Good Bone Health Is Possible Without Vitamin K

Data from the United States National Institutes of Health shows that more than half the population in the United States is below the recommended intake level for vitamin K.

We’ve long understood that Vitamin K plays a powerful role in bone mineralization, making bones tough and strong. We also know that vitamin K deficiency increases the risk of osteoarthritis, and especially incidence of knee osteoarthritis. The third thing we know is that bone and joint health improve when cared for together. But what does this all mean for people who cannot take vitamin K, or cannot seem to ever get enough?

This may be a big problem for people who take blood-thinning drugs Coumadin® (which is a brand name for warfarin) because patients taking warfarin need to avoid vitamin K for the warfarin to work. These individuals need to take extra effort to avoid bone health problems because they are so deficient in vitamin K.

blood thinners and vitamin K

Most bone health supplements makers do not produce separate products for people taking blood thinners. One reason for this is that many bone health supplements lack vitamin K in the first place, even though numerous research studies have shown how important vitamin K is for bone health.  We only recommend avoiding vitamin K for people who must take Coumadin.

Lack of vitamin K also occurs as a result of antibiotic use, and antibiotics can cause dangerous blood thinning for people taking warfarin. The connection between vitamin K and antibiotics was reported as early as 1957, so imagine the many millions who have been given antibiotics since that time. Healthy digestive function and gut flora is vital for normal vitamin K production. Long term, high frequency antibiotic use has no doubt impacted gut health and created vitamin K deficiencies. And this deficiency may be chiseling away at bones and joints.

Excessive vitamin E consumption also interferes with vitamin K intake, so some seemingly “healthy habits” may interfere with vitamin K levels.

In addition to supplements, here are some additional recommendations to combat Vitamin K deficiency:

1. Consume a diverse diet of mainly whole foods, and especially fresh fruits and vegetables. While supplements can help compensate for certain deficiencies, healthy foods have micro-nutrients like phytochemicals that have amazing biological properties. Some doctors will allow foods containing vitamin K - such as broccoli and kale - as long as the daily amount is fairly constant.

2. Be physically active every day. Physical activity plays a large role in maintaining bone health as well as heart and brain health. Moderate exercise 15 minutes a day or three times a week is enough. Here are some exercise tips to get you started!

4. No matter what your age and status of bone density/quality, or degenerative joint disease, clean up your lifestyle and adapt healthier habits. Quit smoking, lose weight, and address other health problems.

5. Reduce or avoid using NSAIDS that interfere with bone formation. If you need to be on these medications, do not use them for longer than needed. Also, long term medicines to decrease stomach acid can also interfere with bone health.

6. One bit of good news is that most of the drugs that lower cholesterol are good for bone health. Many people taking warfarin are also taking medicines to lower cholesterol but good nutritional habits are still recommended.

As you can see, there is no shortage of things you can do to be proactive about your bone and joint health even if you are taking medicines that interfere with vitamin K. When you are managing your bone and joint health, know that you are in control with Silical® System.

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