It is estimated that a majority of the American population is deficient in vitamin K2. Vitamin K is associated with blood clotting, but it has been shown in research to have more functions in your body.
There are cases when people fail to see the underlying causes first. Taking supplements or increasing the consumption of vitamin K foods will not guarantee that the deficiency will disappear. Here are some reasons why vitamin K deficiency is becoming rampant.
- Taking certain medications
Taking antibiotics can kill both bad and good bacteria, including the ones in charge of producing vitamin K2. In order to limit the effects of antibiotics, it is advised to increase your intake of fermented foods rich in probiotics, or taking a supplement.
Other medications that can affect your body’s vitamin K levels are cholesterol drugs and aspirin.
- Eating a poor or restricted diet
Vitamin K2 is naturally produced by the bacteria that line up your gastrointestinal tract.Apart from taking antibiotics, consuming a diet filled with processed and overcooked foods can destroy the good organisms in your gut. Make sure you eat fermented foods, such as natto and curd cheese – both are rich in vitamin K2.
You can also consume green leafy vegetables as these are rich in vitamin K1. Examples of these foods are kale, collard greens, spinach, broccoli, salad greens, and Brussels sprouts.
Poor nutrient absorption
Not many people take note of the fact that vitamins are either water-soluble or fat-soluble. Vitamin K2 is an example of a fat-soluble nutrient. Without enough dietary fat in your food, your body will not be able to absorb vitamin K effectively.
Apart from this, there are digestive problems that interfere with vitamin K absorption and storage. The first step would be to see what is causing these health issues before increasing your vitamin K levels. Lifestyle choices are often the causes of these digestive disorders.
Other Things to Remember About Vitamin K Deficiency
Many babies are said to have low levels of vitamin K upon birth and are often given oral supplementation and even vitamin K shots immediately after birth. Breastfeeding is another known way to increase babies’ vitamin K levels. However, if the mother’s vitamin K levels are low, then this would not cause much improvement.
If you decide to take a vitamin K supplement, make sure you consult your physician to learn the proper dosage, especially if you’re taking anticoagulants. However, experts recommend up to 185 micrograms daily for healthy adults. For the nutrient to be absorbed effectively, take it prior to a meal with sufficient dietary fats.
About the Author
Andrea is is a writer. During her free time, she updates her health blog with tips and guides on how to stay fit and healthy. She recently did several entries about addressing vitamin deficiencies, including vitamin D and vitamin K deficiencies.