There vitamin K is less known than vitamins A, B, C or D, but it is just as essential for the proper functioning of our body. Indeed, it plays an important role in blood coagulation or even cell renewal.
Low intake of vitamin K is associated with a tendency to bleeding due to reduced activity of blood clotting functions. Thus, during significant deficiencies, subcutaneous, nasal or gastric hemorrhages may occur.
A recent study also taught us that vitamin K is useful for fight against obstructive lung diseases like COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and asthma. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark recently shared this discovery. They showed that people with low vitamin K levels had reduced respiratory capacity.
Furthermore, chronic vitamin K deficiency can cause bone fragility. The risk of fractures in the event of a fall then becomes greater. If this deficiency is rare, it is therefore potentially dangerous.
Vitamin K: where to find it?
There are two types of vitamin K: the K1 (phylloquinone) which is present in plants and the K2 (menaquinones) which is of animal origin or synthesized by bacteria of the intestinal flora.
According to the European Food Safety Authority, adults – including pregnant women – are advised to consume 70 mcg of vitamin K per day. The recommended level for adolescents is 65 mcg, 30 mcg for children aged 7 to 10 years or 20 mcg for 4 to 6 year olds.
The K1 form is present in plants as leafy green vegetables, sauerkraut and cruciferous vegetables, parsley, spinach, lettuce. It is also the latter which are recommended by Copenhagen researchers to reduce the risk of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
Vitamin K2, which represents menaquinones, is produced by bacteria in the intestinal flora. It is found in foods of animal origin such as offal (liver), meats and fermented products like cheese.