Vitamin K

Hi there!

It’s time for me to talk about another nutrient that I think you need to know about.

What do you know about vitamin K?

No, I don’t mean the drug that is also know as ketamine.

No, I don’t mean potassium, which has the symbol K.

I’m talking about the actual vitamin.

Vitamin K

What is vitamin K?

Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin that is essential for normal blood clotting. Vitamin K is actually a family of compounds that include phylloquinones (Vitamin K1) found in plants, and menaquinones (vitamin K2) found in fish oils and meats.

Fun fact: A Danish researcher named Vitamin K after Koagulation, the Danish spelling for coagulation.

Why is vitamin K good for you?

  • Needed for the synthesis of blood clotting factors by the liver
  • Helps with the synthesis of bone proteins

Did you know: A very common misconception is that people who are taking warfarin (Coumadin) should avoid leafy green vegetables. This is not true, however, they should maintain a consistent intake of vitamin K foods. This is something you can and should discuss with your dietitian.

What are some vitamin K rich foods?

Leafy green vegetables and other green vegetables are the best sources of vitamin K. Vegetable oils such as soy and canola, are also good sources of this fat soluble vitamin.

Fun fact: About 10% of the vitamin K absorbed each day comes from bacteria in our gut that synthesizes vitamin K.

So with that in mind, let’s look at some food sources of vitamin K.

Food Micrograms (mg)
1 cup kale (cooked) 1062
1 cup spinach (cooked) 888
1 cup collard greens (cooked) 772
1 cup broccoli (cooked) 220
1 cup blueberries 29
AI* for women 90
AI* for men 120

*AI is based on estimates of intakes that appear to maintain a defined nutritional state for most people of a specified age and sex. It is the daily target intake.

What’s your favorite way to get vitamin K?
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