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Can vitamin K help prevent arthritis?

The vitamin K in cabbage, spinach, Swiss chard, and other leafy greens may help keep your hands arthritis-free -- all the better for keyboarding, card dealing, piano playing, or knitting. Try shredding your favorite leafy greens (about 4 cups) in a food processor, then toss with 1/4 cup low-fat mayo, 1 teaspoon vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Feeds you and three favorite friends.

Until recently, vitamin K was known mainly for helping blood clot after a nick or cut. Now you can add it to the list of things that lower the risk of osteoarthritis. In a study of older adults, those who had the most K in their blood were the least likely to have joint damage in their hands, and their knees got some protection, too.

The United States Department of Agriculture recommendation is at least 90 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K a day for women and 120 mcg for men. You can get most or all of that in one serving of our Kole Slaw, depending on the greens you use.
  • One cup of shredded cabbage has about 100 mcg of vitamin K.
  • One cup of raw spinach has about 75 mcg.
  • One cup of Swiss chard has a whopping 299 mcg.

Not a slaw lover? A cup of asparagus has 144 mcg; a cup of broccoli, 93 mcg.

One caveat: Vitamin K can interfere with blood thinners (warfarin and its ilk). If you take a blood thinner, talk with your healthcare provider -- you need to be extremely cautious about K.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.