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Vitamin K – a job for your gut bugs!

You hear a lot about vitamins A, B, C, and D but what about vitamin K? It doesn’t get as much press as the others but you’d be surprised at how important it is!

Did you know you can get a portion of your daily requirement of vitamin K from fermented foods such as kefir? Plus, your gut bugs make it too!

Let’s have a look at what vitamin K does and where you can get it from –

Vitamin K – key functions in the body

Where does Vitamin K come from?

There are two forms of vitamin K: vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 (menaquinone). Vitamin K1 is primarily found in green plants, whereas vitamin K2 is produced by bacteria.8https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminK-HealthProfessional/

Food sources of vitamin K1: Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, parsley, coriander, and green peas.

Food sources of vitamin K2: Fermented foods – natto, cheeses such as gouda and brie, kefir and animal sources such as liver, chicken, egg yolks, and butter.

Chuckling Goat Kefir contains 0.39 mcg (micrograms) of vitamin K per 100 grams (adults need approximately 1 mcg per day for each kilogram of body weight).9https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-k/

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means it is better absorbed when consumed with dietary fats so have an oil-based dressing on your salad or some butter on your green beans!

How are gut bacteria involved?

Certain strains of gut bacteria produce enzymes that can transform vitamin K1 into its active form vitamin K2, including Lactococcus lactis, Bifidobacteria and Eubacterium lentum, Veillonella, Escherichia coli, and Bacteroides species.10https://microbialcellfactories.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12934-019-1179-911https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2021.791565/full Once converted to its active form, vitamin K2 can be absorbed and utilised by the body for various functions.

To maintain a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria to keep up the production of vitamin K2 – eat your greens, include a daily dose of fermented foods, and feed your gut bacteria with a variety of dietary fibre!

For more information on how to put our Gut Health protocol into practice, read about our Gut Healthy Diet, Gut-Brain Health Smoothie, and Everything you need to know about prebiotics – and how to take them!

Any questions? Contact one of our Nutritional Therapists via live chat, weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm.

References

Questions? Talk to a Nutritional Therapist on live chat!

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