This vitamin is a hot topic here at NutriChem. Many customers come in asking for information about natural supplements for heart disease prevention and osteoporosis. Vitamin K2 comes up when discussing these important topics!
Here are the 2 main reasons why
- Vitamin K2 activates proteins that regulate blood clotting and calcium metabolism
- Vitamin K2 and D3 bring calcium to where it is needed, like inside bones, and prevents it from building up in the arteries and other soft tissues
Westin A Price, a dentist and researcher during the 1930’s to 50’s, was one of the first to discover the benefits of K2. He called it Activator X at the time. Animals raised grazing naturally on a diet of live, growing grass had high levels of Activator X in their milk, organs and fat.
He found that it helped with with proper usage of minerals in the body which contributed to better bone development, straighter teeth, prevented cavities, and protected against osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. He discovered that animals raised used conventional farming methods did not have K2 or ‘Activator X’ in their products because they were not eating green, live, growing grasses. Even grass fed animals will not have K2 in their products if the grass they are fed is dried.
It’s important to note that vitamin K1 and K2 are very different vitamins. Animals who eat lots of live, growing, grasses convert Vitamin K1 into K2 which gets stored in the fats of the animal including milk fat. There for K1 is considered an essential nutrient (because we must get it in food and cannot make it in our bodies), while K2 is not listed as an essential nutrient because we could make it in our bodies IF we eat lots and lots of K1 containing foods (fresh greens) and IF our bodies are able to convert enough which depends on genetic variation and getting the co-factors that we need to produce our own K2.
Of course, many of us do not eat enough fresh veggies, and have other deficiencies in our diet caused by food processing and conventional farming, sigh. Dr Terry Wahls, one of my favourite nutrition researchers and authors, recommends eating 6 to 9 cups of fresh veggies each day and at least 3 of those cups should be fresh greens. Don’t lie… do you eat that many fresh veggies every day?? And are they local, organic, grown in nutrient rich soil? Right. Not so easy. The good news is that you can also get K2 from everyone’s favourite foods (note sarcasm) like natto and some fish eggs. K2 is produced by fermentation but fermented foods contain only very small amounts of K2. This is why it is difficult to get this extremely beneficial nutrient in quantities that help us prevent osteoporosis and heart disease.
So, what do we recommend?
- 3 Big ol cups of fresh greens daily. Yes, I said daily.
- Pasture raised meats when possible
- If you like natto, go for it! In addition to any other fermented foods that you like.
- Take a multi-vitamin containing 120mcg of K2 because today’s food just ain’t what it used to be back in the good ol' days
Thanks for reading!
Yours with health in mind,
Lauren Duffell, RHN