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Vitamin ~ K
Doctors have long used vitamin K, which promotes blood clotting, to help heal incisions in surgical patients and to prevent bleeding problems in newborns.This vitamin also aids in building strong bones and may be useful for combating the threat of osteoporosis.
||WHAT IT IS
||FOUND IN HERBALIFE PRODUCTS
- Reduces the risk of internal hemorrhaging.
- Protects against bleeding problems after surgery.
- Helps build strong bones, and ward off or treat osteoporosis.
| In the 1930s Danish researchers noted that baby chickens fed a fat-diet developed bleeding problems.They eventually solved the problem with an alfalfa-based compound that they named vitamin K, for Koagulation.Scientist now know that most of the body's vitamin K needs are met by bacteria in the intestines that produce this vitamin, and only about 20% comes from foods.Deficiencies are rare in healthy people, even though the body doesn't store vitamin K in high amounts.Natural forms of vitamin K come from chlorophyll - the same substance that gives plants such as alfalfa their green color.Synthetic supplements are also available by prescription.Other names for vitamin K are phytonadione and menadiol. ||
||WHAT IT DOES
|| This single nutrient sets in motion the entire blood-clotting process as soon as a wound occurs.Without it, we might bleed to death.Researchers have discovered vitamin K plays a protective role in bone health as well.
- Green tea is sometimes erroneously considered the leading source of vitamin K; it has 1,700 mcg in 8 ounces.Many doctors consequently advise their patients on anticoagulants (blood thinners) to skip the tea.In fact, that's the amount of vitamin K in 8 ounces of tea leaves - which would make hundreds of cups of brewed tea.According to a Tufts University study, a cup of green tea contains virtually no vitamin K.
- Supplemental vitamin K (more than is found in a multivitamin) should be taken only with your doctor's consent.
- Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.
| Doctors often recommend preventive doses of vitamin K if bleeding or hemorrhaging is a concern.Even when no deficiency exists, surgeons frequently order vitamin K before an operation to reduce the risk of postoperative bleeding.Under medical supervision, it can also be prescribed for excessive menstrual bleeding.Though not yet a widely accepted treatment, vitamin K may provide great benefits for those suffering from osteoporosis.Some studies show it helps the body make use of calcium and decreases the risk of fractures.Vitamin K may be especially important for bone health in older women.Not surprisingly, it is included among the ingredients in many bone-building formulas.
|| Vitamin K may play a role in cancer prevention and help those undergoing radiation therapy.Recent findings also put vitamin K in the arsenal of heart-smart nutrients: Some evidence suggests it may halt the buildup of disease-causing plaque in arteries and reduce the blood level of LDL ("bad") cholesterol.But more research is needed to define the role of vitamin K in these and other disorders.
|HOW MUCH YOU NEED
||IF YOU GET TOO LITTLE
||IF YOU GET TOO MUCH
| Because vitamin K needs are met by the body, the daily RDA is low: 80 mcg for men over age 25 and 65 mcg of women over age 25.
|| In healthy people, a vitamin K deficiency is rare, because the body manufactures most of what it requires.In fact, deficiencies are found only in those with liver disease or intestinal illnesses that interfere with fat absorption.However, vitamin K levels can wane as a result of using antibiotics long term.One of the first signs of a deficiency is a tendency to bruise easily.Those at risk need careful medical monitoring because they could bleed to death in the event of a serious injury.
|| It's hard to get too much vitamin K because it's not abundant in any one food (except leafy greens).Although even mega-doses are not toxic, high doses can be dangerous if you're taking anticoagulants.Large doses also may cause flushing and sweating.
||FACTS & TIPS
||GUIDELINES FOR USE
| Leafy green vegetables, including - per cup of vegetable - kale (547 mcg), Swiss chard (299 mcg), and turnip greens (138 mcg), are richest in vitamin K.Broccoli, spring onions, and brussels sprouts are also good sources.Other foods with some vitamin K are pistachios, vegetable oils, meats, and dairy products.
|| If you take blood-thinning medications and eat lots of leafy green vegetables, which are rich in vitamin K, let your doctor know.Your medication dose may need to be adjusted. |
Vitamin E helps the body use vitamin K.But too much vitamin E - more than 1,000 IU a day - taken long term may impair vitamin K function and increase your risk of bleeding.
| When prescribed, vitamin K should be taken with meals to enhance absorption.
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