April 2010
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The vitamin K, fat soluble complexes derive their name from the German word “koagulation” meaning it plays a critical role in coagulation or the process of blood clotting with the body.  Primarily two groups of vitamin K exist in the form of plant and bacteria synthesis both are essential functions in several proteins necessary to blood clotting. Vitamin K deficiency is especially prevalent in children resulting in developmental stage symptoms such as heart disease, high blood pressure, skin rash, anemia, bleeding gums and nose, increased risks of osteoporosis, cystic fibrosis and rickets or bowing of the limbs. Newborn infant babies are at high risk of vitamin K deficiency with depleted blood clotting ability often less than 50% of adults due to reduced protein synthesis.

Medical studies prove premature babies may require vitamin K injects to increase chances of survival.  It also plays a significant role increasing bone mass starting from birth later enhancing adults and elderly senior’s ability to avoid hip fractures or other osteoporosis related problems.

Brittle bonesVitamin K helps the body make a protein called osteocalcin, which can improve bone mass and reduce fractures. In one study, as blood levels of vitamin K increased so did levels of osteocalcin. Other research has found that individuals getting 250 micrograms of vitamin K a day had fewer hip fractures than those who got only one-fifth of that amount (50 micrograms). 

Diabetes – Osteocalcin may also have a role in regulating insulin activity. (Insulin is needed to help move sugar out of the bloodstream and into the body’s cells.) This vitamin K dependant protein may signal fat cells to release a hormone associated with increasing insulin sensitivity. Research so far has only included animal studies. Research on humans is needed to confirm this connection. 

Arthritis – A limited intake of vitamin K can damage cartilage and trigger osteoarthritis. (Cartilage helps to support and cushion your joints.) In one study involving over 600 men and women, those with higher blood levels of vitamin K were less likely to suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee. Vitamin K’s ability to protect against inflammation is another reason it may ease arthritis. 

Wrinkles – Some data suggest that this vitamin may protect the elasticity of the skin. This has the potential to prevent skin aging.

Research suggests that vitamin K concentrations benefit Alzheimer’s patients. Doctors in Japan have linked vitamin K as a preventative in females for bone loss and liver diseases. This data is supported by further studies in Germany that show a relationship between men with prostate cancer and vitamin K. Doctors use a test known as the “Prothrombin time test” to assess deficiency based on the time required for blood to clot, blood samples mixed in citric acid and put in a fibrometer, any delayed clot formation indicates a deficiency of vitamin K. 

The recommended daily allowance of vitamin K includes infants (20 mg), children (90 mg), and adults (100 mg).  Although, it is recommended to take a vitamin supplement some levels may be derived from green leafy vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, spinach, fruits, and parsley.  

Scientific research shows that vitamin K is an essential nutrient for animals such as swine pigs, guinea pigs etc. due to naturally low levels found in their biological systems therefore often requiring oral and injection supplements (The Department of Animal Science, University Illinois).

About the Author:
BIO: Mr. Rickman is a respected CEO/Developer living in Oregon. For over 30-years, companies large and small have relied on his innovative business development, Internet marketing and sales eCommerce services. He is a published sustainable analyst, ghost-writer columnist and co-author worldwide of several books including Eight Billion People.  Mr. Rickman holds advanced business and technical degrees from Boston University. For more information visit:  or call (503) 621-4953. 
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