Vitamin K is essential for blood to coagulate and wounds to heal properly.
Danish biochemist Henrik Dam discovered this vitamin in 1935 and named it K for koagulation (Danish for coagulation). Here we will see how vitamin K helps in the healing process, how much is necessary and how to obtain it.
As with any other vitamin, our body needs K to be healthy and function properly.
Among its main benefits, it stands out to maintain bone health, activate proteins, provide protection against different diseases (including cancer), and reduce the risk of premature death.
Vitamin K is also strongly linked to the circulatory system and has been shown to help prevent bleeding that can lead to bruising, a swelling that hinders the healing process and promotes infection or opening of the wound.
Experts have been studying the healing effects of vitamin K for decades. For example, an article published in Nature in 1960 highlighted “the pronounced effect of vitamin K in accelerating the rate of bone healing.”
Recently, a group of experts published in Indian Journal of Pharmacology a clinical trial analyzing the effects of topical use of vitamin K in wounds on the skin.
To do this, they divided 63 patients into three groups, who underwent treatment with high-frequency electrocautery (a method to cauterize and seal blood vessels).
Then, each group received a different supplement or medication: the first 1% vitamin K cream, the second 1% phenytoin cream (anticonvulsant) and the control group Eucerin (a type of lotion for sensitive skin).
Wound status (width and recovery time) and complications in all three groups were evaluated by a dermatologist 2 weeks after the procedure.
The experts stated that the group treated with vitamin K cream showed significant scarring compared to the Eucerin group.
Due to its coagulating properties, vitamin K promotes wound contraction and speeds up recovery time.
According to the authors of the work, their findings show that “topical application of vitamin K significantly reduces healing time in patients.”
How much vitamin K do we need?
The amount of vitamin K that our body needs can vary according to different factors, such as age or gender. The daily average, expressed in micrograms (mcg), is as follows:
- Up to 6 months of age: 2mcg.
- 7 to 12 months old: 2.5mcg.
- From 1 to 3 years: 30mcg.
- From 4 to 8 years: 55mcg.
- From 9 to 13 years: 60mcg.
- From 14 to 18 years old: 75mcg.
- Adult men over 19 years of age: 120mcg.
- Adult women over 19 years of age: 90mcg.
- Pregnant or lactating adolescents: 75mcg.
- Pregnant or lactating women: 90mcg.
How to get vitamin K
Vitamin K comes in two forms: vitamin K1 (phylloquinone), commonly found in green leafy vegetables, and vitamin K2 (menaquinones), found in fewer foods and quantities than K1, mainly derived from meats and foods. fermented.
You can incorporate vitamin K by adding these foods to your diet:
- Broccoli: One cup has 126.5 mcg of vitamin K.
- Brussels sprouts: One cup has 156 mcg of vitamin K.
- Asparagus: One cup has 144 mcg of vitamin K.
- Spinach: One cup has 891 mcg of vitamin K.
- kale: One cup has 223.5 mcg of vitamin K.
blueberries: One cup has 47.2 mcg of vitamin K.
banana: One unit has 79 mcg of vitamin K.
Grenade: One cup has 26 mcg of vitamin K.
Kiwi: One cup has 72.5 mcg of vitamin K.
Blackberries: One cup of its juice has 38 mcg of vitamin K.
pears: One cup has 25 mcg of vitamin K.
Grapes: One cup has 24 mcg of vitamin K.
Grains and seeds
cooked green beans: They have 48 mcg of vitamin K every 100 g.
Cooked soy beans: They have 33 mcg of vitamin K every 100 g.
Green peas: They have 26 mcg of vitamin K every 100 g.
pecan nuts: 3.5 mcg of vitamin K every 100 g.
pork chops: They have 69 mcg of vitamin K per 100 g.
Cow liver: It has 106 mcg of vitamin K per 100 g.
Butter: 21 mcg of vitamin K per 100 g.
Chicken: It has 60 mcg of vitamin K every 100 g.
soft cheeses: 59 mcg of vitamin K per 100 g.
hard cheeses: They have 87 mcg of vitamin K every 100 g.
Bacon: It has 35 mcg of vitamin K per 100 g.
Currently, vitamin K has not been shown to cause any harm. However, it can interact with some medications:
- Antibiotics, such as Orlistat (Alli® and Xenical®).
- Blood thinners, such as Warfarin (Coumadin®).
- “Bile acid sequestrants” (medicines used to lower blood cholesterol levels), such as cholestyramine [Questran®] or Colestipol [Colestid®]).
Until there is meaningful scientific evidence from human trials, people interested in using herbal therapies and supplements should be very careful.
Do not abandon or modify your medications or treatments, but first talk to your doctor about the potential effects of alternative or complementary therapies.
Remember, the medicinal properties of herbs and supplements can also interact with prescription drugs, other herbs and supplements, and even alter your diet.
Sources consulted: Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, US National Library of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, US Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health.