This is one of those vitamins you just don’t hear much about, yet it is extremely important. So what is vitamin K? Well, it is a fat-soluble vitamin which is found in many of the foods you eat; primarily vegetables. It helps promote healthy clotting of the blood.
There are actually different types:
Vitamin K1 – This is typically in leafy greens and other vegetables. According to one paper I read, even when someone consumes 500 times the recommend daily dosage of this form, it is not toxic (but check with a doctor to make sure that is correct).
Vitamin K2 – This is actually made in your large intestines by bacteria. It is also produced during the fermentation process involved with making some foods. Therefore, rarely do people have a deficiency of it. However if the intestines aren’t working properly or there are excessive antibiotics being used for periods of time (which kills bacteria) then there could be a deficiency.
Vitamin K3, K4, and K5 – These are synthetically created and not naturally found anywhere. Because of this, there are many who advise against consuming them. One source I read said that there have been cases where a baby suffered a toxic dose of K3 and that sounds pretty scary to me, so I think I would have to agree with those that say it’s best to stick to the natural forms of vitamin K: 1 & 2.
Health Benefits of Vitamin K
First of all I would like to say that not all of the benefits listed below are “official” and some may be incorrect. I’m only summarizing the information I’ve read elsewhere, so you should most definitely speak with a doctor about any of these alleged benefits.
Hemorrhaging: Because it is known to help your body have normal blood clotting, it has been shown to be beneficial with some times of hemorrhaging.
Bones: There has been a large body of research over the years which links vitamin K with healthy bones. Supposedly it promotes a process known as calcium binding, and in turn, that assists with osteoporosis. There have been a study that point to increased vitamin K consumption resulting in less age-related hip fractures. However like many things in life, there are educated people on both sides of the argument as to what (if any) the alleged bone benefits of vitamin K are, so that is why it’s important to ask your doctor in order to make a decision.
Under Eye Dark Circles: There are a number of other benefits it is linked to, including vitamin K eye cream; many say it works wonders as a dark circles eye cream. Being that these pesky things are probably the number one sign of aging, you should definitely look into this if you have dark circles because they make you look tried and older.
Hopefully this answers your basic question as to what is vitamin K. Of course like any topic though, there is so much information about there that you will need to do your own research.