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Vitamin K – The Essential And Forgotten Vitamin

Vitamin K – The Essential And Forgotten Vitamin

I’m lucky really. I have a friend who lets me in on important discoveries that, if he didn’t tell me about, I’d never find out about.

He was the guy who told me about Autophagy (cells cleansing themselves) and how fasting boosts this vital cell function.

One of the other gems he told me was about Vitamin K2. This is probably one of the most important, and yet unknown vitamins that there is.

Vitamin K has 2 main variants, K1 and K2. Vitamin K1 is abundant in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and lettuce, as well as broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Vitamin K1 is also produced by bacteria in the gut.

The gut can convert vitamin K1 into vitamin K2. However, the big thing about this that apparently there are two different types of vitamin K2, MK-4 and MK-7. Vitamin K2 converted by the body is primarily of the MK-4 variety. As I understand it, the MK-7 is the variant you want.

Whew! That’s about as far as I want to delve into the detail of it. You want more detail than that? I’ve added a couple of links at the bottom that tell a bit more.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s move on to the important stuff. What the HUGE benefit of vitamin K2 is and why I recommend it, and what your sources are for vitamin K2.

The reason I rate it so highly is a big one that should be important to just about every person on the planet.. heart health.  The major role that vitamin K2 plays is  in the prevention of arteriosclerosis.

This is why I find it so important. As I understand it, vitamin K2 play a major role in the prevention of the calcification of coronary arteries. As we age, calcium tends to go into unwanted areas such  as the lining of the arteries. Hardening of the arteries isn’t something anyone wants.

K2 plays a role in regulating where calcium is deposited in the body. When it comes to heart health, K2 not only prevents calcification of arteries, it actually can reverse calcification. A figure I have read is that for every 10 micrograms of K2 taken there is a 9% lower risk of coronary heart disease.

There are other benefits claimed for K2, such as lowering cancer risk (don’t they make that claim about everything these days?). However, for me I don’t need to go past the heart health claims. These are sufficient for me to say K2 is an essential piece of the health puzzle.

I personally take 90 micrograms a day in supplement form. As usual with anything I take, it has to be bang for bucks. I take a K2 and vitamin D3 supplement that costs me 50 cents a day. OK, I’ll grant you that 50 cents a day can add up if you are taking a lot of supplements, but I promise that as you follow the blog, you will see that the total of supplements I take add up to no more than the mythical cup of coffee a day. When it comes to heart health, I think the 50 cents a day is worth it. I take a supplement because I don’t eat enough of the foods that are rich in K2 every day, and I want to guarantee that I have enough of such an important vitamin.

Food sources? Strangely enough, one of the best sources are eggs. Weren’t they supposed to be bad for your heart? Too much cholesterol or something like that? Sounds like there was a bit of bullshit peddled as fact there. Other sources are hard cheeses, soft cheeses and butter, as well as natto (I have heard of it, but never seen it).

More information here – Vitamin K2 – the missing nutrient, and here – The longevity benefits of vitamin K

Image Source: Mariana Ruiz VillarrealLadyofHats derivative work: Solarist (Human_healthy_pumping_heart_en.svg) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

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