Vitamin K and Your Health. Week 90 Tip

By: Carla Meine CFNC

| September 18, 2023

Welcome to More Than Healthy as we continue to share our weekly health tips. This is Tip #90, all about the right amount of vitamin K and your health. To watch our weekly Video Tip, click this link. To listen to the audio podcast, click on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

What is vitamin K?

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means they’re absorbed and transported in a similar manner to fats. It comes in two forms. The main type are called phylloquinone, and they are found in green leafy greens like collard greens, kale, and spinach. The other type, menaquinones, are found in some animal foods and fermented foods. They can also be produced by bacteria in our bodies.

What does vitamin K do?

Because vitamin K is fat-soluble, the body stores it in fat tissue and in the liver. But it’s also found throughout the body, including the liver, brain, heart, pancreas, and bone. 

It’s best known for helping the blood to clot, or coagulate properly. This is because vitamin K helps make the various proteins needed for blood clotting. In fact, the “K” in its name comes from a German word, “Koagulationsvitamin,” which references its blood-clotting abilities. 

Vitamin K also plays an important role in bone health. We’ll talk more about this below.

Can you get too much vitamin K?

Vitamin K is broken down very quickly and excreted in urine or stool. Because of this, it rarely reaches toxic levels in the body, even with high intake, as can occur with other fat-soluble vitamins.  

What are symptoms of vitamin K deficiency?

The bacteria in our intestines can make vitamin K. Because of that, and the fact that it is found in so many leafy green foods, vitamin K deficiency in adults is rare.

However, there are certain things that can produce low vitamin K levels, like taking medications that block vitamin K metabolism, such as antibiotics. Antibiotics can kill the bacteria that make vitamin K, mostly in people with low levels to begin with. 

Other things that can lead to vitamin K deficiency include:

  • Health problems that prevent your body from absorbing vitamin K, such as gallbladder or biliary disease, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease
  • Liver disease
  • Taking blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin)
  • Long-term hemodialysis
  • Serious burns


The most common signs of a deficiency are a longer time for blood to clot, bleeding, and hemorrhaging. Excessive bleeding, especially bleeding from the gums and nose, may be a symptom.

Is low vitamin K linked to osteoporosis?

The symptom I see most often in my clients is osteopenia or osteoporosis. This is because your body needs vitamin K to use calcium to build bone. Osteoporosis has been shown to account for more days spent in the hospital than diabetes, heart attacks, or breast cancer.

People with high levels of vitamin K have greater bone density, while low levels of vitamin K have been found in those with osteoporosis. Some studies suggest that low vitamin K levels are associated with a higher risk of osteoarthritis. When you learn what vitamin K does, it makes sense.  

Since I’m one of those people with a higher risk of osteoporosis because of genetics, I’m doing all I can to prevent this disease. I ensure I get enough vitamin K and calcium in my diet with food and supplements to prevent this problem.

In one 2-year randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial, 440 postmenopausal women with osteopenia were studied. Results showed that those who took vitamin K had a greater than 50% reduction in clinical fractures versus placebo, despite no improvement in bone mineral density.  

Does vitamin K reduce cancer?

This study discovered an additional benefit of vitamin K. Participants who took vitamin K experienced a 75% reduction in cancer incidence. Since David has had cancer previously, we’re interested in any and all-natural solutions to reduce his risk of it coming back. Getting more vitamin K in his diet seems like an easy solution.

Does vitamin K affect insulin sensitivity?

In another 3-year randomized, double-blind, controlled trial of 355 patients, vitamin K significantly improved insulin sensitivity in men with diabetes. Vitamin K is involved in pancreatic B-cell proliferation, insulin sensitivity, production of adiponectin, and increased glucose tolerance, all of which may have contributed to these results.  

We talk a lot about the importance of managing your insulin in Tip # 87, so check it out if this interests you.  

What is the best source of vitamin K?

The best way to get the right amount of vitamin K is with green leafy greens, as mentioned earlier. However, there are other foods that are high in vitamin K as well. 

Some of the best foods for vitamin K include:


FoodAmount (mcg) of vitamin K% of DV per serving
Kale (cooked), ½ cup531 mcg443%
Mustard Greens (cooked), ½ cup415 mcg346%
Swiss Chard (raw), 1 leaf398 mcg332%
Collard Greens (cooked), ½ cup386 mcg322%
Nato*, 1 ounce313 mcg261%
Spinach (raw), 1 cup145 mcg121%
Broccoli (cooked), ½ cup110 mcg92%
Brussels Sprouts (cooked), ½ cup109 mcg91%
Beef Liver, 1 slice72 mcg60%
Pork Chops, 3 ounces59 mcg49%
Chicken, 3 ounces51 mcg43%
Goose Liver Paste, 1 Tbsp48 mcg40%
Green Beans (cooked), ½ cup30 mcg25%
Prunes, 5 pieces28 mcg24%
Kiwi, 1 fruit28 mcg23%
Soybean Oil, 1 Tbsp25 mcg21%
Hard Cheeses, 1 ounce25 mcg20%
Avocado, half21 mcg18%
Green Peas (cooked), ½ cup21 mcg17%
Soft Cheeses, 1 ounce17 mcg14%

*Fermented soybeans

David loves all those foods, even the organ meats mentioned. I’ve posted a couple of our favorite organ meat recipes in our More Than Health recipe repository. Check out my Eggs and Liver with Onions and Mushrooms – it’s one of David’s favorites.

Some people struggle to eat enough of those foods. And there are even those who, even though they get plenty of those foods, they are still deficient in vitamin K. For those individuals, we recommend supplementing with Optimal DAK1&K2 from Optimal Health Systems. We like their supplements because it’s like eating these foods in pill form.

How do I know if I’m deficient in vitamin K?

If you don’t know if you’re deficient in vitamin K, then a great way to find out is with hair analysis testing, an amazingly informative service we offer at More Than Healthy. With just a few strands of your hair, you receive a full report looking at toxins, nutrients, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, electromagnetic frequency exposure, chemicals, radiation, parasites, immune factors, and foods you should avoid.  

A More Than Healthy Hair Analysis also includes a 15-minute consultation with me. I will review the results and recommend 3 or 4 things you can do to help improve your health.  

Go to our website to learn more. You can schedule a local hair analysis or order it online to be mailed to you today.

How can you become More Than Healthy?

We always enjoy hearing from you. If you have any questions about this or anything else that affects your health, find us on social media @morethanhealthyliving. We try to respond to all questions. 

We’d love to become your health coaches as you work to become “more than healthy” and achieve optimal health. Thanks for joining us, and we’ll see you next week.

Remember, we’re not doctors. We’re sharing with you what’s worked for us on our health journey. You will want to consult your doctor before significantly changing your diet and supplementation.