Vitamin K and Cardiovascular Function in Teens
When it comes to addressing nutrient deficiencies, magnesium and vitamin D are now well known ones to correct to ensure optimal health. Vitamin K may be just as important as these two but has not yet made it to the general populations attention. Vitamin K deficiency is thought to be as common as magnesium deficiency and when you consider most people don't eat a lot of green leafy vegetables, which contain K1, you can see why. We began taking vitamin K after hearing how important it was to take if you took vitamin D. We take 1 mg a day which is only one cap, as we do eat a fair few green leafy vegetables. This should be the way for addressing most deficiencies, using a combination of food and supplementation. I think too often people rely on supplements alone. Recommendations to to say to take between 1-2 mg per day.
Dr Michael Jurgelewicz, DC, DACBN, DCBCN, CNS said in a recent review of a study conducted on teens and cardiovascular function, "I find that most people need anywhere from 5,000-10,000 IUs/day of vitamin D and about 1-2 mg of K1, since most people do not eat enough vegetables (as seen in this study) to get enough K from diet alone. This is also the amount that carboxylates osteocalcin.
Approximately 70% of my patients have vitamin K insufficiencies. It seems to be as prevalent as magnesium deficiencies. As a general rule of thumb, I never recommend vitamin D without vitamin K. In addition, I have personally have found vitamin K1 supplementation to be much more successful at lowering undercarboxylated osteocalcin levels than K2 (MK-7). It makes sense to supplement with all three forms of vitamin K [K1, K2(MK-4, and MK-7)] and not get hung up on the marketing hype of one proprietary form."
In reviewing the study Dr Michael Jurgelewicz said "the researchers found a 3.3 times greater risk of heart enlargement in healthy teens who consumed the least amount of vitamin K1... Approximately 10% of the teens had some degree of left ventricular hypertrophy, according to the research team. This is the first study exploring associations between vitamin K and heart function and structure in young healthy individuals. These results suggest early interventions to ensure adequate vitamin K1 in young people could improve cardiovascular development as well as reduce future cardiovascular disease risk."
Vitamin K plays a role in blood clotting, optimal bone health, and cardiovascular health as shown above. It is quite cheap and you don't need a lot of it. It is something you can add into your regime if you are deficient and remember to use a combination of food and supplements to replenish. Green leafy vegetables like spinach and cabbage contain good amounts of vitamin K1.