How important is vitamin K for your diet?

Vitamin K has several important functions. Vitamin K helps make four of the 13 proteins needed for blood clotting, which means it helps wounds heal properly. There is increasing evidence that vitamin K is also needed to help build strong bones. Low levels of circulating vitamin K have been linked with low bone density, and supplementation with vitamin K shows improvements in biochemical measures of bone health.

Low levels of vitamin K can raise the risk of uncontrolled bleeding. While vitamin K deficiencies are rare in adults, they are very common in newborn infants. A single injection of vitamin K for newborns is standard.

Researchers continue to explore a wide range of health-supportive roles for vitamin K. Some of them cover the following three basic areas:
(1) protection against oxidative damage (some forms of vitamin K appear helpful in protecting cells from oxidative damage)
(2) proper regulation of inflammatory response
(3) support of brain and nervous system structure (vitamin K is known to be required for synthesis of a very important family of brain and nervous system fats called sphingolipids)...