Vitamin K and Vitamin P
Is a fat soluble group of Vitamins that have been found to be necessary for blood coagulation and includes two components K1 and K2. It was originally believed that a deficiency of Vitamin K was very rare unless the person was suffering from a major intestinal problem however this has since been brought into doubt as studies have found that the use of antibiotics may reduce the amount of Vitamin K in the stomach by up to 74%. Similarly diets low in Vitamin K can lead to a depletion which similarly occurs in the elderly.
In certain recent research there have been indications that vitamin K may be helpful in preventing arterial calcification which points to the possibility of it having a future role in cardiovascular disease prevention.
Natural Sources of Vitamin K are spinach, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Some fruits such as avocado, kiwifruit and grapes are also high in vitamin K.
Symptoms of a deficiency in vitamin K can include:
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
- Nose bleeds
- Bleeding gums
Although there is the possibility of an allergic reaction to supplementation there is no known toxicity associated with high doses of Vitamin K. That said it is recommended that high dosages of this vitamin should only be taken under the supervision of a suitable qualified health care professional.
Vitamin P is a water soluble vitamin classified as a Bioflavonoid and as these are always associated with Vitamin C in nature they should be taken together as the former enhances the absorption of the latter. Vitamin P comes in many forms: hesperetin, hesperidin, quercetin, quercertrin, rutin and eriodictyol.
Sources include green tea and blue-green algae, supplement sources should be derived from citrus fruit peels and rose hips. The addition of bromelain, a pineapple enzyme, greatly enhances the absorption of all bioflavonoids.
As with Vitamin C, Vitamin P is best absorbed if taken at night on an empty stomach. A study undertaken in 1995 showed that the body more readily absorbs naturally occurring bioflavonoids than those that are encapsulated.