You might have heard the role of calcium for keeping our bones and joints strong. Every now and then, we hear how fiber-rich minerals are good for our heart and cholesterol levels. We realize that by consuming more iron or zinc, we can improve our body’s immune system. But have you ever heard of the vitamin K2? the answer might probably be not too often. Let us throw some light on this underrated elements and know how it is a blessing for our heart bones and teeth.
K2 is a category of Vitamin K. The element was later discovered in 1929. Since then, it is deemed as one of the most important elements required for blood clotting in humans. The full name of the vitamin is ‘Koagulationsvitamin’ from which it gets the name K. Scientists discovered that non-industrial diets are usually high in some sort of nutrient that is not yet identified. This element seems to offer protection against decaying of tooth and several other chronic diseases. This mystery was then said to be the activator X which know is known to be the vitamin K2.
Vitamin K is of two types- Vitamin K1 which is found in leafy greens and plants. The second one is Vitamin K2 which is found mostly in fermented as well as animal foods. Vitamin K2 is divided into different subtypes, MK-4 and MK-7 are the most important ones.
Why do we need K2?-the diet facts
People often think that K2 is a vitamin that is less known and hence not required in our diet. This is also because they convert Vitamin K1 into K2. In a normal diet, the K1 quantity is greater than K2. This means that the potential of K2 being in our diet may be overlooked. This has also made the element quite insignificant as far as nutritional value is concerned.
But, further experiments and metrics tell us that we required converted K2 as a regular nutritional diet. The superiority of K2 over K1 in both epidemiological and intervention ways supports this fact. Studies suggest that K2 intake can be inversely associated with cardiac diseases. This is not applicable in the case of K1. Also, K2 is a vitamin that is thrice more effective than K1 inactivating proteins. This helps in our skeletal metabolism. K2 can also help cure cancer and prevent cancer. Hence, K2 is essentially good as a part of our diet.
Foods rich in K2
If you think of consuming K2, you can think about the foods that are rich in it. These are natural foods and can be consumed easily. Most of the foods rich in this essential vitamin are soft cheese, egg yolks, butter, natto, chicken liver, salami, hard cheese, ground beef, and chicken breast.
Scientists once held the belief that the bacteria of intestines play a major role in fulfilling the body with its vitamin needs. But, the evidence, unfortunately, contrasted this theory. This means that the K2 produced in our intestine is embedded with several kinds of membranes of bacteria. This makes it hard to absorb. Hence, we need to consume K2 from outer source as our intestine produces only fewer amounts of K2 in our body.
As we are exploring the shores of new means of K2, we can’t deny the importance of fermented foods. Products such as cheese and sauerkraut contain K2 in higher amounts. Nattor is a soy food of Japan and contains the highest amount of the vitamin. The K2 in natto is present as MK-7 which is an effective form already. MK7 can increase the best calcium percentage in humans thrice more rapidly as compared to vitamin K1.
K2 for heart
Vitamin K is often referred to as an effective element for our bones as similar to calcium. This way, it becomes a bit hard to estimate its role in the health of our heart. But it does play a major role in improving our heart health. MK-7 has an important role to play in our cardiac well-being. The vitamin keeps the calcium in our bonus check. This restricts the calcium deposition in our arteries. Various research has supported this fact. Experiments revealed that people consuming K2 vitamin on a regular basis had fewer chances of calcification of arteries. They also had less risk of cardiovascular events analyzed for 10 years.
High K2 intake also protects humans from cardiovascular diseases. For every 10mcg of vitamin K2 consumed, the heart disease of coronary arteries reduces by as much as 9%. Various studies also show how Vitamin K2 decreases warfarin-induced calcification on supplementation.
When calcium starts building up in our arteries around the hear, the heart disease risk factor increase to a certain extent. This might also lead to a stroke or heart attack. K2 works like a charm by reducing the chances of calcium deposition in our arteries.
People with the highest intake of K2 are less likely to go through arteries calcification as compared to those who ignore this vitamin. Also, people have a lower risk of heart disease who consume 10mcg of K2 each day.
K2 improves your bone health
When we talk about K2 importance for our bone, we need to take into account a specific condition. This is termed as osteoporosis is a syndrome in which you tend to get porous bones. This is a common problem in countries like the US. The disease is common among older women and can make your body strongly prone to fractures.
K2, as we know, regulates the metabolism of calcium in our body. In other words, it increases the calcium intake in the part where it is required most and decreases it where it is unnecessary. Same way, it can increase the calcium which is the main mineral making up our bones. Vitamin K2 works here by activating the calcium- binding properties of proteins responsible for it. These are osteocalcin and GLA. Both these proteins help in building and maintaining bone’s strength.
Besides the scientific evidence, there is more indication that K2 can provide added benefits to improving our bone health. People who are regularly consuming Vitamin K2 have fewer chances of diseases related to bone mineral densities due to age.
Some more benefits
Till now, various studies are being carried out to examine better results. Some experiments say that K2 is also essential in reducing your spinal fractures. If we talk about numbers, it can reduce the fracture chances by 60%. It can also decrease hip fractures by 77% and other types of non-spinal fractures by as much as 81%. In countries such as Japan, the vitamin is officially regarded as a beneficial treatment for osteoporosis.
Vitamin K2 as we know is the better and most effective biological form of vitamin K2. it is no wonder why it can be the most effective therapeutic element for the maximization of your bone health. The Vitamin is produced by bacteria and can be found in fermented food. It is also helpful in compensating bone loss during the process of the menopausal transition. This is vital as you may consider that average women may lose up to 10% of her bone during this crucial time period. In such cases, K2 not only protects the bone but also reduces the chances of heart and cancer syndromes.
K2 and our dental health
K2 is related to increasing calcium density in our bones. Since our teeth are also made up of calcium, the vitamin can increase our dental health. Various researches are done on animals that show how vitamin K2 plays an important role in our bone metabolism. This clearly shows that the vitamin can impact our dental health.
Also, we know that osteocalcin is important for maintaining our dental health. K2 activates these nutrients while ensuring a good and healthy denture.
Scientifically speaking, the dental nutrient osteocalcin triggers a working mechanism. This mechanism then stimulates the new dentin growth. The dentin is the calcified tissue lying underneath our teeth’ enamel. K2 helps in keeping the enamel tissue in pristine condition. When combined with Vitamin A and D, the K2 can show even increased properties for our oral health.
K2 can cure cancer
Out of all diseases K2 can cure, Cancer is one life-threatening condition that can fear the element most. Needless to say, the diseases are quite common in Western countries. Majority of cases remain untreatable and eventually leads to death. Here again, we can trust various studies to suggest how vitamin K2 can help treat certain cancer types. Some experiments reveal that vitamin K2 can help eradicate the chance of liver cancer occurring again after treatment. It can thus, increase survival times to a large extent. K2 is linked to a lower risk of cancer types such as prostate cancer. Here, while vitamin K1 has no effect, K2 shows really promising results.
A lot still remains to be learned about vitamin K2
While various studies have told us about the benefits of K2, we are still very much behind the process of making it an official treatment element. Every day, new researches and understanding are leading us to new consequences. We are learning more about the different roles of Vitamin K2. Still, we need to seek more knowledge and results from the element and its effects on human health. Once, we reach a consideration, the element can help million people stay safe and far away from bone diseases.
Some important facts
Before wrapping up, here are some important facts about vitamin K group that might help you collect interest in this essential vitamin. Read on.
- When you seek to start the supplement containing vitamin K2, you should make it a point to get a checkup from a doctor. You should acknowledge him about any health condition you have had in the past.
- Vitamin K2 should not be consumed by pregnant women. Even though it helps increase calcium, it is not safe for expecting mothers.
- The vitamin K group is a major vitamin that is fat-soluble. It plays an important role in the protection of your heart. It also helps in building bones and even in optimizing your insulin levels. Vitamin K group also encourages blood clot formation in a proper manner.
- Many of us don’t know that Vitamin K is the new vitamin D. It is almost adjunct to vitamin D. Almost every human being is deficient in both Vitamin D and Vitamin K.
- We might get confused about deciding on the best form of Vitamin K. But we know that vitamin K2 is the best form to take for our overall health. The debate for K1 being the better one is never-ending. The ideal source of K2 is fermented foods. Doctors recommend consuming K2 with fat so that it gets properly absorbed in our body.
- People who consume adequate K2 are free from heart diseases. Also, such people have fewer chances of developing osteoporosis and diabetes. The chances of certain cancer occurrence are also rare if you are consuming regular amounts of K2. Various cases report that K2 may also inhibit the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease.
- Vitamin K2 is usually prescribed for people who are having a poor or restricted diet schedule. People with Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, and other similar condition may also consume K2 for good results. The disease relates to the nutrient absorption and hence K2 can be a promising factor in the treatment.
- If you are suffering from liver disease, you can take the assistance of Vitamin K. This is because the disease might interfere with your body’s vitamin K storage quantities. If you are taking regular drugs for cholesterol, aspirin or any other antibiotic, you may benefit from Vitamin K2.
- Vitamin K2 helps in insulin sensitivity. Hence, if you are suffering from diabetes, you might be able to reduce your sugar levels by taking K2 supplements.
- K group of vitamins is even beneficial in its topical form. It can help ease out several types of bruises when applied locally
- Vitamin K may also come with certain antioxidant properties which are healthy for our body mechanism.