Have you heard of Vitamin K2?
“The K vitamins have been underrated and misunderstood up until very recently, both in the scientific community and the general public” (http://chriskresser.com/vitamin-k2-the-missing-nutrient/). Many people are familiar with Vitamin K, but did you know that “Vitamin K” is actually an umbrella term for a class of similar fat-soluble compounds, which include: K, K1, K2, and K3? Because they are grouped together many people assume that they are different variations of the same thing, when in fact their varying forms create important functional differences.
In the past the K vitamins were solely thought to play a role in blood clotting. Now, we are seeing that Vitamin K2 plays important roles in protecting us from heart disease, dental cavities, diabetes, obesity, maintaining healthy skin, forming strong bones, optimal brain function, supporting growth/development, and helping to prevent cancer. “In fact, vitamin K2 has so many functions not associated with K1 that many researchers insist that K1 and K2 are best seen as two different vitamins entirely”(http://chriskresser.com/vitamin-k2-the-missing-nutrient/).
The Power of K2 and its important relationship with Calcium:
So, many people are familiar with the importance of calcium for bone health, but what about Vitamin K2 in this regard? Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue ND found out about the importance of this vitamin and wrote a book about it called: “Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life.” She became passionate about the topic when she realized that millions of people take calcium and Vitamin D supplements (thinking that they are helping their bones), without taking Vitamin K2. She says that “…without the addition of Vitamin K2, such a health regime could prove dangerous. This is due to the fact that without Vitamin K2, the body cannot direct calcium to the bones where it is needed; instead, the calcium resided in the soft tissues (like the arteries)—leading to a combination of osteoporosis and atherosclerosis…”( http://doctorkatend.com/vitamin-k2-and-the-calcium-paradox/).
The Power of Vitamin D3:
When we hear about supplementing with calcium, it is often associated with Vitamin D. This makes sense, as Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is necessary for calcium and phosphorus absorption- making it essential for strong bones, healthy teeth, and optimal growth. Vitamin D3 is the form of Vitamin D that our bodies are able to manufacture out of cholesterol in the presence of sunlight. Thus, it is often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin”.
In promoting calcium absorption, this vitamin aids in bone mineralization, which prevents/slows the progression of osteoporosis. It has also been found to strengthen the immune system and protect against serious diseases, such as rickets and osteomalacia. “Research suggest vitamin D may also provide protection from hypertension, psoriasis, several autoimmune diseases (including multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis), and reduce the incidence of fractured bones. In addition, growing evidence has demonstrated its important role in defending against cancer (studies link a deficiency of vitamin D to as many as 18 different cancer)” (http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART02812/vitamin-d). When supplementing with Vitamin D, it is important to use supplements that provide D3 rather than D2. “Synthetic D2 has been linked to hyperactivity, coronary heart disease and other allergic reactions…” (Tilgner 38).
The Optimal Team: K2 and D3
As we can see, K2 and D3 both play important roles when it comes to utilizing and directing calcium in the body. While D3 provides for the absorption of calcium, K2 provides the direction for this absorption. Together, these two vitamins team up to create an environment within our bodies where superior calcium absorption is able to occur! Allowing our bodies to reap all of the benefits that calcium brings, such as building and maintaining strong bones!
Dr Kate ND. Dr Kate ND. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 June 2016.
Fallon, Sally, Mary G. Enig, Kim Murray, and Marion Dearth. Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook That Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. Brandywine, MD: NewTrends Pub., 2001. Print.
Vitamin K2: The Missing Nutrient. Chris Kresser. N.p., 2008. Web. 06 June 2016. < http://chriskresser.com/vitamin-k2-the-missing-nutrient/>.
“Vitamin Library.” Vitamin Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 June 2016. < http://chriskresser.com/vitamin-k2-the-missing-nutrient/>