Can Vitamin K2 Save Your Life?

vitamin K and heart disease

Can Vitamin K2 Save Your Life?

Can Vitamin K2 Save Your Life?

This week my blog is about a vitamin that is key for preventing heart disease, osteoporosis and other serious ailments.

Vitamin K was discovered in the 1930s by a Danish biochemist Heinrik Dam as what was initially believed to be a blood clotting factor. It was called vitamin K because,the letter K was the first one in the alphabet which had not been used to designate other vitamins, and it also happened to be the first letter in the word ‘koagulation’. Other researchers went on to isolate this fat soluble vitamin, but they didn’t realize yet there were different forms of vitamin K with totally different properties.

Vitamin K1 comes from green vegetables and is involved in blood clotting and deficiency is vitamin K1 is rare and obvious. Deficiencies in vitamin K2 are common and invisible and affect people of all ages.

To cut a long story short But it wasn’t until in 2007 that vitamin K2’s identity was revealed fully. Vitamin K2 is also called menaquinone and there are several different versions, the one below is menaquinone-4 or MK4. MK4 is the better type of K2 so read the label on your supplements!

What Does Vitamin K2 Do?

  • Vitamin K2 activates proteins responsible for sending calcium and phosphorus salts into bones and teeth and different proteins that move calcium out of soft tissues, like arteries, where it can be harmful. Think of limescale building up in your pipes. Calcium is part of what blocks arteries, along with oxidized cholesterol and other molecules associated with inflammation.
  • Low vitamin K2 not low calcium is a major factor in osteoporosis (brittle bones) than affects women after the menopause. There are other factors but vitamin K2 is usually neglected
  • Low levels of vitamin K2 are associated with over 50% increase in heart disease and there is a lot of research to support this now.
  • The brain contains one of the highest amounts of vitamin K2, where it is involved in making the myelin sheath of nerve cells, which contributes to learning capacity. The myelin sheath becomes damaged in multiple sclerosis (MS) so a K2 supplement is key, but it has to be with the right form of K2

These important functions of vitamin K2 protect us against dental cavities, osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer and many other common ailments.

Where Does Vitamin K2 Come From?

Our gut bacteria (if they are healthy) can make a small amount of vitamin K2 and this varies from person to person. Humans can’t convert much  K1 to K2, cows and other grazing animals can convert K1 to K2.

Vitamin K2 is found in grass-fed butter, cheese, brie,  blue cheese, goose fat, egg yolks, caviar, meat (particularly turkey) 

Natto a Japanese food that is fermented soybeans has naturally occurring Vitamin K2, but natto contains the MK7 from of Vitamin K2 and the animal form MK4 is far better. 

Or you can purchase a vitamin K2 supplement but it must be in the MK4 form and in  a fat matrix or an oil otherwise it is a waste of money

 

Thank you for reading my blog

 

Geleijnse, J.M., Vermeer, C., Grobbee, D.E. et al. Dietary intake of menaquinone (vitamin K2) is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: the Rotterdam Study. J. Nutr. 2004; 134: 3100–3105

Theuwissen, Elke, Egbert Smit, and Cees Vermeer. “The Role of Vitamin K in Soft-Tissue Calcification.” Advances in Nutrition 3.2 (2012): 166–173.

Rheaume-Bleue, Kate. Vitamin K2 And The Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life

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