According to a new research study published in the ‘Journal of Vascular Research’, varicosis also known as varicose veins, may be caused in part by a dietary lack of vitamin K. Medical scientists are not exactly sure what causes varicose or spider veins, but an estimated 5 to 30 % of the population has them.
Varicose veins, and the less noticeable form of them called spider veins, are mainly a cosmetic concern for most and three times more prevalent in women than in men. Medical scientists suspect that low levels of dietary vitamin K may reduce the activity the Matrix GLA protein (MPG), which has been seen as a key player in the development of these unsightly purplish marks on the legs. Vitamin K has been deemed a necessary nutrient to activate MPG, so it is theorized that adequate dietary levels of vitamin K could be a powerful prevention tool, and help reduce an existing varicose vein condition.
Vitamin K is not familiar to most of as the vitamins A, the B vitamins, and vitamins C, D, and E are. Vitamin K has two major forms known as K-1 and K-2. So what are some of the dietary sources of vitamin K?
Vitamin K-1 is highest in green plant foods. Fresh raw spinach is high in this vitamin, and if you do not care for the taste of spinach, you can also find it in other green plant food sources such as broccoli, collard greens, leaf lettuce, kale, avocado, and kiwis. Vitamin K-2 is found in high concentration in fermented bacterial food sources like aged cheeses and a fermented soy product called natto.
The primary cause of varicose veins is a breakdown of the valve system in the leg veins. Blood that carries nutrients to the cells is pumped from the heart through the arteries to the legs. The depleted blood then returns to the heart through the venous system-veins having one-way valves. Varicose veins may begin to develop when one or more aggravating factors, or activities, adds a strain to the circulatory system or restricts blood flow are present such as age, extra weight on the hips and waist area, prolonged sitting or standing, lifting heavy weights, long-distance running, lack of exercise, obesity, leg crossing, or constipation.
Other possible contributors to consider are pregnancy, hormonal changes, and dietary deficiencies. It is also worth mentioning here, that over 200,00 women have an unusual form of varicose veins, and also suffer from chronic pelvic pain.
The prevention of varicose or spider veins is much easier than ridding yourself from them once you have developed them. Remember too, that getting rid of them may take some time. It may take several months, possibly a year or longer, as you did not develop them in a matter of a few days or weeks.
Other natural tips you can use to help reduce the appearance of varicose veins include:
1. Doing leg calf strengthening exercises such as lifting your heals off the floor with your toes while standing. Do twenty times, relax, and repeat.
2. Take mini breaks from prolonged sitting or standing positions.
3 .Take cool quick baths or showers. Cold compresses may also help.
4. Elevate your feet, this reduces pressure in your legs.
5. Lose excess weight with moderate exercise and dietary measures.
6. Rub legs with message oils or coconut oil to help relax leg muscles. Message in upward strokes occasionally squeezing legs will help to force blood out of your legs.
An additional dietary measure often unconsidered in blood circulation problems such as varicose veins, is due to an outdated government recommended daily dietary salt restriction guideline myth. Unrefined salt along with adequate daily water intake may have a significant improvement in the appearance of varicose and spider veins.
An excerpt taken from Dr. F. Batmanghelidj’s health enlightening book ‘Water Rx For A Healthier Pain-Free Life, the selected paragraph text reads as follows:
“The design of our bodies is such that the extent of the ocean of water outside the cells is expanded to have the extra water available for filtration and emergency injection into vital cells. The brain commands an increase of salt and water retention by the kidneys. This is how we get an edema when we don’t drink enough water. The process of water filtration and its delivery into cells is more efficient at night when the body is horizontal. The collected water, that mostly pools in the legs, does not have to fight the force of gravity to get into the blood circulation.”
Unrefined sea salt contains a proper amount of about 80 trace minerals that the body needs in trace amounts. Unrefined sea salt is a much better choice than other types of refined salt on the market. It is notably higher in price, but higher in health benefits too.
An added salt intake along with proper water drinking should definitely be considered to the simple dietary solutions of adequate vitamin K levels to help prevent or reduce the appearance of varicose or spider veins. However, most Americans are not salt deficient due to their love of processed foods which are loaded with way to much processed salt.
But, it is estimated that 75% of the American population is chronically dehydrated, and most likely the state of the world’s population of humans as well, due to the overconsumption of alcohol, soda tea, and coffee drinks. These drinks do not count at all towards water intake. In fact they actually force more water out of the body.
That is the sad truth, and says a lot about diseases of all natures that promote the vast majority of health problems in America, and all other nations, that have taken a liking to a Western diet and lifestyle.