Eating foods that are high in vitamin K can help prevent conditions such as osteoporosis and coronary heart disease. Foods high in vitamin K include: green leafy vegetables (swiss chard, kale, spinach, and lettuce), parsley, broccoli, olive oil, and canola oil.
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin and is best known for its role in helping blood clot properly after an injury. It exists in three forms; K1 (plant sources), K2 (synthesized by intestinal bacteria), and K3 (provitamin form).
Vitamin K is essential for the functioning of several proteins that are involved in blood clotting. It is responsible for making clotting factors in the liver. Research also shows that Vitamin K plays an important role in bone health.
Circumstances that may lead to vitamin K deficiency include taking antibiotics, gallbladder or biliary disease, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, consuming excessive amounts of mineral oil, liver disease, using blood-thinning medications, ongoing or significant diarrhea, long term use of nutrition provided intravenously, ongoing hemodialysis, and serious burns.
Vitamin K deficiency results in impaired blood clotting. Symptoms of vitamin K deficiency include excessive bleeding (hemorrhage) which starts from the gums or nose, echymoses (bleeding below the skin) and excessive bruising. Individuals with vitamin K deficiency may also experience symptoms of blood in the urine, blood in the stool, tarry black stools, or extremely heavy menstrual bleeding.
Note: A variety of medical conditions can lead to the symptoms mentioned above. Therefore, it is important to have a physician evaluate them so that appropriate medical care can be given.
There is no known toxicity associated with taking vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. Taking high doses of Vitamin K3 (provitamin form) is toxic. It can interfere with the function of glutathione, one of the body’s natural antioxidants, resulting in oxidative damage to cell membranes.
Caution: Eating natural foods that are high in vitamin K is the safest and healthiest way to get an adequate supply of the nutrient. Due to risk of toxicity, individuals should always consult with a knowledgeable healthcare provider before starting doses of supplements. Before giving supplements to children, it is recommended that you first consult with their pediatrician. Also, some supplements may interfere with medications. If you are taking medication, it is recommended that you consult with your physician before taking any supplements. All supplements should be kept in childproof bottles and out of children’s reach.
Kale, raw, chopped, 1 cup – (547 mg)
Swiss chard, raw, 1 cup – (299 mg)
Parsley, raw, 1/4 – (246 mg)
Broccoli, chopped, cooked, 1 cup – (220 mg)
Spinach, raw 1 cup – (145 mg)
Watercress, chopped, raw, 1 cup – (85 mg)
Leaf lettuce, green, shredded, raw, 1 cup – (62.5 mg)
Soybean oil 1 Tablespoon – (25.0 mg)
Canola oil 1 Tablespoon – (16.6 mg)
Olive oil 1 Tablespoon – (8.1 mg)
Mayonnaise 1 Tablespoon – (3.7 mg)