Welcome back friends! We hope you learned something new from last week’s Vitamin Series on Vitamin E. To wrap up our series on Vitamins, we’ll take a look at Vitamin K-2. This is one of the lesser known vitamins, but never-the-less a VERY important one. As we did in the previous series, we’ll look at the benefits, foods, supplements, and coupling other nutrients with this vitamin to boosts the benefits.
Benefits of Vitamin K-2:
This is a fat-soluble vitamin that is involved in blood coagulation, calcium absorption, heart and artery health. Like Vitamin D-3, it is a powerful antioxidant.
This vitamin is present in some animal products as well as fermented foods. There is also a plant based form of Vitamin K (in most leafy greens and other vegetables), called Vitamin K-1, that is mainly involved in blood coagulation and more frequently obtained through our diets than K-2. Your body can convert some of the K-1 into K-2 (but not much) and since 2 yields more bone and vascular health benefits, you may want to considering eating more of the foods that contain it. Also, we are able to produce our own Vitamin K-2 from the good bacteria in our large intestines. Frequent use of pharmaceuticals, especially antibiotics, will deplete good bacteria and will also limit the natural process of this vitamin’s production in your gut.
One of the most beneficial qualities of K-2 is that it helps prevent calcium from building up in the wrong places, for example– in the soft tissues. It will help pull the excess calcium from the blood and into the bones, as well as help keep the calcium in the bones. For this reason, this vitamin is beneficial for:
- Strengthening bones and slows the rate of bone loss
- Improving dental health and strengthening the teeth
- Helping speed up wound healing (by helping assist the blood in coagulating)
- Helping from plaque build-up in the arteries and protects the cardiovascular system from coronary heart dis-ease
- Assisting in preventing arthritic symptoms, rheumatoid arthritis, as well as inflammation
Foods with Vitamin K-2
- Fermented foods
- Natto (fermented soybeans)
- Grass fed cows/beef (the more green grass the cow eats, the more they will convert the Vitamin K-1 into K-2)
- High fat dairy and hard cheeses
- Egg Yolks
- Animal liver and organ meats
Ideally, you would want to obtain K-2 through food sources. However, if you do not normally eat foods with K-2 or K-1 you can try supplementing with it. It can be beneficial for those that need to strengthen their bones, teeth, or improve heart health. Here are some options:
- Now Vitamin K-2: This is a great place to start if you want to try and see if supplementing with K-2 will be beneficial to you.
- Now MK-7 Vitamin K-2: This is a more bio-available form of K-2, meaning that it is ready for the body to receive and will be more absorb-able. This is one of the best forms of this vitamin.
- Solaray D-3 & K-2: Vitamin D-3 plays a role in metabolizing calcium as well– so why not just take them together! More on this below…
Here are some nutrients that you can pair together with this vitamin to increase benefits:
- Vitamin D-3 & K-2: Vitamin D-3 is responsible for transporting the calcium into the bloodstream after it is digested it in the intestines. Then K-2 will transport that calcium to the bones!
- Vitamin A & Vitamin D-3 & K-2: Adding vitamin A to D-3 & K-2 will help boost dental health!
- Calcium & K-2: Adding Vitamin K-2 to calcium will help deliver more of the calcium into your bones!
Since Vitamin K-1 and K-2 are involved in coagulation of the blood it can interfere with pharmaceutical blood thinners. This is something to be aware of if you are on any type of blood thinning medication.
We hope that you learned something new about an important vitamin most people are unaware of or know little about.
As always, do what you feel is best for YOUR body — if you aren’t sure, ask your doctor. We are health ENTHUSIASTS not licensed practitioners.