You may have heard how important vitamin K is for blood clotting factors, but here you will be introduced to a newly discovered and extremely important vitamin -K2. A common misconception is that K1 and K2 have the same blood clotting properties. They are simple different forms of the same vitamin, with the same physiological functions.
In her book; Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life, Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue includes a case where a cardiologist successfully used vitamin D and vitamin K2 in his practice to remove calcifications. The case mentioned in the book was a calcification on a heart valve, which would typically need surgery. New evidence has confirmed that K2 has more roles in the body.
2 kinds of K2:
|Good for||Prevents calcification and inflammation of the arteries, preventing heart disease. Increases vitality and longevity.Important factor in the growth of children; especially in facial development and structure of primary and adult teeth. Helps in prevention of cavities through childhood and adolescence. Also important for building the structure of strong bones.Fertility in men and women; vital for normal reproduction- trying to conceive, pregnant or breastfeeding. Pregnancy- mainly during the 3rd trimester, since most mothers levels seem to drop during that time.
K2 may help treat or prevent the following conditions:
Cancers of various forms and leukemia, osteoporosis, maintain strong bones in the elderly, or infertility. Reports of improvement in insulin levels are being documented.
In a recent study, high doses of K2 were found to prevent or reverse arterial calcification (by approx. 40%) and improve arterial elasticity after 6 weeks of supplementation.
Another study showed the antioxidant effect of vitamin K2 can protect against fetal brain injury
|Signs ofDeficiency||Unfortunately, there is no way to test for vitamin K2 deficiency.However, the following conditions are all connected to K2;Osteoporosis, heart disease, diabetes, tooth decay, and underdevelopment.
If you do not consume regularly foods listed in Good Sources, you are likely to have a deficiency.
A vitamin K2 deficiency will produce symptoms of a vitamin D toxicity which can lead to hardening of the arteries.
A deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, heart disease, heart attack or stroke. Brain disease, cancer, calcification of arteries, heel spurs and kidney stones.
|RDA||Optimal amounts are still being researched. One study reports that 60-80mcg is recommended, another states that 180-200mcg daily might be a good amount to activate the body’s K2 dependant proteins to assist calcium to the proper area. 367mcg have been reported in a supplement form|
|Good sources||Animal Source: (From grass-fed/pasture raised or wild caught only) Grass fed/pasture raised/wild animal products only has high levels of K2.
The vitamin is created by fermentation.
Foods high in Calcium are also high in vitamin K2
|Poisoning/Safety/Cautions||None known from food source. Always use caution if using pill form, which is not recommended unless fermented cod-liver oil.
Affected somewhat by heat.
|Destroyed by/Interference With Absorption||No significant loss of vitamin K2 in heating, or storing in home cooking. However, in commercial processing the vitamin content may lose a significant amount. Taking a vitamin D supplement increases the need for vitamin K2. Supplementation other than food source is not recommended, but if an individual must; for every 1,000 IU of vitamin D, take 100mcg of K2, or as much as 150-200mcg.|
A dentist, as far back as the 1940’s named Dr. Weston A. Price found that high-vitamin cod liver oil (source of vitamins A and D) given with high-vitamin butter oil (source of vitamin K2) was a very powerful combination for mineral absorption. He used this combination to treat tooth decay, bone and growth problems, arthritis and many other disease conditions. If butter oil is not available, include other sources of vitamin K in the diet when taking cod liver oil.
To read further about vitamin K2, please see: