Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin that was assigned an RDA (recommended daily allowance) in 1989. There’s a good chance you haven’t even heard of vitamin K, however it’s very important for good health. Without it, your blood wouldn’t clot properly.
K is also involved in the production of two proteins, one related to bone metabolism, and the other related to kidney function. Researchers are still discovering how vitamin K affects these organs.
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient, but you need only a small amount of it. The official U.S. recommended daily intake for men is 120 mcg (micrograms), and 90 mcg for women.
K Benefits – A Quick List
- Important for blood clotting
- Involved in bone metabolism
- Assists kidney function
- Helps boost blood levels of calcium
- Decreases calcium loss through the urine
Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables like alfalfa, kale, green tea, and turnip greens. These provide about 10 times the daily adult requirement in a single serving.
Spinach, broccoli, lettuce, and cabbage are also very rich sources. Common foods like oats, green peas, whole wheat and green beans also provide decent amounts of K.
For more information on the vitamin K content of foods you eat frequently, search the USDA food composition database.
A major source of vitamin K is manufactured by bacteria in the intestines. Long-term use of antibiotics can cause a deficiency by killing these bacteria.
People with disorders of the digestive tract, those with impaired fat absorbtion and alcoholics may also become deficient.