A lesser known vitamin, vitamin K was named after the Danish ‘Koagulation’, because it was found to be essential for correct blood coagulation and therefore preventing haemorrhaging. In humans a serious deficiency is rare, because certain bacteria in the large intestine produce small quantities of Vitamin K, however people with digestive problems such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or bad absorption of fats may be at risk, as well as people with liver disease or poor diets.
Vitamin K is also needed for maintaining our bones and it does this by "activating" a protein called osteocalcin that is needed for fixing the calcium in the bones. Vitamin K is even considered an approved treatment for osteoporosis in Japan. Good food sources are green leafy vegetables, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, etc) avocados and parsley – in fact a large tablespoon a day of chopped parsley will provide enough Vitamin K to satisfy your daily needs. If you are on blood thinning (anti coagulant) medication, ask your doctor before taking Vitamin K supplements.
See the rest of our series on vitamins here
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