One of the vitamins your body needs might be one you’ve never heard of. Vitamin K2 is sadly a routinely forgotten vitamin, but that doesn’t diminish its power and how important it can be for a healthy life.
Vitamin K was discovered in 1929 and was found to be essential for blood coagulation and clotting. As studies continued, it was determined that there are two principal vitamin K elements, phylloquinone or vitamin K1 and menaquinones, K2. Vitamin K1 is found in plant foods, and vitamin K2 is found in animal and fermented foods.
Over the years, a lot of research has been done on the K vitamins, and it’s been pointed to as having a key role in blood clotting, calcium metabolism, and heart health. The issue is that vitamin K2 and K1 are very different, and some believe they should not be lumped together but approached as two separate vitamins.
It appears as if vitamin K2 is the real powerhouse, as it gives your body significant benefits. Nothing of note has been linked directly to vitamin K1. Unfortunately, while vitamin K1 is found abundantly in foods, vitamin K2 is harder to come by.
Some K2 is produced by the gut bacteria in your large intestine, and the body can convert some K1 into K2, but both of these functions still leave a gap in your K2 needs.
If you’re looking to get more K2 from foods, then high-fat dairy products from grass-fed cows, egg yolks, and organ meats, such as liver, need to play a significant role in your diet. You can also add fermented foods, like sauerkraut and miso, to your diet to get some K2.
Probably, the most efficient way to add K2 to your diet is through a high-quality supplement that provides you with a sufficient dose that gives you the health benefits you want in an easy to absorb for that’s taken only once a day. By pairing patented Natural MenaQ7 Menaquinone-7 vitamin K2 with vitamin D3, which is essential for proper calcium absorption, K2+D3 will boost your bone, tooth, and heart health.
Vitamin K2 and Heart Disease
One risk factor for heart disease is the amount of calcium build-up in the arteries. While calcium is essential for strong bones and teeth, it’s also released by your bones into your bloodstream to help your heart.
When there is too much calcium in the blood and not enough K2 to protect the artery walls, then excess calcium can accumulate inside arteries and blood vessels, which forms deposits that lead to heart disease. Vitamin K2 is necessary to create a protein that passes the calcium along to the heart where it is needed.
A Rotterdam study on vitamin K and coronary heart disease supported the importance of vitamin K on certain proteins in the body. Their presence directly inhibited vascular calcification, which led researchers to determine that an adequate intake of menaquinone is an important part of coronary heart disease prevention.
Vitamin K2 and Bone Health
As we age, bone health becomes more important, especially for women who tend to be at greater risk for osteoporosis. Osteoporosis translates to porous bones and is a disease in which the density of the bone is reduced, which depletes its strength in the process.
With osteoporosis, the bones become fragile and more susceptible to breakage. This is a serious disease that should not be taken lightly, as a bone break for people in their advanced years can lead to significant health problems or even death.
Vitamin K2 plays a central role in the metabolism of calcium in both your bones and your teeth. It activates the proteins matrix GLA-protein and osteocalcin, which are crucial in building and maintaining bone strength.
A meta-analysis in the Archives of Internal Medicine looked at several trials focused on bone fracture and K2 supplements. The results were that there was a strong effect of phytonadione and menaquinone-4 on the incidence of bone strength.
Japan leads the way in studying the effects of vitamin K2 on bone health. The results of their many studies on the benefits of this vitamin have led to K2 vitamin supplements being officially recommended as both a treatment for osteoporosis and as a preventative agent.
Vitamin K2 and Dental Health
While there are no human studies to date on the role vitamin K2 plays in bone metabolism, the animal studies point to a significant correlation.
Osteocalcin, which is vital in bone and tooth health, is activated by vitamin K2. This protein triggers a mechanism in the body, which prompts the growth of new dentin. Dentin rests under the enamel of your teeth and is responsible for providing support for your teeth and transmitting nerve impulses.
Waking Up To Wellness
Vitamin K is a relatively new discovery that is currently being studied quite extensively. The importance of this vitamin is significant to your bone, tooth, and heart health, yet it’s not widely discussed or known.
Vitamin K1 appears to have little benefit, if any, on health. Vitamin K2 is crucial. The unfortunate circumstance is that while vitamin K1 is generally found in many foods, it’s the more important vitamin K2 that’s harder to come by. The best way to get this vitamin in the amounts necessary is through a high-quality supplement.
People using these supplements have been proven to have an improved outlook when it comes to coronary heart disease and osteoporosis. This benefit is so well documented in Japan that K2 is recommended as a preventative measure and for the treatment of osteoporosis.
While there currently aren’t any human trials on the importance of vitamin K2 on dental health, it seems as though that connection will soon be made as well.