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This One Vitamin Could Save You From the Coronavirus

A new study shows the vitamin found in cheese and leafy greens can help stave off coronavirus.
Vitamins supplements in bottle on wooden table.

As you fortify yourself against the coronavirus—wearing a mask, social distancing and keeping your immune system strong—there may be one vitamin you're forgetting that might hold the key in keeping you safe from COVID-19: Vitamin K. New findings may show "a link between deficiency and the worst coronavirus outcomes," according to the Guardian.

Why the Vitamin May Be Key

"COVID-19 causes blood clotting and leads to the degradation of elastic fibers in the lungs," explains the paper about the findings. "Vitamin K, which is ingested through food and absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract, is key to the production of proteins that regulate clotting and can protect against lung disease." 

Since COVID-19 is a respiratory disease, this protection could be key in adding another level of protection. The research, headed up by Dr. Rob Janssen, was done in partnership with the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, a heart and vascular research institute in Europe. Over the course of a month, they studied 134 patients and found many who had died or been admitted to the ICU lacked the vitamin.

"My advice would be to take those vitamin K supplement," Dr. Janssen told the Guardian. "Even if it does not help against severe Covid-19, it is good for your blood vessels, bones and probably also for the lungs. We are in a terrible, horrible situation in the world. We do have an intervention which does not have any side effects, even less than a placebo. There is one major exception: people on anti-clotting medication. It is completely safe in other people."

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How to Get More Vitamin K

"We have [vitamin] K1 and K2. K1 is in spinach, broccoli, green vegetables, blueberries, all types of fruit and vegetables," Janssen continued. "K2 is better absorbed by the body. It is in Dutch cheese, I have to say, and French cheese as well."

The recommended daily value of vitamin K is 120 micrograms for adult males and 90 micrograms for adult females.

"The best way to get the daily requirement of vitamin K is by eating food sources," says MedLinePlus. "Vitamin K is found in the following foods:

  • Green leafy vegetables, such as kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, Swiss chard, mustard greens, parsley, romaine, and green leaf lettuce
  • Vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage
  • Fish, liver, meat, eggs, and cereals (contain smaller amounts)"
  • For a list of the 20 Best Vitamin K-Rich Foods from Eat This, Not That!, click here!

As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Eat This, Not That! is constantly monitoring the latest food news as it relates to COVID-19 in order to keep you healthy, safe, and informed (and answer your most urgent questions). Here are the precautions you should be taking at the grocery store, the foods you should have on hand, the meal delivery services and restaurant chains offering takeout you need to know about, and ways you can help support those in need. We will continue to update these as new information develops. Click here for all of our COVID-19 coverage, and sign up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date.

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