Vitamin K is one of the most important substances when it comes to the normal functioning of the organism. Not only is it significant for prevention in adults, but also for treatment.
Basically, vitamin K is a group of chemical compounds, so when referring to it, we can come across such names as K1, K2 and K3. They mean nothing else but the forms of vitamin K. There are three of them: fat-soluble, natural forms, that is K1 (synthesised by plants) and K2 (synthesised by intestinal bacteria) and a synthetic derivative, that is K3, soluble both in fat and in water.
Most people associate vitamin K with blood coagulation, which is not unreasonable. Without its contribution, the production of prothrombin, the most important for the process of coagulation, would be impossible. Vitamin K is also necessary for all other coagulation factors produced in the liver. Its deficiency abruptly increases the risk of haemorrhage and prolongs the time of wound healing.
That is not, however, the only function that vitamin K performs. It also participates in the management of calcium reserves, determining the formation of bone tissue and maintaining normal bone mineralisation. Thus, it prevents the dangerous disease of osteoporosis, which causes bone fragility.
It is not common knowledge that vitamin K exhibits strong anticancer properties, and numerous tests have proven that it can inhibit the development of breast, ovarian, liver, kidney and stomach cancer.
The greatest amount of vitamin K is obtained in the form of K1 from consumed green vegetables. It must be taken into account, however, that fibre present in vegetables allows only a negligible amount of vitamin K to be absorbed into the circulatory system. Vitamin K2, produced by intestinal bacteria, to some extent fulfils the organism's requirement of vitamin K, by only when the flora functions properly.
People who have been treated with antibiotics, whose intestinal flora is destroyed, who have problems with the liver or suffer from malabsorption are susceptible to dangerous vitamin K deficiencies and should consider supplementing the valuable substance.