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Vitamin K and Senior Health

24 June, 2019

vitamins
, Nutrition

People usually talk about Vitamin A, B, C, and in recent times, you would also have heard them talking about Vitamin D, as an essential one. The deficiency of each of these is something that causes various issues to our body, and as such, importance is being given to these. People are advised to tweak their diets accordingly to ensure sufficient intakes of these. There is also a possibility that, when required, doctors may prescribe additional supplements as well. Multivitamin tablets or Vitamin D supplements are common, especially for women aged over 40 years and men above 60 years.

However, there is another Vitamin, about which the knowledge levels are not that high among the common public. This is Vitamin K; and even this is an essential Vitamin, where our body is concerned. It helps heal wounds in our body and hence is called the blood clotting Vitamin. It is called Vitamin K because the K is derived from the German word Koagulation. This Vitamin is essential for bone health as well, and recent research even found a connection between Vitamin K and mobility disability in seniors. In other words, this research report concluded that people with low Vitamin K are at a higher risk of getting mobility issues in older adults.

Benefits

So, what benefits does Vitamin K provide our body that is said to be an important one? As mentioned above, it plays a vital role in wound healing and bone health. It is a fat-soluble Vitamin and makes proteins that are needed for blood clotting. As we all know, it is a blood clotting that helps heal our wounds.

Interestingly, we all are aware of Vitamin D for bone health; but, Vitamin D works with Vitamin D to make sure that Calcium reaches the bones in our body. It is said that Vitamin K positively impacts the bone density and thus reduces the risk of bone fractures, an important safeguard in old age.

It prevents osteoporosis and reduces the risks of internal bleeding, and for women, it helps reduce the blood flow during menstruation. Overall, it boosts our immunity and also helps regulate the blood sugar levels.

Sources

Our body produces Vitamin K in the gastrointestinal tract; the bacteria present there does it. Hence, you may find that people who have a Vitamin K deficiency will also have low digestive health. Vitamin K can be supplemented in the diet by having green lettuce, kale, mustard greens, parsley, spinach, turnip greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, cauliflower, and cabbage.

All herbs contain Vitamin K, and all the green vegetables that are rich in Potassium also contain Vitamin K. Spring onions, pickled cucumber, prunes, asparagus, cheese, etc. are a few other items that can be included in the diet. For non-vegetarians, chicken, egg yolk, beef, pork, duck, etc. are good Vitamin K sources. You may also eat cashews, pomegranate, strawberries, and blueberries for this.

Why Vitamin K?

From the above inputs, it is evident that Vitamin K deficiency can cause lots of issues, like excessive bleeding if you get hurt, increased internal bleeding, chances of easy fractures if you fall, and an increased risk of osteoporosis. The better part is that Vitamin K deficiency is not a serious issue as such, because it can be diagnosed and is easily treatable.  If you suspect that you are bruising easily, or find some excessive bleeding when hurt, or have dark stools with or without bleeding, please consult a doctor. The doctor may consider all aspects and then if required, prescribe the necessary tests, to determine Vitamin K deficiency. The treatment follows based on the findings, and you may be asked to include Vitamin K foods or even prescribed a supplement.

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