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Can Vitamin K Help Keep Osteoarthritis Away?

Vitamin K is a fat-soluable vitamin which helps our body make proteins that our blood needs in order to properly clot. It canbe found in vegetables such as broccoli, kale, spinach, and lettuce.

Research studies since 2006 have  shown that adequate vitamin K levels were associated with less radio graphic evidence of Osteoarthritis (OA). According to a study published in March of 2013, vitamin K is not only associated with less OA, but deficiencies in vitamin K may be able to cause OA, specifically in the knee. For this study, researchers used x-rays and MRIs to observe the early osteoarthritic changes in the knee and its relationship to vitamin K levels. The study included 1,180 participants with no signs of osteoarthritis at the start of the study. Images were also taken of the same knee 30 months after to observe the change. Those with sub-clinical vitamin K deficiencies appeared to be at a higher risk to develop osteoarthritis and new cartilage lesions 30 months later that those who were not vitamin K deficient.

Although that it appears that taking vitamin K supplements will assist in preventative joint health, there are a few concerns still remaining at this point. The optimal dose has yet to be determined and those individuals who already have osteoarthritis may not be effected by a vitamin K supplement. So far, research has only examined the effects of vitamin K supplements for individuals who started with no OA. Most importantly, vitamin K helps the blood to clot. If you are on a blood thinner, such as Coumadin, taking a vitamin K supplement could mess with your Coumadin dosage. If you are taking a blood thinner, please talk to your doctor before introducing vitamin K supplements into your diet.

(This research brought to us by the Arthritis Foundation: Vitamin K and OA. Dunkin, Mary. Arthritis Today. June 28, 2013.)

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