Vitamin K serves a number of essential functions within the human body. However, many people don’t get enough through diet, which makes vitamin K supplements necessary.
What Does Vitamin K Do?
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in blood clotting. Many people take vitamin K supplements based on claims that it can help prevent:
- Arterial calcification and cardiovascular disease
- Dementia and other brain health problems
- Heart disease
- Infectious disease, such as pneumonia
- Liver cancer
- Lung cancer
- Prostate cancer
- Tooth decay
- Varicose veins
Who Needs to Take Vitamin K Supplements?
Before you begin any supplement, it’s a good idea to talk to your physician. You need to know that many people are vitamin K-deficient. Because this essential nutrient comes primarily from green, leafy vegetables, millions of Americans may need to take vitamin K supplements.
Some groups of people who are at a higher risk of vitamin K deficiency are those who:
- Have diseases that affect absorption in the digestive tract, such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease
- Take prescription drugs or use recreational drugs that interfere with vitamin K absorption
- Are malnourished
- Drink alcohol heavily