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Everyone knows the importance of vitamin intake, but very few know about the whats and whys of certain vitamins or vitamin compounds.  Vitamin K is certainly one of the vitamins that we do not hear a lot about.  But, there is so much more to know about vitamin K – what it does for your body and how to get your daily dose.  Here is a quick guide to all things vitamin K.

What is Vitamin K?  Vitamin K is a group compound of similarly structured, fat-soluble vitamins.  Vitamins K, K1, K2, and K3 make up the group.  Vitamins K1 and K2 are the most important vitamins of the compound.

Why Do We Need Vitamin K?  Vitamin K is an essential nutrient that plays an important role in how the body responds to injury.  It also helps transport calcium throughout the body and thereby helps reduce the risk of bone loss and the risk of bone fractures.  People with higher levels of vitamin K have greater bone density, while people with lower levels of the vitamin have osteoporosis.  There are actual studies that show the connection between reduced risk of bone fracture in postmenopausal women and vitamin K intake.  Vitamin K also helps regulate normal blood clotting.

What About Supplements?  If you are following a healthy weight-loss program diet, you probably do not need to take a supplement.  Vitamin K deficiency is rare, since the vitamin is found in many of the foods we eat.  The bacteria in your intestines can also make vitamin K.  Signs of Vitamin K deficiency include increased bleeding during menstrual cycles, unusual blood clotting, bruising, and blood in urine.  People who are at a high risk for Vitamin K deficiency include those who are dependent on alcohol, those with severe digestive issues, and those who have a difficult time absorbing nutrients.  

What Foods Are Vitamin K Rich?  Vitamin K can be found in a number of food sources included in a healthy weight loss program, including leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, kale, spinach, and parsley.  Vitamin K can also be found in liver, soybean oil, and wheat.  Dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese, contain high amounts of vitamin K, too.

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