Topic of the Month
The importance of vitamin K for health
1 July 2014
It has long been known that vitamin K, which is involved as a coenzyme in the production of coagulation factors, is essential to the regulation of blood coagulation. But vitamin K also fulfils an important role in the activation of certain enzymes which, together with vitamin D, regulate metabolism and can combat the hardening of soft tissues such as blood vessels and help slow bone demineralization. In recent years interest in this vitamin has grown considerably following the discovery of other potentially health-promoting properties. Attention centers on research into the function of vitamin-K-dependent enzymes (Gla proteins), which are found in bones and teeth as well as in blood vessel linings, the brain and other soft tissues, where they appear to regulate cell division and cell differentiation, among other things. Studies indicate that a sufficient intake of vitamin K could help prevent the occurrence of atherosclerosis, osteoporosis, insulin resistance and inflammation of the joints, and above all could protect against the age-related loss of cognitive abilities.