Vitamin K Uses

Bones

Recently vitamin K has also been lauded for its potential role in the increase of bone mass. Studies have proved that supplemental vitamin K promotes osteotrophic processes and slows osteoclastic processes via calcium bonding.

In Japan, a form of vitamin K2 is recognized as a treatment for osteoporosis. However the long term effects and benefits are unknown and it remains controversial. Data from the 1998 Nurses Health Study found an inverse relationship between dietary vitamin K1 and the risk of hip fracture.

After being given 110 micrograms/day of vitamin K, the main results showed that women who consumed lettuce one or more times per day had a significantly lower risk of hip fracture than women who consumed lettuce one or fewer times per week.

In addition to this, high intakes of vitamin D but low intakes of vitamin K may still pose an increased risk of hip fracture hinting at a relationship between these two vitamins.

Alzheimer's Disease

Research into the antioxidant properties of vitamin K indicates that the concentration of vitamin K is lower in the circulation of carriers of the APOE4 gene and recent studies have shown its ability to inhibit cell death due to oxidation in nerve cells. It has been hypothesized that vitamin K may have an effect on neuronal damage and that supplementation may hold benefits to treating this disease, although more research is necessary in this area.

Topical Use

Vitamin K may be applied topically, typically as a 5% cream, to diminish postoperative bruising from cosmetic surgery and injections, broken capillaries (spider veins), to treat rosacea and to aid in the fading of hyperpigmentation and dark under-eye circles.

Cancer

While researchers in Japan were studying the role of vitamin K2 in the prevention of bone loss in females with liver disease, they discovered another possible effect of this phytonutrient. This two year study which involved 21 women with viral liver cirrhosis found that women in the supplement group were 90 percent less likely to develop liver cancer A German study performed on men with prostate cancer found a significant inverse relationship between vitamin K2 consumption and advanced prostate cancer.

Antidote For Poisoning By Coumarins

Vitamin K is a true antidote for poisoning by coumarins such as bromadiolone, which are commonly found in rodenticides. Coumarins possess anticoagulatory and rodenticidal properties because they can completely block synthesis of Vitamin K in the liver, especially in rodents. Death is usually a result of internal hemorrhage. Treatment usually consists of repeated intravenous doses of Vitamin K, followed by doses in pill form for a period of at least two weeks, though possibly up to 2 months, afterwards. If caught early, prognosis is good, even when great amounts are ingested.

Further Reading


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