What is vitamin K2?
Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin and it has two types
1.Vitamin K1 also known as phylloquinone
2.Vitamin K2 also known as menaquinone
Vitamin K1 is responsible for blood clotting. So, whenever you get injured it’s vitamin K1’s job to form blood clots over the wound so that the body can repair it. It is primarily found in green leafy vegetables.
Vitamin K2 on the other hand is the real deal. This is the form of vitamin K where most of the magic happens. It’s primary function is to transport and put calcium into right place. Without vitamin K2 calcium can end up in places where it is not meant to be and cause serious troubles!
Without vitamin K2 calcium ends up and deposit in soft tissues, organs and arteries and we call this calcification.
This vitamin also largely impacts the development of facial characteristics, dental arches and bones.
Vitamin K1 can be converted to vitamin K2 in the digestive tract. However, the conversion is very poor and K1 has lower bioavailability than K2.(1)
Amazing Benefits of vitamin K2
Protects against coronary heart disease: Vitamin K2 protects against coronary heart disease by reducing calcification of the arteries.
This one study from 2008 published in atherosclerosis journal showed how high intake of vitamin K2 in the diet reduced coronary artery calcification.
Improves bone density: K2 transport calcium into right place and enhances the activity of osteoblasts(bone building cells) while simultaneously reducing the activity of osteoclasts(bone deforming cells). This directly increases bone mineral density and also supports joint health(1.1). This one study done in post menopausal women showed that K2 supplementation had a positive effect on bone mineral density.(2)
Improves dental health: K2 also improves dental health by enhancing the activity of osteocalcin and building up the dentin of the teeth. Weston A price, a Canadian dentist visited indigenous cultures in the 30s who had exceptionally great dental health. He found out that their diet was very high in vitamin K2 along with other fat soluble vitamins.
Prevents and can reverse cavities: K2 is very high in human saliva as it works to balance the oral microbiome, prevents tooth decay and supports remineralization of the teeth. Weston A price cured dental caries with the admiration of vitamin K2 together with vitamin A!
K2 and beauty: Indigenous cultures Weston A. Price visited had very well built robust bodies. Especially their facial characteristics were so good that everyone of them had beautiful and symmetrical faces. Their diet was 10 times higher in fat soluble vitamins including K2 than the modernized diet. The powerful ability of vitamin K2 to transport calcium in right place and provide a great structural development of the bones and teeth.(3)
Improves Brain function: K2 has involvement in synthesis of sphingolipids. A type of fat concentrated in the cell membranes of brain. Sphingolipids essentially participate in the cellular events of brain and are crucial for cognition.(9,10). In diseases pertaining to brain such as Alzheimer’s patients have a vitamin K deficiency.
How to get vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 is primarily found to be high quality animal foods and fermented foods.
There are primarily two types of vitamin K2. The MK4 and The MK7.
MK4 is naturally found to be high in animal foods like grass fed beef and beef organs, grass fed red meat, pasture raised eggs, grass fed butter, chicken, goose liver and pasture raised dairy.
It is of paramount importance that animals are fed grass or eat pasture. This is because green grass is naturally high in vitamin K1. The animals eat that grass and efficiently convert vitamin K1 To K2 for us to consume in the form of meat, dairy and eggs.
If the animal is fed grains, soy and hay then its diet is not going to be high in vitamin K1 therefore, little to no vitamin K2 in it’s meat and other products.
Eggs for example are supposed to be naturally high in K2 however, modern eggs where the chickens are fed corn and soy are very deficient in vitamin K2.
MK7 on the other hand is found to be high in fermented foods such as natto which is a japanese dish prepared by fermenting soybeans, fermented hard cheeses and some soft cheeses and sauerkraut are also high in vitamin K2.
MK7 is more bioavailable to the body than MK4. However, one must get both types of vitamin K2s in the diet in order to maximize results.(12)
Vitamin K2 works synergistically with vitamin A and D. Weston A. price cured cavities and bone deformities by admiration of high quality grassfed butter which came from cows grazing on rapidly growing green grass(source of K2) together with cod liver oil which was very high in vitamin D and A.
It is important to get plenty of vitamin A and D in the diet in order to maximize the potential of K2.
Why K2 is missing from the modern diet?
The quality of foods we eat today is very distant from what we used to eat 150–200 years ago. Modern food production involves unnatural farming practices which has degraded the nutritional value of our food.
As mentioned before K2 is found to be high in animal foods and fermented foods. The reason we no longer get enough K2 in our diet is because we do not eat plenty of animal based foods and fermented foods.
One may argue that many people eat plenty of meat, milk and eggs than why do we still have a K2 deficiency? Remember that the animals need to be fed fresh pasture or green grass in order for them to make K2?
Modern farming feeds animals grains and soy, they do not get enough vitamin K1 in their diet hence, their products lack vitamin K2. So, the type of dairy, meat and eggs many people eat today are produced poorly, that’s why they lack K2.
Modern diet is deficient in K2 and no wonder why we have an all time high cases of dental deformities, cavities, diseases pertaining to bones, poor development of facial structure and dental arches, poor bone development and coronary artery calcification.