Health & Wellness / Home & Family

What YOU Should Know About Vitamin K

Eating a wide variety and appropriate quantity of fresh fruits and vegetables helps to promote wellbeing. An assortment is essential as no single fruit or vegetable can provide all the nutrients people need to be healthy. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables can do amazing things for the human body, such as lowering the risk of heart disease and strokes, and even reducing risks of developing certain types of cancers. Recently, much attention is being given to vitamin K, and science is now backing evidence of its potential to help battle dementia.

Dementia is an “umbrella” term used to describe a range of symptoms associated with cognitive impairment, such as Alzheimer’s, Vascular, Lewy Body, Frontotemporal dementia, and other rarer diseases. The condition leads to memory loss and impairment of judgement. It is considered a serious and chronic disorder, with over 10 million new cases each year worldwide. Folks with dementia encounter difficulties performing daily tasks and the condition interferes with quality of life. A medical diagnosis for dementia is required, often accompanied by lab tests and imaging. Treatments for dementia exist, such as rehabilitation and occupational therapies and cognitive-enhancing medications, but the condition currently has no cure.

Vitamins and minerals are known to boost the immune system, support normal growth and development, and help cells and organs work well. Thus, scientists are studying the use of vitamins to help delay, prevent, or cure medical conditions and diseases. In a new study, scientists from AlMaarefa University,  Saudi Arabia, explored how vitamin K can affect older rats’ cognitive abilities. Researchers conducted a 17-month long trial on rats. One group received a major form of vitamin K-2, whereas the other group did not. The rats underwent a series of cognitive functions to assess cognitive level, anxious, and depressive-like behavior. Per Medical News Today, the researchers concluded that those who received the vitamin K-2 had reduced levels of cognitive impairment, depression, and anxiety. Additionally, those rats experienced “improved spatial memory and learning ability.” One day, it is hoped, this science can be applied to help people with dementia.

Vitamin K is not commonly used as a dietary supplement, as most adults get adequate amounts through a healthy diet. As explained by WebMD, vitamin K plays a key role in helping the blood clot, preventing excessive bleeding. Vitamin K is a group of compounds, and the two most important are K1, obtained from leafy greens and some other vegetables, and K2, largely obtained from meats, cheeses, eggs, and synthesized bacteria. K1 is the main source available in supplements today in the United States. Should you wish to add vitamin K to your diet in the form of supplements, it is recommended that you speak to your doctor to decide if it is necessary and safe for you to take. Understand that many drugs can interfere with vitamin K. Additionally, people on Coumadin should not take vitamin K unless directed by their healthcare provider.

Health experts generally agree that it is beneficial to incorporate a variety of vitamins into the human diet by eating healthy doses of fruits and vegetables. However, further studies are needed to zero in on the power of vitamins, specifically vitamin K, to determine how it works in the human body and whether it can, in fact, help fight dementia. The recent study done on rats provides hope that vitamin K can be used someday to extend the health and well-being of adults, especially those facing cognitive declines.

This article is purely informational and is not intended as medical advice.


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Doug
1 month ago

K2 is also noted for treating osteoporosis. K2, when taken daily in the therapeutic dosage (320 mcg),actually stops bone loss. A seven year controlled study reported bone growth for each of those consecutive years

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