Vitamin K helps the body make proteins for bones and tissues, and it makes proteins for blood clotting. A deficiency in vitamin K can lead to excessive bleeding.
But where do we get vitamin K? What else can it do for us?
Are some forms better than others – and can we get enough from diet alone?
Where do we get vitamin K?
There are two main forms of vitamin K: vitamin K1 and vitamin K2.
We get vitamin K1 from green leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, kale, Brussels sprouts and broccoli. Sources of vitamin K2 include fermented foods like ripe cheese, yogurt and a fermented soy called natto, which is a staple in some parts of Japan.
Vitamin K2 has been found to be much more beneficial.
Why is vitamin K2 important?
Foods like natto are a staple in the Japanese diet, but they aren’t in the American diet. However, vitamin K2 helps our bodies in a lot of ways.
Vitamin K2 is required for the hormone – osteocalcin – that regulates the mineralization of bones and teeth. It gives osteocalcin the ability to move calcium into bones. Without enough vitamin K2, calcium can settle in our arteries and joints.
Since vitamin K plays a role in blood clotting, it makes sense that is also has an impact on our arteries and heart health. Vitamin Kis required by matrix gla-protein, a protein that inhibits vascular calcification.
Researchers have found that high levels of vitamin K2 are linked with a reduction in coronary calcification. The Rotterdam Study also found that high intakes of vitamin K2can significantly reduce sever aortic calcification and deaths from coronary heart disease. Researchers also found that supplementing with vitamin K2 can reduce existing arterial calcification by 37% in 6 weeks.
Researchers followed over 38,000 people for a decade and found that higher intakes of vitamin K were linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Another study found that supplementing with vitamin K2 can improve insulin response in one week.
Vitamin K may play a role in brain physiology and Alzheimer’s. Researchers found that Alzheimer’s patients had lower intakes of vitamin K.
In Leukemia there are too many white blood cells in the blood or bones. Researchers found that vitamin K2 can lead to the breakdown or even death of leukemia cells.
Rag-Tag Research Geek Recommendation
In America, Vitamin K2 isn’t talked about a lot. At best, it’s known for blood clotting. However, it plays a vital role in arterial calcification and bone health. While Americans haven’t heard a lot about it at the moment, that’s bound to change in the future.
The Calciology™ & Foundation™ Combo delivers 500 mcg of Vitamin K2 per day, along with other synergistic ingredients for maximum bioutility.