Vitamin K Functions

Vitamin K is an important nutrient that the body needs to perform certain functions. The "K" is short for the German word "Koagulation", where the name was first derived from. Most people are quite knowledgeable about the functions of other vitamins such as A, B, C, D or E. But a lot also seem unsure of what Vitamin K really does for the body. Here are just some of them.

Primary Function

The primary function of Vitamin K in the body deals with producing the proteins that control the mineral calcium. It converts the amino acid glutamate into another compound called gamma-carboxyglutamic acid or GCA. This function then allows the body to accomplish other physiological tasks that is vital to good health.

Blood Clotting

Vitamin K makes it possible for blood to clot. Vitamin K allows blood to coagulate in order to prevent excessive bleeding from cuts and bruises. Poor coagulation can result in massive bleeding even from a small cut or cause a big bruise on the skin from a minor bump.

Calcium Absorption

Vitamin K also helps in the physiological process of calcium absorption. The bones require calcium to become strong. Calcium absorption depends on the work of both Vitamin D and K. Vitamin D regulates the hormone osteocalcin that bone making cells respond to when moving calcium. Vitamin D can only activate osteocalcin when in the presence of glutamate byproducts. Making these byproducts of glutamate requires Vitamin K. How the body uses calcium depends not only on vitamin D but on vitamin K as well.

Cancer Fighter

Experiments have shown that vitamin K may also be a good cancer fighter. This vitamin can slow down and even destroy tumor cells as effectively as some powerful drugs. However, further study may be required in order to fully understand just how vitamin K may function effectively to battle cancer cells.