K deficiency increases the risk of COVID-19 infection
Vitamin D or vitamin K deficiency increases the risk of COVID-19 infection, according to a study supported by Kappa Bioscience.
The study showed more severe outcomes in patients with COVID-19 are associated with a deficiency of both nutrients.
Also, taking Vitamin D3 and K2 together helps reduce the inflammatory response to COVID-19.
Vitamin D activates immune cells at the beginning of an infection and helps block it.
How to take Vitamin K2?
Recommended for adults and children from 12 years of age to take 1 capsule once a day with water during meals, or as recommended by your doctor.
Course of treatment: 1-3 months.
When the level of vitamin D in the body comes to normal, you can switch to taking ~2000 IU.