Scientific research has shown that low vitamin K in the body is linked to chronic diseases that lead to disability.
In a recent study from Tufts University, researchers found that low levels of vitamin K are linked to low mobility and high disability in seniors.
This finding shows that vitamin K deficiency is a new risk factor for maintaining mobility and independence in older age.
The study is the first to examine the link between vitamin K and mobility limitation and disability in older adults.
The study is published in the Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences. The lead author is Kyla Shea, a nutrition scientist in the Vitamin K Laboratory.
In the study, the team found that low levels of vitamin K in the body are linked to slower gait speed and a higher risk of osteoarthritis.
They examined circulating levels of vitamin K and a functional measure of vitamin K in the body in 635 older men and 688 older women.
Mobility limitation was defined as having any amount of difficulty either with walking a quarter of a mile or climbing 10 steps without resting.
Mobility disability was defined as having a lot of difficulties or inability to walk or climb the same amount.
The researchers found that older adults with low levels of circulating vitamin K were more likely to develop mobility limitation and disability.
These people were nearly 1.5 times more likely to develop mobility limitation and nearly twice as likely to develop mobility disability compared to people with sufficient levels.
This effect was true for both men and women.
The team says the finding supports the view that vitamin K plays an important role in older people’s mobility.
They suggest older people add food high in vitamin K in their daily diet. This includes leafy greens such as spinach, kale and broccoli and some dairy products.
For an average adult, one cup of raw spinach can provide 145 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K1, which is 181% of the Daily Value.
One cup of raw kale provides 113 mcg or 141% of the daily value, and half of a cup of chopped boiled broccoli provides 110 mcg or 138% of the daily value.
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