Vitamin K is a group of fat soluble vitamins (K1, K2, K3) that we store in our liver. Vitamin K is most famous for what it does for our blood and our bones and it works with other vitamins to support the health of our skeletons.
Without enough vitamin K in your body, you could bleed out from a small cut. Vitamin K also saves us from bleeding profusely from overuse of antibiotics and liver disease.
Vitamin K is present in the heart, liver, bones, pancreas and brain.
Blood being present in stool or urine, heavy periods, an excessive amount of blood from a small injury, bruising very easily and bleeding or oozing from the gums and nose could signal a vitamin K deficiency.
1. Vitamin K Helps Improves Insulin Resistance
Vitamin K helps regulate the metabolism of glucose through converting the glucose into a new substance named carboxylated osteocalcin (1). Carboxylated osteocalcin is a molecule which then improves the body's insulin sensitivity. When insulin sensitivity is improved, insulin blood levels stay regular and your body is better able to control your blood sugar levels.
A 36 month long study found that vitamin K can reduce insulin resistance progression in older men (2).
These findings help those who are suffering from type 2 diabetes, the inability to lose weight and polycystic ovarian syndrome (a hormonal condition where the ovaries become enlarged and small cysts develop on them).
2. Vitamin K Helps Blood Clot
Vitamin K is vital to the process of coagulation (the action by which blood begins to congeal). The name of this vitamin is taken from the term “koagulation”, which is German for the clotting of blood (3).
For the coagulation cascade (a complex process by which blood begins to clot) to happen the synthesis of various coagulation factors needs to occur, and it does so through vitamin K (3).
Vitamin K is present in glutamic acid, an amino acid that spurs on a process called carboxylation. Carboxylation helps GLA proteins bind themselves to calcium which allows clotting of the blood to occur.
When someone has taken too much blood thinning medication, such as warfarin, vitamin K supplements are administered to reverse the medication’s effects (4).
A deficiency of vitamin K could greatly increase the chances of hemorrhaging if gravely injured, especially when bleeding internally.
3. Vitamin K Reduces Bruising
When you injure yourself and develop a bruise it is because blood vessels just beneath your skin have been torn microscopically. The blood from these ruptures then accumulate under the skin leaving the red and purplish colour we usually see with bruising.
One of the most important functions of vitamin K is to make blood platelets that cause coagulation and thus stop bleeding (5).
When you suffer from a vitamin K deficiency your blood doesn't clot or takes longer than usual to clot therefore your torn blood vessels will bleed excessively causing a larger bruise or a bruise that takes much longer to heal. Unexplained bruising is also a symptom of a vitamin K deficiency.
4. Vitamin K Regulates The Calcium In Your Blood
While vitamin K1 deals mostly with coagulation of the blood, vitamin K2 is responsible for keeping calcium out of your blood and in your bones (6). K2 is also absorbed quicker by the body and remains effective within it for longer.
The calcium paradox refers to the problem within the body where calcium is being drawn out of the bones and deposited into the arteries. This calcium paradox is a direct result of a vitamin K2 deficiency as vitamin K2 is responsible for the location to which calcium is being sent to (7).
Your skeleton replaces itself on average about every 10 years. This happens through the discarding old bone and creation of new bone. When your body lacks calcium it cannot create new bone and your skeleton just reabsorbs the old and sometimes damaged bone. If this continues over time your bones will become weak and brittle.
As we grow older our bodies naturally lose the capacity to successfully regulate calcium. Vitamin K is effective in the restoration of calcium homeostasis within the body (8).
5. Vitamin K Works To Prevent Alzheimer's
Alzheimer’s, or senile dementia, is a neurodegenerative disease that worsens as time goes on. Memory loss and confusion are the main indicators of the onset of the disease but as it progresses alzheimer’s alters a person’s cognitive functions, mood, psychological state and body.
Your genetic makeup is one of the ways in which someone develops dementia or alzheimer’s. The APOE4 gene is found in about 20 percent of the population. This gene raises your chances of developing alzheimer’s as well as potentially lowering the age at which the disease will begin to manifest itself (9).
A study in North Carolina found the APOE4 gene to be present in patients who often suffered from broken bones (10). Vitamin K works to regulate calcium levels within the bones and the brain. One study showed that patients diagnosed with alzheimer’s had far lower vitamin K levels than patients without alzheimer’s. This is thought to be due to a lack of vitamin K leading to a lack of calcium regulation.
6. Vitamin K Fights Against Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is caused mainly by the loss of bone density (11). Those affected by osteoporosis are usually over the age of 50 or women who have just gone through menopause as their estrogen levels have started to decline. Osteoporosis escalates over time as more bone density is lost and often symptoms do not become apparent for a number of years. Some symptoms of osteoporosis include;
A deformed spine
Poor or stooped posture
A loss of height
Bones fracturing or breaking easily
Vitamin K is so beneficial to your bones because it is related to a calcium binding protein called osteocalcin (12). Vitamin K together with vitamin D control the osteoclasts (cells that dispose of old bone so as to create space for new bone) production.
Research has associated vitamin K deficiencies with osteoporotic fractures for over two decades.
7. Vitamin K Protects Against Certain Cancers
Research has linked large doses of vitamin K and the reduction or stabilisation of cancers including stomach, liver, breast, colon, and oral cancer, leukemia and nasopharyngeal cancer.
Vitamin K modifies the receptor molecules and growth factors of tumors which results in the cancerous cells losing the ability to stimulate the progression and growth of a tumor (13). Vitamin K puts stress on the cancerous cells through a process known as “oncosis”. Tumours are sensitive to oxidative stress and this causes a breakdown of cancerous cells.
Two studies, one on lung cancer patients and the other on liver cancer patients, found that vitamin K doses showed not only a slowed rate of cancer growth but in some patients a stabilization of the cancer (14).
8. Vitamin K Keeps Pregnant Women And Newborn Babies Healthy
Nearly 75 percent of pregnant women will suffer from morning sickness. Morning sickness is the name for the feeling of nausea or vomiting pregnant women experience and can occur at anytime of day despite the name. It is most common in the early stages of pregnancy.
A study paired vitamin C with vitamin K and found that over 90 percent of participants experienced a marked alleviation from morning sickness after only 3 days (15).
Babies only absorb small amounts of vitamin K in the womb (they usually build up a healthy supply at around six months old) and are usually given a dose of it after birth. If a baby does receive enough vitamin K it could develop Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding. Vitamin K Deficiency Bleeding can trigger bleeding in the brain which could result in severe brain damage or in some cases death (16).
9. Vitamin K Can Curb Excessive Menstrual Flows
Menorrhagia is the clinical name for a period when a women loses more than 60 milligrams of blood. Heavy bleeding is also often accompanied by severe cramping and back pain.
Menorrhagia can be caused by polycystic ovary syndrome, endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, an underactive thyroid gland, fibroid growths or a hormone imbalance (17).
Another cause of menorrhagia is being vitamin K deficient as vitamin K’s blood clotting properties restrict or slow the flow of excess menstrual blood (18).
10. Vitamin K Protects Against Calcification Of Arteries
Atherosclerosis, also known as atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease, is the narrowing and hardening of arteries which leads to the arteries becoming blocked and blood flow being cut off. Statistics showed that in 2013 atherosclerosis was the cause of death for one in every three Americans (19).
Vessels and arteries are responsible for moving blood throughout the body. The inside of vessels and arteries is lined with millions of cells. This cell layer is known as the endothelium. It is the job of the endothelium to keep the inside of vessels and arteries smooth and free from obstructions.
Atherosclerosis begins when the endothelium becomes damaged by factors such as smoking, high levels of cholesterol and high blood pressure (20). When the endothelium is damaged cholesterol is able to get inside the artery walls and build up in the damaged areas. Cholesterol and plaque build up create the blockages that lead to atherosclerosis.
Most people suffering from atherosclerosis have no idea because they do not experience any symptoms. Symptoms are uncommon but do include;
A series of mini strokes
Delayed healing of wounds
Pain in the legs
A study in 2001 carried out on over 200 people 52 percent of participants had at least some degree of atherosclerosis.
Vitamin K regulates the balance of calcium in the body. This process keeps calcium within the bones and stops it from building up in the arteries (21). A study carried out on male rats all with some calcification in the arteries found that in those given a high vitamin K diet, vitamin K not only halted the further calcification of arteries but it also reversed the amount of calcification present by over 40 percent (22).
Vitamin K prevents the calcification of pathological tissues which has anti-aging influences on the body.
11. Vitamin K Could Help To Prevent Miscarriages
A miscarriage is an unexpected loss of pregnancy that occurs any time within the first 20 or so weeks after conception. Miscarriages occur when the fetus does not develop healthily or because of a mineral and or vitamin deficiency, a weak cervix, thyroid problems and blood clotting disorders, to name a few. Almost 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriages (23).
Some symptoms of a miscarriage include;
Sharp pains in the abdomen
Pain in the lower back
Vomiting and nausea
12. Vitamin K Has Benefits For The Skin
The blood clotting properties of vitamin K has offers relief or eradication of the following various skin conditions;
Stretch marks, which are caused by periods of rapid weight gain and or loss
Scars, caused by fibrous tissues replacing your normal skin after an injury
Spider veins, blood vessels that are swollen and raised which tend to turn and twist, caused by blood becoming backed up in the blood vessels
Dark circles beneath the eyes, caused by sleep deprivation and nasal congestion
Vitamin K is used as an ingredient in many topical creams (26). Those unable to metabolize vitamin K may suffer from premature wrinkling of the skin.
13. Vitamin K Is Good For Sexual Health
Erectile dysfunction affects over 50 percent of men worldwide. Erectile dysfunction, or impotence, is a man’s inability to either achieve or maintain an erection and can be caused by excessive stress, anxiety, alcohol use, smoking, a hormone or vitamin irregularities and heart disease (27).
When a man becomes sexually stimulated, the penile muscles relax and blood flow increases into the penile arteries. To maintain an erection, certain vessels or pathways need to close and a vitamin K deficiency makes this process difficult (28).
Vitamin K protects arteries against calcification which keeps the walls of the arteries smooth. Vitamin K also boosts elasticity of artery walls and reduces the amount of cell death within the artery walls. When arteries become calcified blood flow is not as strong and achieving or maintaining an erection becomes more difficult (29).
With regards to male sexual health, the vitamin K dependant protein hormone can boost testosterone and sperm production.
14. Vitamin K Can Reduce Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, chronic (lifelong) movement disorder. Parkinson’s disease develops when the nerve cells within the brain don’t make enough dopamine (an organic chemical that regulates emotional responses and movement) and results in damage done to energy producing cells.
Parkinson’s disease usually affects older men and women with the average age of onset being just after 60. While not common, young-onset Parkinson’s disease does exist.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include;
Tremors in the hands
Difficulty standing up
Loss of the sense of smell
Issues with coordination
Often forgetting things
Impaired speech or voice
Vitamin K has in recent studies shown an ability to recover the nerves in the brain that are energy compromised and to restore the normal function of these nerves (30). This finding sheds light on vitamin K’s influence in energy creation and points out that taking certain vitamin K blocking medications could worsen the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
A study administered vitamin K to a group of flies that were suffering from a genetic disorder like Parkinson’s disease and had consequently lost the ability to fly. The vitamin K supplement improved the cellular energy production within the flies and they were once again able to fly (31).
Vitamin K plays a vital role in the health of brain cells as it is an important component of the synthesizing of sphingolipids, a fat needed for the myelin sheath (a plasma membrane that protects nerve axons) to form properly (32).
15. Vitamin K Keeps Teeth Healthy
Vitamin K paired with vitamin D is routinely used to prevent erosion of the teeth and the formation of cavities (33). The two vitamins together are effective as vitamin D is important for the absorption of calcium in the teeth and vitamin K is responsible for calcium being directed to the teeth (the regulation of calcium).
Vitamin K and D affect not only the teeth but also the jaw and face. Corrects amounts of vitamin K and D supplements when pregnant or when a child is very young can prevent the chances of facial narrowing or in some cases even reverse it (34).
Babies who are vitamin K and D deficient may experience the inability to grow their jaws and faces correctly which could result in over or underbites, narrow jaws and impacted teeth.
Vitamin K activates osteocalcin which is found in the dentin in teeth. This can prevent and even heal cavities (35). Vitamin K also decreases the amount of bacteria in the saliva responsible for cavities.
Sugar laden drinks, poor tooth care, bacteria and a lack of vitamins K and D are all causes of tooth decay.
15 Best Vitamin K Foods
Natto is a Japanese fermented soy bean. Fermented foods are a rich provider of probiotics (yeasts and bacteria that are good for your digestive system). Fermentation also makes digesting natto and its nutrients easier.
Natto is a staple of the Japanese diet. The life expectancy of Japanese people is the highest in the world with overall life expectancy being about 80 years.
Natto protects the body against pathogens such as salmonella and Ecoli.
Polyamine is an organic compound that suppresses excessive reactions of the immune system. While immune reactions are good as they target foreign bacteria and dangerous cells, an excessive reaction can do damage to healthy cells.
Natto contains amla, a strong antioxidant. The amla content in natto enhances blood circulation which ensures that the optimum amount of blood is sent to the heart. The linoleic acid, fiber and lecithin in natto also purifies the blood.
Natto contains vitamin pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ). PQQ keeps your skin healthy because it aids lysine production. Lysine is an amino acid that partly forms collagen, the protein that maintains skin structure.
Prunes can prevent constipation and hemorrhoids as they act as a laxative, especially prune juice as it contains high amount of sorbitol. Chronic constipation often affects the elderly either as either a result of certain medications or because of dysfunction of the pelvic floor.
The fiber also benefits the bladder as a lack can result in an increased need to urinate and disruption to normal bladder function.
10 milligrams of iron is the recommended daily dose and one cup of prune juice contains 6 milligrams. A lack of iron can result in anemia, fatigue and hair loss.
Atherosclerosis is a condition where plaque gathers inside the arteries which narrows them and can cut off the blood supply needed by body tissues. Consuming prunes and prune juice also shows signs of reducing hypertension and blood pressure.
A diet of food high in antioxidants are good for lung health. Prunes are an effective antioxidant that can protect you from emphysema, lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
A study comparing a cookie low in fat and prunes found that prunes keeps you feeling fuller for longer which is helpful when trying to curb unhealthy snacking.
Prunes also contain beta carotene which has numerous benefits for the eyes.
In the United States, dairy products are the number one source of calcium. As we age our bones will begin to weaken and break down so we need large amount of calcium to stave off bone diseases such as osteoporosis.
Calcium protects the muscles in your heart. Calcium helps your heart muscles to relax and contract properly. When the calcium level in your body drops calcitriol (a hormone) is released. This hormone forces the muscles of your arteries to contract which in turn raises your blood pressure.
Calcium also helps women suffering from premenstrual depression. Having enough calcium in your system can counter the hypertension, dizziness and mood swings man women experience before they menstruate.
3 cups of dairy products per day is recommended for building bone mass.
Eating an excess of unhealthy foods can result in an unbalance of acidity in your body. Hypertension, cancer and the development of kidney stones have all been linked to excess acidity. Calcium maintains optimum alkaline pH levels.It also aids in the transportation of important nutrients through cell membranes.
Cabbage contains roughage or fiber. Roughage is effective in ensuring regular and healthy bowel movements. Maintaining a healthy bowel can prevent cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes and gastrointestinal diseases. Eating a diet high in roughage also keeps you feeling fuller for longer which can aid weight loss or weight maintenance.
Cabbage is a rich source of sulphur. After phosphorous and calcium, sulphur is next most important nutrient your body needs. Sulphur plays a role in maintaining skin elasticity, bonding your muscles and in your bones and skin keeping their shape. If you are sulphur deficient you are in danger of getting a microbial infection. Signs that you may be suffering from a sulphur deficiency include;
Rashes on the skin
Feeling sad or depressed
Suffering from convulsions
Delayed healing of wounds
Cabbage is a good source of beta carotene, the vitamin that maintains eye health. Including enough beta carotene in your diet fights the development of cataracts, especially in the elderly.
When cabbage is fermented (sauerkraut, kimchi) it releases lactic acid. Lactic acid soothes aches and muscle soreness.
The high amount of vitamin C in cabbage makes it a natural detoxifier. Cabbage removes toxins within the blood and purifies it. These toxins are chiefly uric acid and free radicals. These toxins are known to be responsible for the development of eczema, arthritis, gout and rheumatism.
Cabbage is also used to treat duodenal, peptic and leg ulcers as well as varicose veins.
5. Spring Onions
Spring onions contain chromium, a mineral used primarily for digesting food. Chromium moves blood sugars from our blood stream directly to cells where they will be used as energy. Chromium is very beneficial to those suffering from type 2 diabetes as it helps them keep control of their blood sugar levels.
The flavonoid quercetin found in spring onions can maintain your respiratory health by acting as an antihistamine. When suffering from an irritated respiratory system the swelling triggers a release of histamines. Studies have shown that quercetin inhibits the amount of histamines that are released. Quercetin can control swelling in the eyes, watering eyes and a runny nose.
Spring onions lower cholesterol oxidation which reduces risks of developing heart disease.
The vitamin C in spring onions give your immune system a boost while the antibacterials properties protects it from foreign invaders as well as easing discomfort brought on by digestion issues.
Kale has a zero fat content making it a good food for those trying to lose weight. It is also full of fiber.
Kale contains high amounts of vitamin A. Vitamin A keeps your skin looking young and healthy because of its elasticity boosting and moisture retention properties. It can be effective in treating skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Vitamin A is extremely important in maintaining healthy eyes. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness worldwide, vitamin A can prevent or prolong the onset. Vitamin A also provides your eyes with moisture than can prevent dry eye syndrome.Vitamin A can also enhance night vision.
Replacing worn tissue and bone is another function performed by vitamin A.It also prevents measles and the development of kidney stones. A deficiency of this vital vitamin can result in the following symptoms;
Dry eyes and or skin
Spots developing in your eye sight
Trouble seeing anything in the dark
Kale is a detoxifying food and plays a role in maintaining liver health.
Asparagus is high in vitamin B. Vitamin B is responsible for keeping your homocysteine levels regular. Elevated homocysteine levels can result in serious damage being done to blood vessels, atherosclerosis (when fat and cholesterol build up on the wall of the arteries) and deep vein thrombosis (when blood clots form in the veins). Vitamin b also metabolises sugars and starches and is key in keeping your blood sugar levels healthy.
The nutrients in asparagus provide relief to women suffering from bloating, mood changes fatigue and depression brought on by hormonal changes related to menstruation. It also alleviates cramping.
Asparagus is a good source of folate. Folate is important for fetal development during pregnancy, especial neurodevelopment.
Asparagus inulin which is a prebiotic (something that boosts healthy intestinal microorganism growth). These microorganisms enhance nutritional absorption in the intestine which reduces the risk of stomach allergies and cancers. It is also full of fiber which can have a laxative like effect on those suffering from constipation and promotes smooth bowel function which reduces bloating.
Asparagus can enhance sperm motility and count as well as increasing your libido.
The lactic acid released by pickles during the pickling process can sooth symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. They can also prevent the development of urinary tract infections in women.
During the first trimester of pregnancy many women suffer from extreme nausea. Sour pickled foods have been recommended by The American pregnancy Association to help curb feelings of nausea or “morning sickness”.
The acetic acid that comes from the pickling juice lowers glycemia and can aid digestion.
Many athletes drink pickle juice before or after exercising as it is known to be able to cure onsets of cramping.
While pickles to offer various health benefits, they are very high in sodium so it is wise to limit the amount you eat.
Spinach is rich in protein, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. The high protein levels are especially good for children who are still developing.
Spinach is recommended to pregnant women as it contains vitamin A. Vitamin A ensures that the fetus's lungs develop at a proper rate. Vitamin A is also transferred from the mother to the baby during breastfeeding so women should continue with a steady intake of vitamin A after pregnancy.
Luiten is a pigment found in spinach. This pigment lowers the chances of developing atherosclerosis (when your arteries start to harden which can lead to strokes and heart attacks).
The pigments and phytonutrients in spinach protects your skin from harmful UV rays. They also work to repair cells that have already been damaged by the sun and can be useful for protecting against melanoma.
Spinach protects the stomach’s mucous membrane. This protection prevents against gastric ulcers developing on the stomach membrane. Spinach also contains glycoglycerolipids which makes the lining of the digestive tract stronger.
The antioxidant called C0-Q10 found in spinach works to strengthen your muscles, specifically your cardiac muscles. This ensures that a steady flow of blood is continuously pumping throughout your body.
The organic chemical compound phthalides is found in celery. This compound lowers the amount of stress hormones in the blood allowing blood vessels to relax and expand allowing more space for blood to move in which in turn lowers blood pressure. The risk of strokes, heart attacks and atherosclerosis all decrease when blood pressure decreases.
The seeds of celery reduce uric acid and are used for their diuretic properties (their ability to stimulate urination). This makes celery a good choice for those suffering from kidney issues, cystitis (an infection in your bladder, kidneys or urethra) and various other bladder disorders.
Celery is a natural anti inflammatory so it can bring relief for anyone struggling with gout and or arthritis as it minimizes the swelling in the joints. Acting as a diuretic it removes uric acid crystals which gather around the joints.
Celery contains coumarins, an organic chemical compound which treats migraines and headaches by suppressing the release of nitric oxide within the brain.
The calcium in celery has nerve calming properties. Celery tea is used for this reason.
Okra contains mucilaginous fiber. Mucilaginous fiber is good for your digestive tract because it provides added bulk to your stool which moves it along the digestive tract more swiftly. Mucilaginous fiber ensures more regular bowel movements and lessens issues such as bloating, cramping, excessive gas and constipation.
Okra is high in potassium. Regular potassium levels ensure that our water and electrolyte levels are balanced, lowers blood pressure, stress and anxiety and lowers blood pressure. Higher potassium levels also ensure that the right amount of oxygen reaches the brain and that neural activity and cognitive function are stimulated and increased.
Hypokalemia is a condition where the lack of potassium in the blood results in the painful cramping of muscles. Muscles will also not grow correctly or become stronger without potassium. If you are suffering from any of the following symptoms it could mean that you are potassium deficient;
Numbness or tingling in your hands and feet
Feeling nauseous and vomiting
Experiencing cramping in the muscles of your arms and legs
Experiencing an irregular heartbeat
Bloating and abdominal cramping
Low potassium levels can also result in a drop in sugar levels which can result in shaking, sweating , headaches and feeling weak. Diabetics are urged to keep their potassium levels as normal as possible.
12. Mustard Greens
Mustard greens are high in plant chlorophyll. Plant chlorophyll aids in removing environmental toxins from your bloodstream and in turn cleanses your liver.
The vitamin C found in mustard greens prevents or slows cell damage within the body. One cup of mustard greens contains 59 percent of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C
Mustard greens are full of phytonutrients. Diets high in phytonutrients have been linked to low infection and cancer incidences. Phytonutrients also delay brain aging.
Mustard greens increase the binding of bile (brown or yellowish fluid found in your gall bladder that aids digestion). When bile acids are not bound they could stimulate the colon which results in slowing stool passage and the developing of stomach problems such as irritable bowel syndrome.
The binding of bile acids also reduces your risk of heart disease.
Miso is very high in probiotics. Probiotics are known as a “good bacteria”that once ingested, stay in our digestive tract and balance out the “bad bacterias” we may pick up from our environment or any bad foods we eat.
Balancing out the good and bad bacteria in our guts can provide relief to those suffering from gut related disorders such as leaky gut syndrome.
Miso contains a host of vitamins and the fermentation process needed to make miso helps the body to absorb all these vitamins.
Avocados prevent halitosis, or bad breath, which is caused by indigestion. Avocados aid in digestion by soothing the intestines. The antioxidant and antibacterial flavonoids in avocados also kill harmful bacteria found in your mouth.
Avocados contain a compound called xanthophyll which has antioxidant properties and can slow signs of aging. The vitamin E and C in avocados also act as antioxidants, protecting our cells from damage by free radicals.
The beta-sitosterol (a chemical compound) in avocados helps to manage healthy levels of cholesterol. Studies have linked avocado intake to the enhancing of antiatherogenic abilities of HDL cholesterol which aids in protection against heart disease.
Seaweed is low in calories but very high in nutrients making it a good diet food.
Certain types of seaweed contain alginate, or alginic acid, which has been linked to the strengthening of mucus in the gut. Lubrication of the gut aids digestion. High levels of seaweed intake has also been found to boost healthy gut bacteria.