Vitamins & Minerals 101 | Vitamin K *Part 1*
with Savannah Welna of FeedThyDog, Nutrition Advocate

Note: I will be breaking up these lessons into more manageable chunks! This way it pairs better with your morning coffee or tea (or evening wine if that's your thing)


WHAT IS IT


Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin. Dogs are able to synthesize Vitamin K in the gut. However, there are many forms of Vitamin K and research continues to reveal the benefits of the varying forms. Some forms are found often in a homemade diet and other forms are not. Commercial food can often be a poor source of this nutrient.


BACKGROUND


However, Vitamin K’s role is not found only within the blood. Research is continually revealing further functions of vitamin K compounds. In fact, many tissues facilitate reactions that are vitamin K dependent that include the skin, skeletal system, and the cardiovascular system. Osteocalcin, a protein, is synthesized by osteoclasts and is vitamin K dependent (entire process is regulated by vitamin D). It is found in bone but also organs including muscles, testes, and brain.


Given the intimate relationship with bone, it is theorized that suboptimal vitamin K may play a role in the pathogenesis of bone mineral loss. Furthermore, human sources indicate that vitamin K plays a role in getting calcium where it should go and making sure it does not go where is ought not to go- such as the kidneys (ie kidney stones).




Yet, classical Vitamin K deficiency that occurs naturally or from a diet not supplemented is typically not observed. The NRC provides guidelines in the even the dog is not able to synthesize adequate Vitamin K?


Previously, research only focused on nutrient deficiency symptoms relating to blood clotting. There is evidence to support that the different forms of vitamin K are better at reaching tissues unique to each form and that the benefits span well beyond blood coagulation.. How can we be sure that your dogs are receiving the various froms of vitamin K? Could this play a role in common diseases we see today? 


We will dive into the forms and their food sources next time :)