Vitamin K2 or its scientific name menaquinones is a group name for a family of related compounds. It is made from K1 and K3 by other microorganisms and bacteria. But it is also made in the human body, through a conversion process that involves K3 and K1.
Why is Vitamin K2 Valuable to Bone & Heart Health?
Vitamin K2 activates the important proteins in the body, such as matrix Gla protein (MGP) in the arteries and blood vessels, and osteocalcin for strong bones.
Although vitamin K2 is a relative newcomer to the supplement arena. There is sufficient scientific evidence to support its benefits and add it to your list of essential nutrients.
Vitamin K2 for Stronger Bones
You all know that calcium is vital for strong bones. But without Vitamin K2, calcium just takes the path of least resistance and embeds itself in your soft tissue.
Vitamin K2 is needed for calcium to adhere to the bones, to activate a protein called osteocalcin. Osteocalcin carries the calcium into your bones, building a stronger and healthier bones. Without enough Vitamin K2, the bone-building cells known as osteoblasts, can malfunction and create bone in your arteries.
Vitamin K2 for a Healthy Heart
If you have too much calcium, this will harden your arteries and may result to kidney stones, high blood pressure and may be even stroke. Studies have shown that, excess calcium does not change the concentration of calcium in the plaque that forms in your arteries, which is approximately 20%. You do not want bone in your arteries.
This is where Vitamin K2 came in. It has been found to activate a protein called matrix GLA. Matrix GLA regulates the free-floating calcium in your bloodstream, but in the process, it brushes away the calcified arteries that have build-up. It stops and reverses the narrowing of your arteries.
Sources of Vitamin K2:
- Meats, eggs, dairy, fish, fermented plant foods, fermented animal foods.
- Fermented foods such as Natto (Japanese, which is basically fermented soy beans), or vegetables fermented using a starter culture of vitamin K2-producing bacteria
- Grass-fed organic animal products, that includes butter, egg yolks and dairy
- Cheeses such as Gouda and Brie, which contains about 75 mcg per ounce
Vitamin K2 should be taken along with calcium and vitamin D. It is better to look for one supplement that contains all three ingredients combined.