The Herbs of Smoothie Essentials: Vitamin K

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Add a boost with our Women’s Blend, featuring Vitamin K.

Vitamin K1[1][2] is a group of structurally similar, fat soluble vitamins that are needed for the posttranslational modification of certain proteins required for blood coagulation and in metabolic pathways in bone and other tissue. They are 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone (3-)derivatives. This group of vitamins includes two natural vitamers: vitamin K1 and vitamin K2.[3]

Vitamin K1 is also known as vitamin Kj, phylloquinone or phytomenadione (also called phytonadione). Vitamin K1 is required for blood coagulation and is synthesized by plants, is found in green leafy vegetables, and can be found in soybean oil.

Vitamin K2 is involved in bone metabolism. Vitamin K2 homologs (menaquinones) are characterized by the number of isoprenoid residues comprising the side chain. Menaquinones are abbreviated MK-n, where n represents the number of isoprenoid side chains. Thus, menaquinone-4 abbreviated MK-4, has 4 isoprene residues in the side chain. Bacteria can produce a range of vitamin K2 forms, including the conversion of K1 to K2 (MK-7) by bacteria in the small intestines. No known toxicity exists for vitamins K1 and K2.

Three synthetic types of vitamin K are known: vitamins K3, K4, and K5. Although the natural K1 and K2 forms are nontoxic, the synthetic form K3(menadione) has shown toxicity.[1]

Vitamin K was identified in 1929 by Danish scientist Henrik Dam when he investigated the role of cholesterol by feeding chickens a cholesterol-depleted diet.[2] After several weeks, the animals developed hemorrhages and started bleeding. These defects could not be restored by adding purified cholesterol to the diet. It appeared that—together with the cholesterol—a second compound had been extracted from the food, and this compound was called the coagulation vitamin. The new vitamin received the letter K because the initial discoveries were reported in a German journal, in which it was designated as Koagulationsvitamin.

Vitamin K1 is found chiefly in leafy green vegetables such as spinach, swiss chard, and Brassica (e.g. cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, and brussels sprouts); some fruits such as avocado, kiwifruit and grapes are also high in vitamin K.

[1] Natural Health Products Ingredients Database – Vitamin K1: http://webprod.hc-sc.gc.ca/nhpid-bdipsn/ingredReq.do?id=11665&lang=eng

[2] Wikipedia – Vitamin K: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_K

[3] Health Canada. Product Licensing. Compendium of Monographs: Multivitamin: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/applications/licen-prod/monograph/multi_vitmin_suppl-eng.php

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About Smoothie Essentials - ShelleRae

Welcome! I am ShelleRae and I am very excited you are here. I joined the Smoothie Essentials team about 5 years ago now. Always health conscious and into prevention versus medication it seemed natural when the opportunity came up to take on the creation of this blog and the MatchaGT blog as well. As mother to three and surrogate to many more I've practiced much of what I write on sometimes with great success and other times with a bit less. My friends and family are my test kitchen and my facts are most often from WebMD - they seem to have a fairly accurate and conservative approach. The Smoothie Essentials product is a line of boosts that add functionality to one's daily foods without adding flavor or colors. (except for MatchaGT and green blend) making it easy to "hide" them from the finicky eaters we all know and love. From stirring them into yogurts, smoothies, frappes and even juice drinks it all come out with the original flavor being center star.. My inspiration comes from others who also are striving to live a better life through lifestyle changes. More information is available at www.SmoothieEssentials.com or by emailing shelley@juicesolutions.com

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