Literatus: The K1 bone protector-A A +A
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
SOMETIMES just when you think you know enough, facts come up, telling you that you don’t know much.
The first time I encountered the term “phylloquinone,” I was in a Catholic high school in Dipolog City. At that time, it was the only natural clotting vitamin available. We call it by its easier name, “vitamin K.”
When I recently read up on updates about this vitamin, I encountered a dangerous vitamin of related name, “vitamin K3.” I realized that science has already discovered two natural forms of vitamin K. The original one I mentioned earlier is phylloquinone.
And the second one is called “menaquinone,” or vitamin K2.
Well, phylloquinone is the classic form of vitamin K, and it is only in plant form. It is the raw material of most vitamin K in nature. In green plants, it functions as an electron accepter in a step during photosynthesis. By definition, it is not an essential vitamin because it is in the human body, specifically in tissues found in arterial walls, pancreas and testes.
Its classic function in humans (and in animals) lies in its role in the production of blood clotting proteins. When applied directly on an open wound, green leafy vegetables, which contain high amounts of it, can stop the bleeding quickly. Sources with highest content per 100 gram weight (one-half cup) include, cooked kale (531 microgram), cooked spinach (444), cooked collards (418), raw Swiss chard (299), cooked Swiss chard (287), raw mustard greens (279), cooked turnip greens (265), raw parsley (246), cooked broccoli (220), cooked Brussels sprouts (219) and cooked mustard greens (210). The good news is cooking does not remove the vitamin or stop its action.
Fruits that contain large amounts of vitamin K1 include avocado and prunes.
Through the years, vitamin K1 cemented its efficacy as a clotting factor. One study that pitted it against the powerful anticoagulant Warfarin indicated that eating green leafy vegetable can reverse the effect of such a drug. An adult dose of 120 micrograms a day for male users (90 micrograms for females) reverses the Warfarin effect in two to five days. Moreover, there seems to be no toxic dose even as high as 250 mg per kg body weight.
What is new about this vitamin is that it is effective in preventing the development of osteoporosis. At dose of one gram daily, a 2002 study noted it increases the production of osteocalcin, a powerful binder of calcium into the bone.
If only for two reasons—healthy blood coagulation mechanism and bone resorption protection—going for green leafy vegetables as part of a regular diet is something to go for.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 25, 2013.