Vitamin K is often found in standard multivitamin and calcium supplements. If you have ever wondered what vitamin K is and why it is important, you have come to the right place. There are a couple of different forms of vitamin K. Most doctors and patients are familiar with vitamin K1, which is a vitamin that is important in the body's clotting system. When you are deficient in this vitamin, it can cause a thinning of the blood. This is also how warfarin sodium (Coumadin), an extremely popular blood thinner, acts. Often those on Coumadin are advised to keep their intake of leafy green vegetables steady, as any change in the amount you eat can affect vitamin K levels and may require a change in Coumadin dosage.
|Can Chronic Kidney Disease Be Reversed|
Vitamin K2, on the other hand, is a vitamin that acts on bone; specifically, it has been demonstrated to improve bone strength in patients with osteoporosis. It also may have a protective effect on blood vessels by inhibiting calcium build up on the walls of the vessels. If you are taking Coumadin, it is not recommended that you take vitamin K2.
In many of the studies done with vitamin K2, high doses were used. It needs more study in patients with advanced CKD, but a dosage of 40 to 80 micrograms a day seems to be a reasonable starting amount.
OTHER NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENT
In addition to vitamins, nutritional supplements are also beneficial. Again, the optimal dosage of many of these supplements is not known, although many are being studied. Talk with your physician regarding the dosages that are right for you.
Coenzyme Q10 is well known not only for its importance in different body systems, especially heart and cellular health, but also for its antioxidant role. One study suggested that it has significant antioxidant properties in kidney disease, but this needs to be further researched. Coenzyme Q10 comes in various doses, but one should start at 50 to 100 mg and increase slowly.
Potassium and Magnesium
In the setting of kidney disease, your doctor will be checking your blood work to see if potassium or magnesium supplementation is needed. In advanced stages of kidney disease, however, supplementation is not recommended. The danger of high potassium and high magnesium levels to your body was discussed in previous posts.
Calcium supplementation in kidney disease is very complex and depends on several factors, including your medical situation and your phosphorus, vitamin D, PTH, and calcium levels as measured in the blood.
A normal calcium level in the blood is normally between 8.5 and 10. If your levels are lower than 8.5, your doctor may ask you to take additional calcium. Your doctor may also change the type of phosphorus binder that you are on depending on your calcium level.
There are many different types of calcium, with calcium carbonate and calcium citrate being the most common forms of replacement.
Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA)
The ALA supplement is a potent antioxidant and is used not only for its ability to reduce oxidative stress, but also for its ability to replenish glutathione, which is another potent antioxidant in the body. Glutathione plays a major role in the elimination of certain toxins in the body and helps the immune system operate at an optimal level. Studies suggest that ALA may also have an antioxidant effect on the kidneys, especially in diabetic nephropathy. It has been especially studied in patients with diabetes-related nerve damage. Used with vitamin E, it may have an additional potent antioxidant effect.
There are different dosages for ALA. An optimal dose has not yet been established, but a minimal dose of 50 to 100 mg may be beneficial. To find out more, you can check out Can Chronic Kidney Disease Be Reversed.