I never thought much about vitamin K in my diet, since there wasn’t much written about it in the media. It was actually known as “the forgotten vitamin” because it’s benefits were often overlooked. Can Vitamin K help with the relief of pain?
What is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient necessary for responding to injuries because of it’s ability to clot blood. It is also essential to building stong bones and has been shown to help in preventing heart disease. (Beulens JW, Bots ML, Atsma F, et al. High dietary menaquinone intake is associated with reduced coronary calcification. Atherosclerosis. 2008 Jul 19).
According to Dr. Cees Vermeer, one of the world’s top researchers into vitamin K, nearly everyone is deficient in it — just like most people are deficient in vitamin D.
Vitamin K and Bone Health
Vitamin K works with other nutrients that are also important to bone health.—calcium, vitamin D, and magnesium—to ensure that your skeleton stays strong. The same green leafy vegetables that are our best sources of vitamin K are also very good to excellent sources of calcium and magnesium!
Most people get enough K from their diet to maintain adequate blood clotting, but NOT enough to offer protection against the pain of the following health problems.
- Prostate Cancer – In 2008, a German research group discovered vitamin K provides substantial protection against prostate cancer. Increased intake of vitamin K2 may reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 35 percent, according to the results of European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)
- Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma – Vitamin K has also been found beneficial in the fight against non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, colon, stomach, nasopharynx, and oral cancers. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12946240?dopt=Abstract)
- Alzheimer’s Disease – Vitamin K deficiency may be a contributing factor to Alzheimer’s disease. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19027415)
- Diabetes – Vitamin K improves insulin sensitivity; people who get the most vitamin K from their foods are about 20% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Vitamin K helps reduce systemic inflammation in your body, which may improve your ability to use insulin. (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2012/10/02/ajcn.111.033498.abstract)
- Antioxidant – Has been shown to possess antioxidant properties.
Low intakes of vitamin K have also been associated with the pain of arthritis. In studies going back to 2006 researchers supported by the Arthritis Foundation found that adequate vitamin K was associated with less radiographic evidence of OA.
Sources of Vitamin K
Some sources of Vitamin K include: Alfalfa, Watercress, Green Tea, Nettle, Kelp, Parsley, Spinach, Blue-Green Algae, Oatstraw, Gotu Kola, Cornsilk, Spirulina, green tea, turnip greens, broccoli, kale, spinach, cabbage, asparagus, and dark green lettuce. The chlorophyll is the substance in plants that gives them their green color and provides vitamin K.
It is not difficult to get access to Vitamin K. It can not only be taken as a capsule but also can be consumed as a natural supplement from many fruits and vegetables, such as blue green algae! When taken regularly in the correct amount this vitamin can do wonders.
Actually, vegans and raw foodists actually have more Vitamin K in their bodies than the average meat-eating individual!
A Simple Program
One easy way of ensuring good health is by drinking sufficient water on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. Not only does it clear your stomach, it goes a long way in reducing the risk of a number of diseases, which also helps in reducing pain.
Warm water will be enough to stimulate peristalsis and encourage a bowel movement. You can maximize it’s benefits by replenishing the gut with a probiotic capsule, along with vitamin K, a simple quick step in supporting your immune system, especially if you are taking an antibiotic.
James F. Balch, M.D., says “Antibiotics increase the need for dietary or supplemental Vitamin K. Because Vitamin K is synthesized by bacteria in the intestines, taking antibiotics – which kill the bacteria, interferes with this process. Antibiotics also interfere with the absorption of Vitamin K.”
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