Vitamin K2 Benefits

vitaminsSo, what are the benefits of Vitamin K2?  There’s been a lot of discussion about the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals, but lately researchers are starting to recognize the one often-misunderstood vitamin that goes unnoticed.

A huge number of the population is deficient in vitamin K, principally vitamin K1 and K2.  Cees Vermeer, Ph.D. is a world’s leading authority on vitamin K2 from the Netherlands. He says that inadequacy in this vitamin is the rule rather than the exception, especially one form that is called menaquinon-7.  

There are several forms of vitamin K and the best foods to eat for vitamin K1, all of them cooked, are: kale, spinach, collard greens, beet greens, mustard greens and turnip greens. These vitamin K1 foods are involved in blood coagulation that helps to stop bleeding. When consuming this vitamin your intestines parcel it out in portions known as chylomicrons, and disperse it through your lymphatic system into your blood.

Vitamin K2 has two basic and crucial functions dealing with cardiovascular health and bone restoration.  Several other valuable things are helping to prevent osteoporosis and hardening of the arteries, directing calcium to places like your bones, optimizing sexual function, creating insulin to stabilize your blood sugar, suppressing genes that can promote cancer and enhancing your ability to utilize energy as you exercise improving overall performance.

Vitamin K2 refers to a collection of MK that are found in a variety of foods.  MK-4 regulates gene expression. It is important as all animals and humans are able to synthesize it from other forms of vitamin K.  You can obtain MK-4 from animal foods, but because the conversion process is inefficient and likely varies, depending on your health status and genetic factors.  Also, certain drugs as statins that lower your cholesterol and some osteoporosis drugs, inhibit the vitamin K conversion to MK-4.

Not receiving enough K2 might cause problems with heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis. These are all signs of the K2 deficiency. Poor diet might also affect your vitamin K status. Increase your intake of green leafy vegetables for K1 and grass-fed raw dairy products and fermented foods for K2.  A general recommended guideline is around 150 mcg of vitamin K2 per day. Some others might recommend a slightly higher amount that is upwards of 180 to 200 mcg.  By eating 15 grams (1/2 ounce) of natto or fermented vegetables each day you can obtain healthy amounts of K2. If you choose to opt for a vitamin K2 supplement, make sure that it’s MK-7.  Also remember to take it with fat because it’s fat-soluble and won’t be absorbed otherwise. Don’t worry about overdosing on K2 as it appears to be virtually non-toxic, however, those who are taking vitamin K antagonists (drugs that reduce blood clotting by reducing the action of vitamin K) are advised to avoid MK-7 supplements.

Dr Fredda Branyon