Recently, I have been recommending a Vitamin K2 supplement to those of you with risk of osteopenia (bone thinning) or osteoporosis (bone loss). I thought I would share a few of the basics on why I think this supplement is essential.
Vit K basics:
In nature, Vitamin K comes in two forms. Vitamin K1 is found in free leafy vegetables
Vitamin K2 is found in organ meats, egg yolks and dairy products.
Vitamin K is essential in manufacturing blood clotting proteins. In addition, it plays a vital role in keeping calcium in the bones instead of in the arteries.
The majority of research has been done on Vitamin K1 and its role in clotting ( all you coumadin/warfarin users are well aware of this). Clinical trials show that Vitamin K2 is an important inducer of osteoblasts ( the bone building cells) Recent studies show that Vitamin K2 may be as effective as prescription drugs in reducing the incidence of bone fracture in post menopausal women.
1. Calcium is essential for good health. However, Vitamin K2 is an important regulator of calcium and can prevent aberrant calcium metabolism in the body leading to cardiovascular disease.
2. Insufficient Vitamin K2 leads to decreased bone mineral density which causes osteoporosis and cane actually increase the risk of heart disease.
3. Studies in Japan show that Vitamin K2 in can substantially improve osteoporosis when given in prescription form or in the dish NATTO which is rich in K2
4. Even small amounts of K2 helps fight heart disease by keeping calcium out of the arteries and preventing plaque.
Optimal amounts of Vitamin K2 are still under investigation but it seems that roughly 180-200 micrograms may be helpful. It is estimated that 80% of Americans do not get enough K2 in their diet which is similar to the deficiency of Vitamin D we are now seeing here in America
Foods Containing Vitamin K2
Fermented foods such as natto or veggies fermented with a starter culture of K2 –Note miso and tempeh are not high in K2
Grass-fed organic animal products
Goose liver pate‘
Certain cheeses such as Brie and Gouda (75mcg/ounce)