Vitamin K and Your Healthy Lifestyle

Foods like romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, and spinach are particularly plentiful in Vitamin K. So if you follow the NeuropathyDR Diet, you likely don’t need to worry about getting enough.

Vitamin K is another nutrient we don’t frequently hear much about.

That is unless, of course, you suffer from Afib or a clotting disorder. But more on that story later!

Like all vitamins, a deficiency here can kill us! You see vitamin K gets is name from a German word for coagulation (Koagulationsvitamin). The reason is, without proper levels of Vitamin K, we could bleed to death!

Like all nutrients, there is so much more. Vitamin K1 occurs naturally in green plants. Foods like romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, and spinach are particularly plentiful. So if you follow the NeuropathyDR Diet, you likely don’t need to worry about getting enough.

Good dietary intakes of green leafy vegetables and the Vitamin K they contain are associated with less risk of diabetes, some cancers, and heart disease.

Exceptions or those at risk for deficiency are those patients with bowel disease, alcoholism, or long-term antibiotic usage which can kill normal bacteria in our bellies.

In humans, K1 is converted to, and then stored as, K2. There are also several other forms—some are even used used in medicine for treating bone loss.

The three major areas Vitamin K has a role in are blood clotting (coagulation), helping the maintenance of normal healthy bone, and in normal blood vessel health. Bone health is of particular concern as we age. We do know that patients with osteoporosis or thinning of the bones have low levels of Vitamin K2.

The one area that concerns patients more than others with vitamin K is that its intake in your diet needs to be limited if you take Coumadin. Coumadin (Warfarin) is the drug given as a blood thinner when patients suffer from conditions like the heart disorder atrial fibrilation. Afib, as it is called, is common in diabetics, so of course we see this in the neuropathy clinic frequently.

As a side note, lots of the preventive diet and nutrition strategies we discuss can benefit—and possibly prevent—Afib in the first place.

There are newer blood thinning drugs without Vitamin K interactions, but some of them are far riskier than the time-tested drug Warfarin.

So, now you know the essentials. But we have not heard the last on Vitamin K and good health, I am sure!

Join the conversation on Facebook!

The post Vitamin K and Your Healthy Lifestyle appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.

What’s Vitamin B9? The Story of Folic Acid

Deficiency of folic acid can actually cause serious problems…

If you’ve ever been pregnant, you probably know all about folic acid.

For some time now, it’s been added to pre-natal dietary supplements because it is helpful to prevent certain birth defects. The story of folic acid is much more than this.

Folic acid is a nutrient that is taken in by our diets and converted into active forms. The active forms interact in a variety of functions in the human body, and animals.

For neuropathy and chronic pain patients, it is critically important because deficiency of folic acid can actually cause many health problems.

Folic acid is critical for normal repair of our body’s cells. It is a key nutrient in DNA synthesis and repair. It’s also necessary to prevent anemia or low red blood cells.

Some of the other signs that can occur in deficiency or low levels include mental health changes like depression, fatigue, and like many of the other B vitamin deficiencies, sores around the mouth and tongue.

Folic acid is so important that is one of the key nutrients that we check as part of our routine neuropathy patient evaluations. You may also remember, vitamin D and B12 are usually checked on a regular basis too in patients over the age of 50. This is something that should be repeated at least annually.

Although folic acid has low toxicity, we never recommend self-diagnosis or supplementation without a blood test. The reason for this is that taking folic acid supplements can actually mask vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause serious illnesss, including neuropathy and damage to the nervous system.

If you are following the NeuropathyDR Diet, deficiency of folic acid is unlikely. Folic acid is really available in leafy greens and other vegetables including asparagus, lettuce, and legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils.

Fruits, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, as well as bananas and pineapple juice are also good sources of folic acid.

Because folic acid can break down in excess heat and sunlight, good food storage and preparation is critical.

So, now you know much more about this very essential nutrient. Be sure to include some of the key sources of folic acid in your diet daily! Your body will thank you!

To learn so much more about essential nutrients visit NeuropathyDR

The post What’s Vitamin B9? The Story of Folic Acid appeared first on #1 in Neuropathy & Chronic Pain Treatment.