“Dr. Bruce Ames, a biochemist who studies nutrition at the cellular level, provides evidence that illustrates how an individual is much more likely to have more rapid aging and the development of cancer with inadequate vitamin and mineral levels, even if she or he is okay short term. (Page 35 The Wahls Protocol)
Vitamin K and Heart Health: “For example, when the supply of vitamin K is limited, your body will prioritize how to use the limited supply. It will make proteins that will clot your blood if you are cut, but it will not make the proteins you need to maintain flexible blood vessels and heart valves. So although you won’t bleed to death if you get an injury today, if your deficiency continues over the long term, you will develop stiffness in your heart valves and/or high blood pressure. The result could be that in the future you may need heart surgery to replace your heart valves, or you may need to take blood pressure medication.” (Page 36 The Wahls Protocol)
Vitamin K and Bone Health: Vitamin K is best known for its clotting role, but it is also necessary for mineralization of the bone. “Researchers are only now starting to see the critical ancillary role vitamin K plays in bone metabolism. For example, low levels of vitamin K are emerging as a potential risk factor for osteoporosis, particularly in people with bowel disease. Additionally, researchers have shown that increasing dietary vitamin K intake by 100 mcg per day—roughly doubling the average American adult intake—led to a significant increase in bone density in post-menopausal women over one year.
Vitamin K and Arthritis: Perhaps unexpectedly, low intakes of vitamin K have also been correlated in multiple studies with arthritis. Drilling down, researchers have found low activity of vitamin K dependent-proteins inside arthritic joints, establishing a potentially causative relationship. (http://www(dot)whfoods(dot)com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=112)
Good news: 1 cup of leafy green vegetables will provide up to 10X the daily amount required. As with any fat-soluble vitamin (A,D,E,K), fat is required to absorb the vitamin, and absorption is impaired in those with GI Disorders. Check out the link above for more sources of Vitamin K.
Note: Dr. Wahl’s Protocol is not vegetarian. It includes daily consumption of grass-fed meat as well as weekly organ meats. It also includes 9 cups of raw vegetables (some fruit) per day, from 3 categories: leafy greens, sulfur-rich, and color.