Vitamins are really essential in the life of the human being, since they are the ones that help with the development and cell growth of the human body, being found in a variety of foods and natural compounds.

In this sense, there are more than 13 vitamins, but in this article we will focus on only one of them, known mostly as vitamin K1 , where you will be able to learn about its functions in the human body and the foods that contain it.

What is vitamin K1?

We can also refer to it as “phylloquinone ” apart from vitamin K1, being a type of fat-soluble vitamin, found mainly in plants (unlike vitamin K and vitamin K2). It is worth noting that forms of vitamin K can also be obtained in supplements or even injections.

Being related to coagulation, this vitamin helps in the proper functioning for the activation of several proteins in the body , taking into account that they are anticoagulant proteins, called protein S and protein C (something different from the actions of vitamin K2).

Note: The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) highlights the following regarding phylloquinone: ” Health benefits have been shown in the intake of vitamin K , contributing to the maintenance of bones and blood clotting . ” (1)

What is vitamin K1 used for?

Vitamin K1 may have various factors that make it essential in the human diet, its consumption in food being more than necessary , like its twin vitamin K2. These are the main actions for which vitamin K1 is used:

1. It is involved in blood clotting

Why is blood clotting important? This is a process to stop bleeding and/or wounds, where hemoglobin stops being liquid to become a gel that closes the openings (hemostasis).

To highlight: Vitamin K1, as mentioned above, activates proteins that control coagulation levels , preventing it from being excessive or causing abnormalities that clog blood vessels that do not lose blood.

2. Maintains bone health

The “phylloquinone” or vitamin K1, also plays a leading role in the health of bone or skeletal tissues ( in a few words it provides greater bone density ), since on the one hand it collaborates with the fixation of calcium and on the other to absorb essential proteins for the bones.

Note: With the above explained, a study highlights something important: “Vitamin K1 is necessary for the gamma-carboxylation of osteocalcin (the most important non-collagenous protein in bone)” . (two)

3. Participates in metabolic and vascular functioning

On the other hand, vitamin K1 is a great factor for proper metabolic functioning, especially bone metabolism , allowing better calcium storage (since bones are made of this mineral).

On the other hand, vitamin K1 is also crucial for vascular function, activating the matrix Gla protein , being a vitamin K1-dependent inhibitor, which also regulates the absorption of calcium in the soft walls of the arteries (vascular calcification).

What foods contain vitamin K1?

Vitamin K1 is very present in foods, mainly of vegetable origin, such as vegetables, since a high content of this substance is found in plants, something different from vitamin K2, which, like K1, is even obtained in vitamin supplements. K. Here are the green leafy foods richest in vitamin K1:

1. Spinach

Spinach is one of the green foods with the highest content of vitamin K1, with approximately 884 mg per 100 grams of these leaves, providing other benefits such as reducing hypertension.

2. Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts or simply sprouts, are other green foods that have a high content of vitamin K1 which is approximately 300 mg , being a great support for the health of the heart (cardiovascular system), as well as for bone density.

3. Broccoli

Broccoli or broccoli is a food with antibacterial properties, being very nutritious and with an amount of 141 mg of vitamin K1 , being important to protect the heart organ, mainly from cardiovascular diseases.

4. Lettuce

Lettuce is a great food deposit, with a wide variety of vitamin C, folic acid and of course the famous vitamin K1 coagulation, which is abundant in lettuce with at least 126 mg in its entire composition.

5. Chard

Chard or also called “Beta vulgaris”, is undoubtedly a vegetable whose use dates back many centuries, with hygienic and healing properties . It is not strange, then, to highlight that a large content of vitamin K1 (approximately 830 mg) is stored within it, which, in addition to coagulation, is effective against anemia.

6. Cauliflower

Cauliflower or “Brassica oleracea var.botrytis”, is a very nutritional food that contains fiber and various elements in its composition, with vitamin K1 being abundant within it (from 50 mg to 57 mg), with the property of preventing osteoporosis. , avoid blood calcification and also leukemia.

You should know: A study highlights that: “Some fruits such as kiwi, blackberries and blueberries are also a good source of vitamin K. ” (3)

What is the recommended amount of vitamin K1 to consume?

Vitamin K1, despite being very essential, should be used in moderation, therefore the recommended amount of vitamin K1 is approximately 70 mg or 10 mg per day , other numbers also reach a limit of 45 mg per day for a period than 2 years, especially if it involves vitamin K supplements.

Important: Sometimes the amounts vary, since for example, in newborns the amount of vitamin K1 is different but equally relevant, they are given prophylactically as a kind of routine, due to their risk of suffering from vitamin K1 deficiency. the same, since they are dependent on the vitamin.

What effects does vitamin K1 deficiency produce?

If vitamin K1 is lacking in the body, like all its K complex, unpleasant and dangerous effects can occur in the human body. This is what happens when you are deficient in vitamin K1:

1. Bleeding

In the absence of clot control, excessive bleeding is formed, since there are no balanced levels of anticoagulant proteins . This can even extend to bleeding gums or nasal passages (nosebleeds).

To highlight: If babies suffer from low vitamin K levels, they can bleed into the skull, which is life-threatening for at least the first few weeks.

2. Bone weakness

The lack of vitamin K1 and vitamin K in general, can hinder the correct absorption of calcium, so that if it is lacking in the body and especially in the bone tissue of the body, it can lead to the development of osteoporosis.

You should know: Osteoporosis is a disease in which the bones begin to become weak, to the point that they become so thin that they can easily break with any kind of movement , be it bending over or moving, that is why vitamin K is essential before the risk of fractures.

Key Findings

  • Vitamin K1 or “phylloquinone” is a type of vitamin essential for the body from the group of vitamin K and vitamin K2.
  • It has the ability to prevent coagulations and reinforce bone density.
  • It can be found mainly in green foods , especially spinach and brussels sprouts, as well as in vitamin supplements.
  • The recommended amount of vitamin K1 is 70 mg per day , since its deficiency would mainly cause excessive bleeding.

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