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Vitamin K2- A less known nutrient in bone and heart health

  • June 5, 2022
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Vitamin K2- A less known nutrient in bone and heart health

Vitamin K2 is a Vitamin K family member. It’s called a fat-soluble vitamin because it can be stored in the body. We need this to stop bleeding if we get injured or suffer from superficial wounds because we would bleed excessively without it. Among what makes Vitamin K2 unique includes its important activity for protein function.

K2 Basics 

  • Vitamin K, also known as K2, is a fat-soluble substance and can be dissolved in fats and oils. 
  • Vitamin K performs different functions depending on its form or location in the body. 
  • Some types of vitamin K are made by bacteria, which give fermented foods like cheese and the Japanese natto (fermented soybeans) a high Vitamin K content.

Vitamin K2 significance

I like to share about K2: The Missing Nutrient for Heart and Bone Health. It is vital to add it to your daily supplement regimen next to other well-researched products like fish oil, vitamin D, and magnesium. A critical characteristic of Vitamin K2 is that it can help prevent arterial stiffness, which can often occur after 45. Apart from that, it helps maintain bone health. As we grow older, our diet often lacks adequate amounts of this nutrient.

So why is Vitamin K2 essential? It’s crucial for bone health, as it can make specific proteins in your body “activate” like osteocalcin for solid bones and matrix Gla protein (MGP). It keeps calcium (a crucial bone-building nutrient) out of your arteries so they don’t harden and lead to cardiovascular disease. Without K2 your body can’t activate osteocalcin which transports calcium where it is needed. You can combine this supplement with other vitamins like B that work harmoniously. And you won’t have to worry about side effects because there aren’t any dangerous interactions with it.

Availability

It isn’t easy to get Vitamin K2 through a healthy diet unless you live in Japan. Natto Verde is a fermented soybean dish commonly consumed in Japan that contains this Vitamin. The most common form of K2 supplement is MenaQ7™. It is the same form used and studied for the reduced occurrence of bone fractures experienced by Japanese women who eat natto regularly. A supplement is currently the best choice for obtaining Vitamin K2 from your diet for those outside Japan.

Check the below link to know the importance of K2 role in bone and cardiovascular health as explained by Denis Goodman.

Research on k2 role

In a recent study conducted by Dr Husam Khader at Tabriz University in Iran, 42 postmenopausal women received a daily supplement containing 100 mcg menaquinone-7 (vitamin K2) or a placebo for 12 weeks. They found that levels of several different substances responsible for blood clotting decreased from baseline measures, including D-dimer, factor VIII and protein C-reactive protein (CRP). Moreover, oxygenation improved in the volunteers’ muscle tissue due to Vitamin K2 supplementation.

Higher GABA levels have been shown to lower blood pressure independent of any other medications one might be taking, and increasing the number of GABA receptors through supplementation with K2 has also proven to improve quality of life and protect nerves from oxidative damage — all of this leading toward a beneficial treatment for high blood pressure.

Can I perform a Vitamin K2 level test? 

You can, though not directly. The most precise measurement for Vitamin K levels is to assess the amount of the circulating undercarboxylated (inactive) form of the Vitamin K-dependent proteins in the blood, such as MGP.16. The most recommended Upton is a ucOC test, which measures the osteocalcin levels—another K-dependent protein—in the blood that K2 does not activate. Like MGP, It is necessary for carboxylation (activating) osteocalcin. If your osteocalcin levels are undercarboxylated, that indicates Vitamin K2 deficiency.