Want strong bones? Don’t forget the …Vitamin K?!
That’s right, in addition to calcium and vitamin D; vitamin K has a significant effect on bone strength. Vitamin K in excess is still being studied, but too little vitamin K is well known, it can lead to weak bones.
Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin, meaning it can be stored in the body unlike a water soluble vitamin like vitamin C, where the excess is washed away. This is great because storage of any fat soluble vitamin can save the body from disease when enough isn’t being ingested. While we mostly think of vitamin K and the roles it plays in blood clotting factors, vitamin K also plays a huge role in bone formation.
When vitamin K is in short supply the protein needed for new bone formation, Osteocalcin, isn’t created and new bone isn’t formed. All bones need Osteocalcin and all people, regardless of age need new bones to be formed.
As an infant new bones are being created continuously, as a child and into young adulthood bones are still growing, not reaching their peak of growth until 18 years old (girls) or even 21 years old (boys) and in adulthood new bone is necessary as weight changes and stronger bones are needed (like during pregnancy!) or as new blood vessels or nerves are supported and shaped in the bone and cartilage (such as during surgery or when a bone breaks). Bones are ever changing and proper care can keep diseases like osteoporosis (weak, brittle bones) far away.
Without vitamin K to make Osteocalcin strong bones wouldn’t exist. Make sure your daily and weekly diet has plenty of vitamin K in the form of veggies like; broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, tomatoes, kale and carrots, fruits such as strawberries and oranges and other forms of vitamin K like vegetable oil, eggs and lentils.
The body can make vitamin K from intestinal bacteria, but only if you’re feeding your body good healthy foods. A body high in processed and “fast” foods will not be able to produce its own vitamin K.
Vitamin K, who knew it has so many wonderful uses!