Thursday, October 8, 2009

Vitamin K, extra needed !

Vitamin K is a vitamin that is not talked about often. It is a very important vitamin being called K for Koagulation by its German discoverers. Without this vitamin you would bleed to death. It is manufactured by intestinal bacteria/flora and for a long time it was thought that the bacteria produced enough to keep you healthy. After all it produced enough to keep your blood clotting.

As it turns out vitamin K is used in 16 different proteins in the body. The roles of these functions were tested in mice. The mice can be manumitted so that they do not make these proteins. The researches were successful in making 11 mice that were unable to make one of the 16 proteins. Thus they could determine what function these 11 proteins had in the body.

Five of the proteins were critical to health and clotting. This was shown as none of these mice made it to being born. Five were very important to the body but the mice survived to weaning. For example one of these five proteins was a protein that controlled growth.

The paper then goes to talk about how the essential proteins are made in the liver, where as the five non essential proteins are not made in the liver. Vitamin K is collected and stored in the liver to make sure the essential proteins can be made. Therefore if vitamin K levels are sub optimal the non essential proteins will not be made, or will be at a sub optimal level.

However when these important, but non essential proteins, were not working at optimal levels there was an increase in cancer, osteoporosis and heart disease. Wow look at that, non optimal levels lead to western degenerative disease.

Apparently if you are on long term use of anticoagulant (warfarin/coumadin) therapy the vitamin K lost is significantly higher.

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