If you haven’t heard of it yet, you will. Most of all my clients have not only
heard of it, they are on it. I have come across a few articles on K2 in some
conventional medical journals lately. Evan though K2 seems to be making
a name for itself in mainstream medicine most conventional partitioners I
come in contact with know nothing about. Here is the interesting thing,
even though they know nothing of the vitamin and all the benefits
associated with it, they tell my patients they don’t need it and to stop
taking it. That advise to me defies logic. In this article I aim to set the
record straight as to what Vitamin K2 is and what it does and what the
benefits are. I will also tell you how to get it in your diet naturally.
Vitamin K1 was discovered in 1929 by two Danish scientist who ultimately
won the Nobel Prize for their discovery. Sometime around that time or by
some accounts maybe slightly before the discovery of vitamin K1 vitamin
K2 was discovered by Weston Price and was referred to as Activator X.
The two were lumped together and most all the work was done on K1. It
wasn’t until the late 1970’s that some of the important functions of K2
were brought to the surface. Research continued and then in the 1990’s
scientist started to get a better appreciation of the importance of vitamin
Vitamin K1 and K2 belong to a family of K vitamins. Vitamin K1 is well known to most people. Vitamin K1’s main purpose is for maintaining proper blood clotting mechanisms. Vitamin K2 has little to do with blood clotting and everything to do with moving calcium around in the body. Vitamin K2 activates two proteins. One of those proteins is called osteocalcin which directs calcium to bones and teeth and decreases bone reabsorption when administered with vitamin D3. MK-7 is the form of vitamin K2 most responsible for this action. K2 activates matrix Gla protein, which keeps calcium deposits from forming on vessel walls. Research has shown that adequate K2 intake generally frees calcium up for its more beneficial roles, whereas K2 deficiencies will lead to build up of calcifications. Research has shown that K2 can actually remove calcium deposits form the arteries. There are multiple studies that prove the health benefits of K2 on the bones and the heart and blood vessels. In Japan K2 supplements are an official part of the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis.
K2 comes to us primarily through products derived from animals, who can synthesize it from the K1 they ingest from eating grass. As agricultural practices have shifted animals away from grassy pastures and toward grains, K2 levels have decreased. Because K2 is usually present in only modest amounts, and even less so in low-fat and lean animal products, many Western diets are inadequate providers of vitamin K2 a nutrient researchers consider increasingly important. Another good source is fermented foods such as natto which is fermented soy beans. Below is a chart listing dietary sources of K2.
I recommend eating a nutritionally dense diet that includes grass fed meats and grass fed animal products such butter, ghee and free range eggs. You can find natto at most asian markets. Another good source is through quality supplements. The recommended dose is anywhere between 45mcg a day to 200mcg. There are conflicting reports whether a person on Warfarin a commonly used blood thinner should use vitamin K2 or not. To be safe, I would recommend against supplementing with K2 and make sure you get it naturally in your diet by eating whole foods known to contain vitamin K2. Vitamins and minerals are considered essential nutrients because acting in concert, they perform hundreds of roles in the body. They help shore up bones, heal wounds, and bolster your immune system. They also convert food into energy, and repair cellular damage. In order for the body to function at optimal levels it is imperative that they be consumed in proper amounts and in proper combination.
Keep your eyes open as you will be hearing a lot about this important but neglected vitamin in the years to come. If you want to promote healthy bones and heart, make sure you get enough K2 and other vitamins and minerals in your diet. Remember there are other parts to the equation to optimal health such as exercise and managing stress and inflammation. If you would like to find out more about vitamin K2, you can read the following:
Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox by Kate Rheamume-Bleue
Vitamin K2: Everything You Need to Know- Healthline
Vitamin K2 Steps Into the Spotlight for Bone and Heart Health- Medscape
Health and happiness,