Vitamin K many not be a nutrient you hear about a lot, but it plays a crucial role behind the scenes. Do you know how much you're supposed to have on a daily basis?
Vitamin K Basics
Vitamin K is fat soluble, which means it's stored in the body for an extended period of time to be used when the body needs it. Vitamin K is stored in the fat cells as well as the liver and plays a vital role in both circulatory and bone health. When it comes to circulation, vitamin K assists the blood in clotting properly from injuries large and small. As for its role in bone health, consider vitamin K a helper to calcium and magnesium, the two minerals necessary to keep the bones strong. Vitamin K helps the body more easily absorb these minerals to get the most out of them.
How Much Vitamin K Do You Need?
As with all nutrients, the amount you need on a daily basis varies by age. Here are the recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for vitamin K, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH):
- Zero to six months: 2 mcg per day
- Seven to 12 months: 2.5 mcg per day
- One to three years: 30 mcg per day
- Four to eight years: 55 mcg per day
- Nine to 13 years: 60 mcg per day
- 14 to 18 years: 75 mcg per day
- 19 years and older: 90 mcg per day
Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may need more of less vitamin K. Vitamin K deficiency isn't very common, since we only need such a small amount on a daily basis, but your doctor can advise you if you need more.
The Best Food Sources of Vitamin K
Vitamin K should be included in a standard multivitamin, but you can also get it through the foods you eat. These are the 10 best food sources of vitamin K:
- Brussels sprouts
- Swiss chard
- Fortified cereals
Adding these foods into your diet is the first step to getting the benefits of vitamin K. Make sure you're getting enough and we'll be back tomorrow with more of the latest health info.