VITAMIN K2: Vital, Yet Unknown?

Vitamin K2 as jpgIf you are new to my blog site, you will quickly see I provide health information that many consumers have never heard about or have limited exposure. Vitamin K2 is likely another example.

Some of you may be aware of Vitamin K. This is a fat soluble vitamin (this means the body will retain excess amounts if you consume too much) that is best known for its role in “blood clotting. The best source of this vitamin is found in leafy green vegetables. It is important to know that Vitamin K (as it relates to blood clotting) is also known as Vitamin K1. Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2 have significant differences that provide unique functions to the body.

Today, most children and adults spend fewer hours participating in outdoor activities. We have been instructed that outdoor exposure to the sun requires liberal sunscreen protection against the ultraviolet rays the sun produces. The downside of these two habits (fewer hours outside and sunscreen protection) has created a Vitamin D deficiency in many people. Vitamin D deficiencies are dangerous and can lead to bone pain, muscle weakness, increased blood pressure, depression, cardiovascular disease and possibly some forms of cancer. It has also been linked to dementia.

Vitamin K2 and Vitamin D have a unique and important role together. Vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin like Vitamin K. The main consequences of Vitamin D toxicity are (1) buildup of calcium in the blood (hypercalcemia), (2) poor appetite, (3) nausea and vomiting, (4) weakness, (5) frequent urination and (6) kidney problems. Calcium buildup in the blood has been linked to cardiac disease and stroke.

Since Vitamin D and calcium are both essential, how can we safely consume each? This is best achieved by taking in adequate amounts of Vitamin K2. This vitamin is responsible for directing calcium to bones and teeth where it belongs. It also prevents calcium from being deposited into soft tissue (ex. muscles)  as well as blood vessels. Vitamin D produces proteins that are activated by Vitamin K2. Without K2 to guide the calcium, it can wander aimlessly and ultimately accumulate with fatal outcomes.

How do you know if you are likely deficient in Vitamin K2? If your diet does not consist of (1) grass fed sources, (2) dairy products produced by animals that graze on pasteur, (3) fermented foods including sauerkraut, cheese and natto (a Japanese soy dish) you are likely deficient. It is estimated that the average American diet provides less than 18mcg (micrograms) of Vitamin K2. It is recommended that for every 1000 I.U.’s of Vitamin D consumed, 100-200mcg of Vitamin K2 is needed. This means the average person only consumes approximately 1/10 of this vital nutrient.

Although Vitamin K (K1) is fat soluble, Vitamin K2 produces no dangers if over consumed. It is an important Vitamin for pregnant women as well as it provides necessary precursors for the healthy development of the unborn child.

If your blood work has revealed a Vitamin D deficiency or if you are supplementing Vitamin D to maintain adequate levels, Vitamin K2 (in the form of food {preferably} or supplement) should be included in your regimen. In doing so, you significantly reduce the risks of cardiac and arterial disease as well as osteoporosis and dental disease.

If you never heard of Vitamin K2, why not begin consuming healthy sources of it to gain these vital benefits!

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18 comments

  1. Howto$tuffYourPig · · Reply

    Another post where I was able to learn something new! I eat a little cheese and sometimes pick up some grass fed products at Trader Joes, but eat very little meat per week on average. I will have to give Sauerkraut a try. I am afraid of supplements because of the studies linking them to cancer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have not seen any studies linking Vitamin K2 supplementation to cancer, but prefer food sources anyway. Sauerkraut is really a great food. It is also a wonderful PREbiotic along with miso and tempeh. PREbiotics help activate PRObiotics needed for healthy gut bacteria.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Howto$tuffYourPig · · Reply

        Here are a couple of links explaining the possibility that vitamins could cause cancer. https://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/vitamins-and-cancer-risk/, http://www.cbsnews.com/news/dietary-supplements-linked-to-increased-cancer-risk/ I also have a friend who works for a manufacturer who told us never to take vitamins because he knows how they are made. It’s worth a discussion just in case I have been misled by the media. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

        1. This is a quote from Dr. Byers from the first article link:

          “This is not to say that people need to be afraid of taking vitamins and minerals. If taken at the correct dosage multivitamins can be good for you.” “But there is no substitute for good food.”

          He was the person interviewed in your second link as well.

          I agree that supplementation is just that. It is often, however, used in place of food. That can be dangerous and cause health issues. I also agree that mega doses of some supplements can be harmful (especially fat soluble which are not excreted if taken in excess.) The reason supplementation is important is because the quality of the soil as well as the nutrient value in the crops and animals has been compromised. It is also important to take a supplement of quality. Synthetic supplements are not bioavailable and frequently offer little if any value. Pharmaceutical grade supplements as well as whole food supplements offer tremendous value. I am very careful with my dietary intake and continue to use supplements. I am 56 years old (as of August 7th) and do not require any pharmaceutical drugs. I monitor my blood panels to make sure my body is provided all that is needed. Remember, it’s not just nutrition and exercise; it’s also stress management, hydration, sleep, social interaction, etc… Balancing all of these components will usually produce a healthy outcome.

          When I was in practice, I encouraged my patients to take a good quality multi vitamin. Any additional supplementation was based on specific needs. (Ex. Glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate and MSM for people with joint issues.) There are studies that say that glucosamine is a waste of money. You will find doctors on both sides of these issues. Finding a professional you trust and doing your own research will help give you better guidance. This has been my career and my passion. It doesn’t mean I can’t make mistakes. It simply means I have been very thorough and careful prior to acting. It is my opinion that supplementation done intelligently adds to the quality of one’s health.

          The only problem I have with scientists and doctors making generalized statements about dangers of supplementation is that they too can be wrong. If you saw 20 articles emphasizing the importance of supplementation and 2 articles suggesting the need for government regulations because of their possible dangers, many people would be afraid to act because of the two articles. I encourage you to re-evaluate your position with a fresh set of eyes and (1) see if the need for supplementation exists, (2) decide how to choose the best supplements if needed. (3) and realize we rarely if ever see stories on the news about the large numbers of people that intelligently utilized supplements that died as a result. If this was a real issue, the news would be all over it. Realize, the pharmaceutical industry would love to be in charge of regulating a multi billion dollar industry. FDA investigative reports would be front line news. Does this long winded explanation provide some new insight?

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Howto$tuffYourPig · · Reply

            Yes, it does help! Being from the Northeast, I do have a deficiency in vitamin D discovered by a routine test. I will probably go back to taking it again. I appreciate your in-depth response and look forward to learning more from you.

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I eat a lot of veggies every week, a salad every day and most days more veggies at night. I do take vitamin D as a supplement, but have never heard I needed K2. I will have to have my dr ck for K2 in my blood work when done next. Thanks for this info. I, too, have learned something new today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Unfortunately, there is no current standardized blood test for this. That is why I outlined the type of foods needed in a diet to obtain adequate supplies. I would be very interested in your doctor’s response regarding the essential relationship between Vit. D and Vit. K2. Most medical doctors only know about Vitamin K.
      FYI: Remember, leafy greens are a good source for Vit. K1 not K2.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I was very deficient in Vit D. My chiro because of the Fibro put me on 10,000 units of vit d. My pcp was horrified. I do take a K2 supplement as well. He had my tested and I tested at 57 so the PCP calmed down. I am within range.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great news. It would be nice to hear that your chiropractor and your PCP consulted with eac hother to help you maximize your health gains. They should be a team, not competitors. You are supposed to be the focus!

      Like

      1. My PCP does not believe in Fibromyalgia or alternative medicine. This test kind of put him in his place. I don’t bother to discuss my aches and pains with him because he doesn’t want to hear it and I just don’t feel like searching for a new dr. Been there for 28 years now. He has gotten harsher as time goes on. He used to be excited about what new problem I was going to give him to solve. I am not normal by any means. But some things even he couldn’t do and now he doesn’t find my unusual things to be amusing any more. I used to see the nurse practitioners, but they got rid of them, both of them. One I think is still there, but never saw her.

        This guy would tell me every appt my sugar is high. But not once did he have my A1c tested. It took the nurse practitioner to say let’s cut to the chase and get you tested. I was diabetic. My A1c was 7.3 which is not very good. I was up to 7.8 and he didn’t do anything but to tell me to exercise and lose weight. He lost something over the years. He used to be my favorite. Now that he thinks I make things up I don’t care all that much for him. I have my rheumatologist, my pulmonary dr and the chiropract. I also get reflexology treatments once a month and Reiki treatments occasionally long distance. I am kind of leaning towards the alternative medicine life style.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If he has been in practice that long, the system may have simply worn him out. Healthcare is not an easy profession. If you do not really care about people, it isn’t worth the aggravation. I’m glad you seem to have multiple doctors to turn to for advice. Hopefully the combination help you achieve better results.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on Advocate for Invisible Illness! and commented:
    Advice on Vitamin D deficiency and using the Vitamin K2 with your additonal Vitamin D.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good info here on the two K’s and how they relate to calcium and vitamin D!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for the positive feedback. I like the name of your blog site. It is a concept I used in practice to teach patients how to truly become healthy. As people are willing to take on more self responsibility they can utilize professionals for their knowledge and implement the information that achieves their goals (rather than relying on the professional to “make them healthy.”) Good health comes from within.

      Like

      1. Well thanks. It’s truly an amazing concert when people realize how much power they have within themselves to make positive change. Good info on health and nutrition like you provide definitely helps with this.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. i learned !!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Learning is wonderful. Applying what you’ve learned leads to personal growth. This is part of my mission with the blog site. Hope to see you back!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. great work !

        Liked by 1 person

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