Diet & Nutrition 4 MIN READ 141 VIEWS November 3, 2022

Vitamin K for the Immune System

Written By HealthKart

Vitamin K
What is Vitamin K?
How to Understand the Need for Vitamin K?
Role of Vitamin K in Enhancing Immunity
Other Benefits of Vitamin K
Conclusion

Vitamin K is an important factor for the growth, repair, and functioning of the human body. It helps with the formation of blood cells and plays an essential role in the process of blood clotting and working of the immune system.

Vitamin K can be found in the whole body including the brain, liver, bones, heart, and pancreas. It is fragmented very rapidly and discharged through stool and urine. This is why it rarely comes in contact with the toxin level of the body, even if someone takes vitamin K-rich foods in large amounts.

What is Vitamin K?

Vitamin K is a group of lipophilic vitamins. A lipophilic vitamin is a water-soluble vitamin that is found in our food and produced by our bodies. The most significant compounds are Phylloquinone and Menaquinones.

Phylloquinone, which is also known as Vitamin K1, can be found in leafy veggies like spinach, kale, and collard greens. On the other hand, Menaquiones or Vitamin K2 is found in fermented foods and animal foods. Menaquinones are produced naturally in the human body by bacteria.

How to Understand the Need for Vitamin K?

Vitamin K deficiency is very rare in adults but it might occur if someone is on medications that obstruct producing vitamin K in the body like antibiotics. Those who suffer from conditions like malabsorption of nutrients might also experience vitamin K deficiency. A newborn child can also suffer from a deficiency because vitamin K fails to cross the placenta & breast milk does not contain vitamin K in large amounts.

Unless infants are given vitamin K supplements, they are at risk of suffering from bleeding. This is because they get limited blood clotting proteins at the time of their birth. Here are some of the signs of vitamin K deficiency:

  • Bleeding under the skin, from the nose, in the stomach, and sometimes with vomiting
  • Haemorrhaging
  • Blood in urine and stool
  • Osteoporosis or osteopenia

Role of Vitamin K in Enhancing Immunity

Vitamin K is a very important vitamin that helps the immune system to work properly. Although there are a few Vitamin K-rich food items that we do not like, trying new foods and preserving them might help improve our daily eating habits and boost the diversity of gut bacteria in our bodies.

Vitamin K helps your body fight off viral and bacterial infections. For example, your body needs enough vitamin K to fight off viral infections such as influenza and herpes efficiently. Additionally, insufficient amounts of vitamin K prevent your body from effectively fighting off bacterial infections such as pneumonia and tuberculosis. Studies have shown that adequate amounts of vitamin K prevent inflammation while insufficient amounts promote inflammation in your body.

The most important thing about vitamin K is that it helps our gut, which is closely connected to the immune system in our body. If our gut fails to function properly, then it can impact the functionality of our immune system. However, there are some sources of vitamin K that can help us to restore and balance our gut and reduce any inflammation caused by sudden imbalance.

Moreover, vitamin K helps to activate GAS6 or Growth Arrest-Specific 6 protein in our body. GAS6 directly influences the growth of cells. It helps enhance cell communication and signaling along with cell duplication and adhesion. GAS6 also helps to keep the healthy cells in our body from dying.

Apoptosis is a function in our body that helps in inducing the death of cells, especially those that are unwanted or damaged. Growth Arrest-Specific 6 protein binds and escorts the dead cells to phagocytes, which devour the dead cells. GAS6 also helps eliminate damaged cells without harming other cells or tissues.

This thing helps reduce pain and inflammation as well. The method of eliminating unwanted cells and producing new and healthy cells is essential for improving the immune system and keeping the tissues healthy. Therefore, by activating this protein in our body, vitamin K helps improve our immune system and allows our body to work efficiently.

Other Benefits of Vitamin K

Here are some other common benefits of Vitamin K in our body:

1. Proper Menstrual Flow and Relief From Menstrual Pain

One can experience heavy menstrual flow due to many reasons. One of the reasons is the lack of vitamin K in the body. Consuming vitamin K rich foods or taking Vitamin K Tablets can help reduce the heavy flow of menstrual blood by decreasing excessive blood coming out of the body.

Vitamin K helps in preventing issues like jaundice, bleeding in the stomach, ineffective absorption of proteins and nutrients, as well as the impacts of aspirin or antibiotics. Vitamin K deficiency can also lead to gastrointestinal problems, including obstructions, colitis, sprue, Chrohn’s disease, etc. Moreover, since this vitamin ensures that all the hormones in our body function properly, it also helps decrease menstrual pain.

2. Reduced Internal Bleeding

When suffering from unbearable menstrual pain, one can have foods that are enriched with vitamin K. Some of the vitamin K sources are canola oil, soybean oil, and leafy vegetables such as kale, cabbage, spruce, lettuce, broccoli, and spinach.

Conclusion

Vitamin K is an essential vitamin as it regulates our immune system and makes us physically stronger. Lack of vitamin K in the body can lead to serious health issues like excessive bleeding, hemorrhage, increased blood clotting time, etc. Vitamin K functions miraculously when it comes to eliminating damaged and unwanted cells and activating the proteins in the body that contribute towards making our immune system strong.

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