Our understanding of the benefits of Vitamin K is expanding.
Vitamin K and especially vitamin K2 are now understood to be one of the most important nutrients for bone health. What is also emerging is that same vitamin K2 is beneficial for arterial/cardiovascular health. The science is revealing the duel benefits of vitamin K2.
Important Notice: vitamin K is not recommended for anyone who is using anti-coagulant drugs without consulting your doctor. We cover this extensively in the first part of this interview. This is one of the more sensitive challenges in the area of nutrient/drug interactions. It is critical that consumers become well informed on both their medical treatment and the nutritional adjuncts. It is especially important to understand how targeted nutrition is critical for better health. While your medications may help manage your disease, medications provide no nutritional benefit and in fact may come at the cost of nutrient depletions. It is the nutrients that you consume through food and supplementation that provide the building blocks of repair and maintenance for all cells and tissues. Keep this in mind as you develop your nutritional program for any health challenge. End Notice
In this interview with Jolie Root we will cover some of the clinical studies and what they reveal. We will also discuss the various forms of vitamin K so that you will understand the distinctions. Like most nutrients, there are differences in various forms of nutrients and the often unique benefits. We will discuss the specific forms of vitamin K2 that were used in the studies.
Forms of Vitamin K
- Vitamin K1 – 90% of vitamin K in the diet is K1. Also known as phylloquinine and is found in plant foods such as spinach, lettuce and broccoli.
- Vitamin K2 as MK-4 (menatetrenone) – this is the form of vitamin K that is found in animal foods such as meat and dairy.
- Vitamin K2 as MK-7 (megaquinone-7) – this is the form of vitamin K that is found in fermented foods such as natto and fermented cheeses.
Benefits of Vitamin K2
- Supports healthy cardiovascular system function
- Promotes healthy blood flow by maintaining vascular elasticity
- Helps build and maintain strong bones
- Promotes healthy bone and teeth calcification
- May improve inflammation status
It is the duel benefit of more calcium in the bones and less calcium in the arteries that makes vitamin K2 so important. This is especially true for women who are at duel risk for bone loss and cardiovascular events.
A lack of an active vitamin K- dependent protein may increase the risk of arterial calcification and stiffness, say two new studies that support the potential heart health benefits of vitamin K.
One study published in the American Journal of Hypertension looked at data from 66 diabetics (type 2) found that levels of inactive MGP (matrix GLAprotein) were correlated with artery stiffness.
Supplements containing vitamin K2 may reduce bone loss and improve bone impact strength in postmenopausal women, according to a new ‘ground-breaking’ study sponsored by NattoPharma. A daily dose of 180 micrograms of the company’s MenaQ7-branded vitamin K2 for three years produced significant improvements in bone mineral content and bone mineral density in post-menopausal women, according to findings published in Osteoporosis International. In addition, vitamin K2 was associated with favorable changes to bone strength, report researchers from VitaK at Maastricht University in The Netherlands.
There are over 21000 studies on vitamin K at PubMed. There you can review the extensive body of scientific research that reveals the importance and benefits of vitamin K, and especially vitamin K2. There are 229 studies on vitamin K and its possible role as an anti-inflammatory.
It is interesting that as our body of science and knowledge continues to grow, we see ever broadening of the articulated benefits of nutrition. Why is it that so many nutrients seem to have far reaching effects in the human body and can be helpful for so many things? The simple answer is that the human body has developed over the ages and our bodies have always been built and maintained through the nutrition in our world. It is the magic of life that nutrients become part of living tissue. It is the body that does the work. Supply the body with the right nutrients and building, maintenance and repair can occur. The body uses different nutrients in many different ways and benefits can often be seen throughout the body.
Vitamin K2 is a good example. This one nutrients shows benefits in bone, arteries and may reduce inflammation. Many if not most nutrients are useful, necessary and needed in multiple ways that contribute to health. Drugs do not nourish the body. One important point that is made by many of the experts that I interview is that it is never too late to start and you are never too old to benefit from better nutrition.
K-Complete: Our body utilizes these three important forms of vitamin K to achieve optimal cardiovascular system, bone and blood health. Vitamin K in its various forms plays a primary role in healthy blood clotting and is critical for arterial health and activating the important protein that binds calcium to bones. Carlson Labs makes K-Complete that provides vitamin K1 and K2 as MK-4 and MK-7 in one softgel.
About Jolie Root
Jolie is the Senior Nutritionist/Educator at Carlson Laboratories. She began as a natural products retailer who evolved into a career in education in the health sciences. She is a nutritionist and a nurse. She understands both the science and the practical application of good nutrition for health. Jolie hosts a weekly radio show called Food for Thought which is heard in New York, Florida and online.