Vitamin K and the Immune System

By Aeon Mapa

Vitamin K a fat-soluble vitamin that has two forms. Phylloquinone and Menaquinones. Both play an important role in our health and immune response. Let’s take a look at each form and it’s effects on our body, as well as identify foods rich in Vitamin K.

Phylloquinon or Vitamin K1

This is considered the main form of Vitamin K. It plays a crucial role in someof our body’s important processes so it is an essential nutrient. For example, Phylloquinone is needed for blood-clotting and healing. In fact Vitamin K was named after the German word “Koagulation”, as this was the first important function of the nutrient that was discovered. 1

Vitamin K1 is found in high amounts in leafy greens such as Kulitis, Malunggay, Kamote Tops 2 and Kale, and as little as 10 grams of these vegetables per day will provide your daily dietary requirement.

Menaquinones or Vitamin K2

This form of vitamin K contributes to bone and heart health. People who had sufficient intake of Menaquinones were found to have less heart disease. K2 is also required for the body to metabolize calcium, making it crucial for bone development. This quality also allows it to remove calcium deposits in the arteries, meaning it is very important for cardiovascular health. 3

The best foods to eat for Vitamin K2 are fermented foods like kimchi, tofu, sauerkraut, kefir and yoghurt. This is because it can be produced by bacteria! If you have a healthy gut microbiome, your body also produces some K2 but is always good supplement through diet. Animal products such as meat and dairy also contain it in smaller amounts.

How it Works in Immunity

Our immune system is very powerful. It employs a wide variety of cells and physiological responses in order to destroy pathogens that enter our body. However it is extremely important that these immune functions are regulated, because left unchecked they can damage the body. This is called Immune Dysregulation and may lead to dangerous conditions.

This is where Vitamin K comes in. Studies have shown a direct relationship between this nutrient and appropriate immune activity. It helps regulate production of T cells, keeping them at acceptable levels. Through this, it is able to regulate the inflammation of your body, which can cause a lot of damage to our body if uncontrolled. 4

Indirectly, Vitamin K promotes bone health and it is in our bone marrow where the B cells are produced, making it important for adaptive immunity as well.


As we can see Vitamin K is highly crucial in our body’s health and immunity. Make sure to consume a daily serving of greens and fermented foods to ensure you keep up with your nutrition requirements.

Always choose organic products, as rodenticides used on farms work by stopping Vitamin K production leading to uncontrolled bleeding. Do not use the products at home as well. 5

For more information and sources take a look here.



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