This article was previously published June 20, 2020, and has been modernized with new information.

Nutrient shortfalls can take a ponderous charge on your health, and this includes increasing your risk of severe outcomes in the case of viral illness like COVID-1 9. Vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin most known for its role in blood clotting and found in menus like spinach, eggs and specific cheese, is among the latest to be called out for its potential protective character against COVID-1 9, which may cause blood clotting degradation of elastic fibers in your lungs.

Both thromboembolism, which occurs when a blood clot prevents a blood vessel, and coagulopathy, which is a condition in which your blood’s ability to form coagulates is impaired, are prevalent in severe COVID-1 9 cases and are linked to decreased survival rates from the disease, 1 which otherwise tends to cause mild or no manifestations in the majority of those affected.

“Coagulation is an intricate balance between clot promoting and dissolving handles in which vitamin K dallies a well-known role, ” Dutch investigates wrote in a Preprints study, 2 guiding them to suggest that vitamin K positions may be low in people with severe COVID-1 9.

Low Vitamin K Linked to Severe COVID-1 9 and Poor Outcomes

To test their hypothesis, investigates studied 123 cases admitted to the Canisius Wilhelmina hospital in Nijmegen, a town in The Netherlands, with COVID-1 9 together with 184 assure cases. Both vitamin K status and elastin decay were estimated, with vitamin K assessed by measuring desphospho-uncarboxylated matrix Gla protein( dp-ucMGP ), which is inversely related to vitamin K status.

Elastin degradation was measured via desmosine, an amino battery-acid found in tendons and a component of elastin. COVID-1 9 patients with unfavorable upshots had significantly higher levels of dp-ucMGP, expressing low-spirited vitamin K, compared to those with less severe disease. Dp-ucMGP was also significantly hoisted in COVID-1 9 cases compared to those without the disease, and dp-ucMGP and desmosine ranks were significantly accompanied. 3 According to the researchers: 4

“Vitamin K status was reduced in cases with COVID-1 9 and related to poor prognosis. Too, low vitamin K status seems to be associated with intensified elastin decline. An intervention trial is now needed to assess whether vitamin K disposal improves outcome in patients with COVID-1 9. “

Study author Dr. Rob Janssen was in support of vitamin K degrees to boost vitamin K ranks, except in cases of beings taking anticlotting medications.

Speaking to The Guardian, he observed, “We do have an intervention which does not have any side effects, even less than a placebo. There is one major exception: people on anticlotting medication. It is entirely safe in other people. My advice would be to take those vitamin K adds-on. Even if it does not help against severe Covid-1 9, it is good for your blood vessels, bones and probably too for the lungs.”5 You are also welcome to find vitamin K in a variety of foods.

Two Types of Vitamin K and Where to Find Them

There are two types of vitamin K: phylloquinone, or vitamin K1, and menaquinones, or vitamin K2. Vitamin K1 is from lettuce, leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli and cabbage, and is best known for the capacity it plays in blood clotting. Without enough vitamin K1, your blood can’t clot properly and you’re at risk of bleeding to death.

However, according to Leon Schurgers, a major scientist at Maastricht University in The Netherlands who was involved in the boasted study, and whom I interviewed in 2015, ” … the absorption of vitamin K1 from nutrient is very low. Only 10% of the vitamin K, which is located in dark-green leafy vegetables, is absorbed in your form … And there’s no variable or amendments to the consumption that will significantly increase the absorption.”

Vitamin K2, on the other hand, is better known for its role in bone and feeling health, and is found in grass fed animal produces such as meat eggs, liver and dairy, as well as in fermented nutrients, including sauerkraut, specific cheeses and the fermented soy menu natto.

Although the amount of vitamin K2 in certain foods, such as cheese, is lower than the amount of vitamin K1 concluded leafy, dark-green vegetables, Schurgers indicated, “all the vitamin K2 is absorbed by the body … Vitamin K2 in the food piece is nearly completely absorbed.” Natto is particularly well known for its high concentration of vitamin K2, specifically the longer-chained vitamin K2 known as menaquinone-7( MK-7 ).

One study “re looking for” vitamin K bioavailability even found that circulating accumulations of vitamin K2 were related to 10 times higher after the consumption of natto than they were of vitamin K1 after ingesting spinach. 6

“I have worked with a Japanese scientist in London, ” Janssen told The Guardian, “and she said it was remarkable that in the regions in Japan where they dine a lot of natto, there is no such thing as a single person to die of Covid-1 9; so that is something to dive into, I would say.”7

Aside from natto, cheese is the food with the highest menaquinone concentrations, but grades vary depending on the type of cheese. Dutch hard cheese such as gouda and edam have relatively high concentrations, as do French cheeses such as Munster cheese. 8 Numerous causes feign the amount of vitamin K2 in your menu however, including how long it’s fermented and whether it’s manufactured with grass fed dairy or invoked on pasture.

For example, pasteurized dairy and products from factory farmed swine are not high in MK-4, a short-chain form of vitamin K2. Exclusively grass fed swine( not cereal fed) will develop naturally high levels.

Vitamin K May Reduce COVID-1 9 Comorbidities

A report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-1 9, released in February 2020, attained a higher crude fatality ratio( CFR) among people with COVID-1 9 and additional health conditions. While those who were otherwise health had a CFR of 1.4%, those with comorbid necessities had much higher proportions, as follows: 9

Myocardial infarction — 13.2%

Diabetes — 9.2%

Blood pressure — 8.4%

Another study looking into the impact of co-existing health conditions like high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes on COVID-1 9 outcomes noticed they’re linked to “poorer clinical aftermaths, ” such as admission to an intensive care unit, a need for invasive breathing or extinction. 10 What this intends is that lowering your risk of underlying maladies like diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure further improve your upshots if you have COVID-1 9.

Vitamin K used to play a protective role now, as it’s linked to both diabetes and mettle state. Both vitamin K1 and K2 intakes may be associated with a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes. 11

Vitamin K may influence insulin sensitivity by carboxylating osteocalcin, which may function as a hormone in settling insulin sense. It could also play a role in reducing insulin resistance and gamble of Type 2 diabetes via impacts on calcium metabolism. 12 What’s more, a review published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism observed: 13

“Increased vitamin K1 intake in a cohort study … was shown to decrease risk of developing diabetes by 51%. A recent evaluate suggests that vitamin K supplementation may be used as a fiction adjuvant therapy to improve glycemic self-restraint and quality of life.”

Vitamin K Boosts Heart Health, Important for COVID-1 9

As mentioned, parties with heart disease have poorer sequels if they develop COVID-1 9, and vitamin K’s role in mettle health is also well-noted, particularly for vitamin K2. One of the reasons why vitamin K2 is so important for center state will deal with a complex biochemistry involving the enzymes matrix gla-protein( MGP, is located within your vascular system1 4 ), and osteocalcin, is located within your bone.

“Gla” stands for glutamic acid, which secures to calcium in the cadres of your arterial wall and removes it from the liner of your blood vessels. Once removed from your blood vessel lining, vitamin K2 then facilitates the amalgamation of that calcium into your bone matrix by handing it over to osteocalcin, which in turn helps “cement” the calcium in place inside your bone.

Vitamin K2 activates these two proteins, so without it, this move process of calcium from your routes to your bone cannot occur, which elevates your risk of arterial calcification. In fact, in one study, those who had the highest amount of vitamin K2 were 52% less likely to experience severe calcification in their routes and 57% less likely to die from myocardial infarction over a seven- to 10 -year period. 15

Low levels of vitamin D and vitamin K have also been linked to high blood pressure, 16 another condition that increases your risk of good outcomes from COVID-1 9. While many beings — young and old-fashioned alike — are facing Type 2 diabetes and high-pitched blood pressure, these conditions can be turned around, and in so doing you’ll significantly reduce your risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-1 9. Ensuring you’re getting enough vitamin K is one part of this equation.

Vitamin K Works in Tandem With Vitamin D

Keep in mind that vitamin K2 likewise works in tandem with vitamin D and magnesium. So, it’s important to remember that vitamin K2 needs to be considered in combination with calcium, vitamin D and magnesium, as these four all have a synergistic relation that impacts your health.

Vitamin D is also noteworthy in matters of COVID-1 9, as an analysis of medical records discovered a direct correlation between levels of vitamin D and the severity of illness in people infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that generates COVID-1 9.17

To improve your immune operate and lower the health risks of viral illness, you’ll want to raise your vitamin D to a tier between 60 nanograms per milliliter( ng/ mL) and 80 ng/ mL. In Europe, the measurements you’re looking for are 150 nanomoles per liter( nmol/ L) and 200 nmol/ L. This, in addition to addressing your vitamin K uptake, is a natural strategy that may significantly lower your risk of severe illness from COVID-1 9.

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin K?

It can be difficult to tell if you’re getting enough vitamin K, as there’s no easy road to screen or experiment for vitamin K2 sufficiency. Vitamin K2 cannot at present be measured directly, so it’s measured through an incidental assessment of undercarboxylated osteocalcin. This exam is still not commercially available, however.

As a general rule, if you have osteoporosis, congestive heart failure or diabetes, you’re likely insufficient in vitamin K2. Further, it’s believed that the vast majority of people are in fact deficient and would benefit from more K2, which you can achieve by snacking more of the following foods 😛 TAGEND

Certain fermented foods such as natto, or veggies fermented expending a starter culture of vitamin K2-producing bacteria

Certain cheeses such as Brie, Munster and Gouda, which are particularly high in K2

Grass fed organic animal makes such as egg yolks, liver, butter and dairy

If you’re taking statin pharmaceuticals, which are known to deplete vitamin K2, 18 you could also be deficient. If you’re interested in supplementation, as a general specification, I recommend coming around 150 mcg of vitamin K2 per day.

Others recommend slightly greater extents — upward of 180 to 200 mcg. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about overdosing on K2, as it appears to be completely nontoxic. If you opt for a vitamin K2 supplement, make sure it’s MK-7. The exception is if you’re on vitamin K oppositions, i.e ., treats that abbreviate blood clotting by reducing the action of vitamin K. If so, you should bypassed MK-7 supplements.

Also be aware that unwarranted uptake of dietary or supplemental vitamin K1 can overcome the anticoagulant effects of blood thin medications. Further, when taking vitamin K, do so along with a solid. Since vitamin K is fat-soluble, it won’t be properly absorbed otherwise, and ensure that you are too balance it with calcium, vitamin D and magnesium.

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