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How can this small Vitamin K make such a big difference to my heart health?

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Several very important proteins require activation by Vitamin K2. 

One of these, GLA, is vital to bind calcium, remove it from the arteries and carry it to your bones, where it is required to build a healthy bone structure.  We know that the build-up of calcium in the arteries is the biggest threat to blood flow, and it can block your arteries when it accumulates against an artery wall. Coronary artery calcification is present in patients with coronary heart disease.

Without enough Vitamin K2, our arteries become calcified and stiff.  Arterial plaque can build up, and blockages can occur and cause heart attacks and strokes.  There is no drug on the market that can remove calcium from the arteries and take it to the bones. However, this Vitamin K2 dependent protein does just that! This is like telling you one of the biggest secrets of the human body. It’s cheaper than a drug, has no side effects and can be life-saving. No side effects! 

I would always recommend nutrients, and lifestyle changes backed up by evidence in the scientific literature.
“Evidence-based, let food be thy medicine.”

Dietary Intake of Menaquinone Is Associated with a Reduced Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: The Rotterdam Study 

This study showed that dietary intake of Vitamin K2-Mk7 reduced the risk of  CHD (coronary Heart disease), all-cause mortality and aortic atherosclerosis. (ref)

The deficiency of vitamin K2 has been linked with both vascular calcification and osteoporosis. Matrix GLA  protein requires K2 to activate it, so it can inhibit the calcification of your blood vessels and soft tissue.  The other important protein worth knowing about is osteocalcin which builds bone.

One study of 16057 women, free from cardiovascular disease, after a follow-up of 8.1 years, revealed that for every 10 (mcg) increase in vitamin K2 intake, there was a 9% reduction in coronary events. This is a profound result. (ref)

The higher your calcium score, the greater your risk of heart disease. One can get a CT scan to determine whether calcium is building up in the arteries.

How can this Vitamin Make such an important difference in my bone health? What is the link between Vitamin D and vitamin K2?

The sunshine vitamin, vitamin D, regulates how much calcium gets absorbed by the gut.  It is well known that vitamin D is vital for bone health.

Vitamin D also activates and increases the bone-building cells, Osteoblasts. (ref)

Note: magnesium is required for proper absorption of Vitamin D. 

Osteocalcin is the protein that binds calcium to the bone matrix.  However,  osteocalcin is in an inactive form and cannot bind calcium unless Vitamin K2 (Mk7) is present to activate it.

At this stage, you are probably beginning to realise that we need to balance and optimise all our nutrients, as they are interdependent.  The entire body is in synergy, as are all the nutrients we require.

So if hip fractures often lead to a decline in quality of life (and even death), is Vitamin K2 able to inhibit that?  Well, let’s look at Japan. (ref)

In this large study, it was concluded that Bowl with traditional Japanese fermented soybeans called nattoNatto consumption is associated with lower hip fractures and osteoporosis. This food is rich in menaquinone-7,  >100 times more menaquinone-7 than various kinds of fermented cheese. (ref)

Osteoporosis is one of the most important diseases affecting older adults worldwide. Hip fractures resulting from osteoporosis cause many elderly people to become bedridden, and osteoporosis is a significant burden on society today.  Intake of Vitamin K2-Mk7 increases BMD (bone mineral density). See my blog post on Vitamin D and osteoporosis, especially concerning the high occurrence of hip fractures in Ireland. (ref)

While our aim is preferable to prevent illness, it is also reassuring to know that good nutrition may well be effective in treatment.  Quoting from a study in a prominent journal, “Vitamin K2 may be a useful adjunct for the treatment of osteoporosis, along with vitamin D and calcium, rivalling bisphosphonate therapy without the toxicity. Vitamin K2 appears promising in the areas of diabetes, cancer, and osteoarthritis.” (ref)

Note: {Bisphophonates are the drugs used for osteoporosis, which can have severe side effects}

Other articles about Vitamin K2

Vitamin K

Little known vitamin K2 can boost your life expectancy

Would you be interested to hear that a little known family of molecules, Vitamin K, may be the missing ingredient in your diet? And may decrease your chance of dying from heart disease or osteoporosis, two leading causes of death. It may even help with diabetes, kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis and certain cancers.

Read More »

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