The Genova Diagnostics Vitamin K Assay
(Direct vs. functional measurement of vitamin K)
The Genova Diagnostics Vitamin K Assay measures a functional marker, undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC). Very little vitamin K is stored in the body therefore direct measurement is not ideal.
Osteocalcin (OC) is almost exclusively a product of mature, active osteoblasts and is a vitamin K-dependent, Ca+2 binding protein. A vitamin K deficiency is indicated by an ucOC increase in circulating blood and urine. Therefore, high ucOC indicates low vitamin K status.
Symptoms & conditions related to vitamin K deficiency
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Calcification of soft tissue, especially heart valves
- Digestive problems, especially malabsorption
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Malabsorption syndromes
Increasing vitamin K
There are two natural forms of vitamin K, which differ based on their phytyl group-phylloquinone (vitamin K1) synthesized from plants, and menaquinone (vitamin K2) from bacteria in the large intestines.
- Vitamin K1 is highest in green leafy vegetables such as kale, broccoli, collard greens, and lettuce.
- Vitamin K2 is found in fermented foods such as cheese, meats, and dairy products.
- Use salicylates such as aspirin with care. Salicylates can block vitamin K.
- Vitamin K supplements