The Benefits of Vitamin K
Vitamin K1 (also known as phytonadione) is found in foods such as leafy green vegetables, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, plant oils and margarine. In supplement form, it is taken orally and it is commonly used to prevent or treat hypoprothrombinemia which can cause delayed blood clotting or spontaneous bleeding.
Vitamin K1 is the generally preferred form of vitamin K because it has the greatest potency, rapid effects, and low toxicity. It is important to have the proper levels of Vitamin K, and some research suggests that the recommended intake of vitamin K should be increased.
Vitamin K1 also has benefits for the skin. It can be effective for treating spider veins, bruises, scars, stretch marks and burns. When applied topically, vitamin K1 has been found to speed healing, reduce postoperative bruising and swelling and have positive results in the treatment of rosacea.
Uses for Vitamin K1:
- To counteract excessive doses of oral anticoagulants
- To prevent hemorrhagic disease in newborns
- To treat hypoprothrombinemia
- To prevent and treat osteoporosis
- To relieve itching associated with primary biliary cirrhosis
- To treat skin conditions including rosacea, bruising, stretch marks and other conditions
Other Forms of Vitamin K
Vitamin K2 (or menaquinone) is used to treat bone loss including osteoporosis and to lower cholesterol in dialysis patients. It can be obtained from meat, cheese and eggs. Vitamin K3 (menadiol acetate) can be used in combination with vitamin C for treating prostate cancer and breast cancer, and vitamin K4 (menadiol sodium diphosphate) is used to treat hypoprothrombinemia which results from impaired absorption or synthesis of vitamin K.
Certain research suggests another benefit of vitamin K2: that having a higher dietary intake of vitamin K2, especially the MK-4 fraction, can result in a reduced risk of coronary calcification and fatality due to coronary heart disease.
Vitamin K May Be Used to Treat the Following Conditions:
- Coronary heart disease
Vitamin K is thought to be safe for children and adults, even for pregnant or nursing mothers, when taken orally and used appropriately.