The Scoop of Vitamin K2
Also published on the Can Prev Blog
Vitamin K2 probably does not sound too familiar, it is not one of the more popularly wide known vitamins, like vitamin C or D. Vitamin K2 belongs to the Vitamin K family which is a fat soluble vitamin. Vitamin K1 is the natural vitamin found in nature, mainly in green leafy plants and is perhaps the more popular of the two as it helps with blood clotting.
Vitamin K2 is known chemically as menaquinone. It received recognition when research came out investigating calcium supplementation and osteoporosis. Many people who were taking calcium supplements had calcium build up in their arteries and kidneys, where it should not be, and this placed them at risk for heart attacks and kidney stones. It seemed like the body was absorbing the calcium from the supplements, but the calcium was not going to the bones where it was needed. Vitamin K2’s job is to help direct calcium to deposit into the bones and teeth and away from your other areas of your body.
Vitamin K2 is found naturally in the fat containing area of animals, such as butter, dairy and organ meats. So the fattier the meats, the more vitamin K2 there is. However, leaner meats and grass fed meats are going to contain lower levels of fat, thus lower levels of K2.
The food containing the highest amount of vitamin K2 is natto. This is a Japanese food that is made from fermenting soybeans but most typical North American diets are not likely going to be very high in natto, thus, including cheeses like gouda or brie, animal livers, egg yolks, and fish eggs are good ways to get vitamin K2 in the diet. But even those foods are not consumed on a regular basis making this a perfect vitamin to take in supplement form.
Most people would benefit from vitamin K2 supplementation. Children need bone building nutrients for their growing bones. Women, especially those nearing menopause, require vitamin K2 and D3, as a decrease in estrogen decreases bone density. Individuals at risk for osteoporosis or osteopenia and those who are currently taking calcium containing supplements (i.e most multivitamins and prenatal vitamins) would all benefit from a vitamin K2 supplement to direct calcium to bones and not to other tissues in the body.
Can Prev’s Vitamin D3 and K2 (menoquinone-7) provides an excellent source of these vitamins.
It comes in a base of medium chain triglycerides that allows for superior absorption in a liquid dropper form which is easy to ingest for adults and children. Or an organic coconut oil based soft gel is available if that is preferred over a liquid.
Simply put, vitamin D3 helps you absorb calcium and vitamin K2 puts that calcium into the right places. So make sure you check your supplements to see if they contain vitamin K2 and if not, pick one up and add it to your daily supplement regime.
(this blog is also featured on CanPrev's Blog)
Bone tissue is very dynamic because it is constantly being remodelled by dissolving and replacing minerals to keep the bones healthy. Osteoporosis is a disease where the bone is dissolving and losing minerals faster than it can be replaced making the bones hollow, porous and very susceptible to fractures.
It is common knowledge that calcium and vitamin D3 are needed for increasing bone health, both of which are fairly prevalent in North American diets. Yet magnesium, boron, zinc, vitamin K1 and K2 are equally important in proper bone maintenance to make sure calcium is directed to the bones and not deposited elsewhere in the body such as the heart. Can Prev’s Osteo Prolong and Vitamin D3/K2 are formulated with these nutrients so they work together synergistically in absorbable forms to help maintain bone health but also muscles, teeth and skin.
The pH balance in the body is another factor important to bone health that is not usually addressed or well known. The reason this is important is that the blood needs to stay at the pH level of 7.0-7.4. This is a very tightly regulated system in the body so if the body is undergoing an acidic state (i.e. smoking, stress, nutrient poor diet, and pharmaceuticals etc), the body will draw from the bones to get the minerals needed that are alkaline in nature. The alkaline nutrients that are helping to buffer the blood are calcium, potassium and magnesium, the very nutrients we want to stay in our bones!
Can Prev’s pH Pro is a formula containing sodium bicarbonate, spirulina, magnesium bicarbonate and potassium, all nutrients that are alkaline to decrease acidity and keep those precious nutrients in the bones. In each bottle of CanPrev pH Pro there are pH test strips so you can check your pH using urine or saliva. If you tend to be acidic, then start increasing your alkalinity by taking 1 or 2 caps of this formula.
The prevention of osteoporosis actually begins in childhood and adolescence to gain as much bone density as possible by the age of 20 - 30 and then to maintain that density for the rest of adulthood. Having a youth’s diet full of healthful nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, vitamin D3, K1 and K2 and zinc from a varied diet are essential in providing the building blocks for the bones to grow and be maintained.
Beverages such as soft drinks and energy drinks are popular among youth should be limited. They contain both phopsphoric acid and caffeine which increase the amount of calcium lost from the bones. Caffeine causes about 6 mg of calcium to be lost for every 100mg of caffeine ingested. About 2 cups or a 16 oz of coffee contain 320 mg of caffeine which can leach about 20 mg of calcium from your body.
Processed foods are usually very high in salt, which is another substance that should be limited because every 2.3g of salt consumed about 40 mg of calcium is lost in the urine.
In adulthood multiple factors start to add up that can deplete bone minerals such physical inactivity, smoking, stress, alcohol, recreational drugs, increase of salt, caffeine and sugar, pharmaceutical drugs such as corticosteroids and proton pump inhibitors and hormonal changes in women.
Even pregnancy can leave the female depleted in many nutrients, as the requirement for calcium is very high due to the developing skeletal frame and formation of teeth, thus taking Can Prev’s Prenatal Multi ensures that the mother is receiving the therapeutic amounts of bioavailable calcium and vitamin D3 for the baby.
Taking Can Prev’s Osteo Prolong and Can Prev’s Vitamin D3/K2 are easy additions for those at risk for osteoporosis. Can Prev’s Adult Multi and Can Prev Core for Women or Can Prev Core for Men are also important to add in to help balance out the unfavourable bone loss health lifestyle factors that may be occuring.
Hi I am Dr. Laura: mum of 2, Naturopathic Doctor, Health and Wellness Expert, Educator, Speaker, & Entreprenuer