Fans of Drs. Mehmet Oz and Nicholas Perricone may be familiar with Vitamin K after hearing these medical superstars lavish their praise. Also known as the clotting vitamin because of its role in blood clotting, vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that may also maintain strong bones. Found in leafy green vegetables like kale, spinach, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, as well as cereals, soybeans, and other veggies, Vitamin K is also made by bacteria that line the gastrointestinal tract.
The vitamin is so essential that all newborns in the U.S. and Canada customarily receive vitamin K injections just after delivery. That’s because babies are born without bacteria in their intestines and cannot receive enough vitamin K from breast milk.
Vitamin K2 is a bone-building metabolic byproduct of vitamin K. K2 helps move calcium from your blood to your bone if you're calcium deficient, according to Dr. Oz. In fact, Vitamin K-deficient individuals have actually been shown to have a 30% increased risk of hip fractures than those with higher intakes. It’s created in the body by naturally occurring bacteria inhabiting the intestines, and can be found in an exotic food called natto, a Japanese fermented soybean dish. Sound too funky? You can also get K2 from low-fat cottage cheese, chicken, and certain cheeses.
Kefir is an excellent source of Vitamin K, along with calcium, magnesium, Vitamin B12, and probotics. According to kefir fan Dr. Perricone, kefir also contains lactoferrin, which stimulates new bone growth while preventing further breakdown of existing bone tissue. In addition, kefir lines the GI tract with healthy bacteria, crucial for vitamin K2 production.
Note: Certain individuals need to be very careful with regards to their Vitamin K intake. If you are on Warfarin (Coumadin), or any other prescription blood thinners, you must ask your doctor about your Vitamin K intake, as it can interfere with medication.