As you age, your bones may weaken from everyday wear and tear. They can also lose some of the nutrients they need to maintain their structural health. In order to protect your bones, you may change your diet, exercise more and take vitamin supplements. Calcium and vitamin D are two important nutrients known to support, protect and encourage healthy bone growth. Another nutrient you should know about is vitamin K. It helps keep your bones strong by working with calcium.
What is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K helps your blood clot, which keeps you from bleeding out of control if you injure your body internally or externally. Your liver and the fatty tissues of your body contain ample supplies of this vitamin. The bacteria living in your intestinal tract also produces vitamin K. Deficient amounts of vitamin K is rare but can happen if you take certain antibiotics or do not eat a proper diet.
What is Bone Health?
Bone health describes the strength, density (thickness) and integrity of your skeletal system throughout your lifetime. The aging process can decrease these things and increase your risk for bone diseases like osteoporosis – a condition that changes the density of your bones. Your bones essentially become weak and brittle. Vitamin K increases your bones’ density and strength by combining with calcium to build bone tissue. Both nutrients rely on each other for this all-important process.
Who Needs Vitamin K?
As a man or woman, you need sufficient amounts of vitamin K in your diet. Poor bone health can be experienced by anyone who lacks enough of the nutrient. The effects of not having enough vitamin K may be potentially life changing and may affect you in many ways. For example, you can develop osteoporosis, as you get older. This condition weakens the bones of the spine, hips and other places of your body. Since vitamin K works with calcium to build bone, a deficiency may hamper calcium’s ability to do this job.
What Can I Eat to Get Vitamin K?
You can eat a number of healthy foods in order to get enough vitamin K in your diet. Fresh, green vegetables like kale, collard greens and spinach are high-impact foods. They contain large amounts of the vitamin. The best way to obtain the full nutritional value of these types of foods is to eat them fresh and not frozen. Other items containing vitamin K include beef liver, cabbage and even green tea. Green tea is a healthy alternative you can choose if beef liver is not for you.
What is the Recommended Intake of Vitamin K?
Your daily intake for this vitamin depends on your age and sex. The intake may differ for pregnant women and children less than 3 years of age, so check with your physician prior to taking or giving any vitamin supplement. The recommended daily allowance for men, women and older children include the following:
· Men over age 19 need 120 mcg
· Women over age 19 need 90 mcg
· Males and females 4 – 8 years of age need 55 mcg/day
· Males and females 9 – 13 years of age need 60 mcg/day
· Males and females 14 – 18 years of age need 75 mcg
Protecting your bone health begins at any age. You can help prevent problems with your bones by getting the right information about vitamin K.