Vitamin K and Cardiovascular and Bone Health

Calcium has long been considered a popular nutrient necessary for bone health, but Vitamin K also plays an important role in keeping our bones strong. Not only does Vitamin K play a role in coagulation, or blood clotting, this fat-soluble vitamin has a glue-like function in the skeletal system.  This important function prevents calcium and other important minerals from being released from the bones and into the blood.  When too much calcium is present in the blood it can build-up in the arteries – leading to the hardening or arterial walls – or it be deposited in joints and organs. Therefore, deficiencies of Vitamin K can lead to osteoporosis, uncontrolled bleeding, bone fractures, coronary calcification (or heart disease), and tooth decay.

 Those without a history of abnormal blood clotting can keep their cardiovascular and skeletal systems in good health by eating plenty of foods that contain Vitamin K.  These foods include leafy greens, olive oil, and broccoli.  Vitamin K supplements can also be recommended by your health care provider based on a blood test which checks for specific nutrient deficiencies.