Unfortunately, many people do not know what the health benefits of vitamin K are. These micronutrients were underestimated and misunderstood until recently by both research scientists and the general public.
Many people believe that the benefits of vitamin K are confined to its role in blood clotting. Another popular misconception is that vitamins K1 and K2 are simply different forms of the same vitamin.
New studies have confirmed the role of vitamin K2 in the body is very important. Some of its functions include – protection from heart disease, ensuring healthy skin, the formation of healthy bones, improve brain function, promotes growth and development and assists in the prevention of cancer. In fact, K2 has so many features that are not common with K1 that many researchers divide them by two separate vitamins.
A large epidemiological study in the Netherlands illustrates very well this perspective. The researchers collected data on vitamin K intake of patients for 3 years. They have measured the deterioration of heart disease in each patient and how it is related to the intake of K2 and arterial calcification. They found that arterial calcification is the best harbinger of heart disease. The group with the highest intake of vitamin K2 had 52% less chance of developing serious calcification of the arteries, 41% less likely to develop heart disease and 57 percent less likely to die from it. However, intake of vitamin K1 had no effect on cardiovascular disease.
While k1 is preferentially used by the liver to activate blood clotting proteins, k2 is used preferentially from other tissues to supply calcium to the right places, such as teeth and bones, and prevents delivery to the locations where there is no space, for example, soft tissue.
Another false assumption is that people do not need vitamin K2 in their diet after their body has the ability to convert K1 to K2. The amount of vitamin K1 in a normal diet is ten times higher than that of K2, and scientists and doctors largely reject the benefits of K2 for your nutritional status and consider them insignificant.
Although animals can convert vitamin K1 to K2, there is a large amount of evidence that people need in advance ready vitamin K2 in the diet to have and maintain optimal health. The strongest indication of this is that both epidemiological and Intervention Study show that it is better than vitamin K1. K2 proportional intake associated with heart disease in humans, whereas the intake of K1 is not connected, and Vitamin K2 is more effective than k1 in protein activation associated with skeletal metabolism.
All these evidence points to the likelihood that vitamin K2 is an important nutrient in your diet.
Here is a list of the richest in vitamin K2 foods:
Fermented soy (natto)
Unfortunately, the exact values of some foods that are likely to be rich in K2 are not currently available. Pancreas and salivary glands should be richest; reproductive organs, brain, cartilage and kidneys also are quite rich; and the bones are richer than muscle. Fish roe is also rich in K2.
In the past, it was believed incorrectly that the intestinal bacterium is a major contributor to the status of vitamin K. However, much of the evidence are contrary to this view. The greater part of vitamin K2 which is produced in the gut is associated with the bacterial membranes and is not available for absorption. Thus this production of K2 contributes very little to the status of vitamin K in your body.
On the other hand, fermented foods such as fermented cabbage, cheese and fermented soybeans, contain high amounts of vitamin K2. Fermented soybeans contain the highest concentration of K2 in all measured foods, as almost all of its parts, are represented by MK-7, which is the most effective form. A recent study has shown that the MK-7 increased the percentage of osteocalcin (glycoprotein in the bone that binds calcium) in human three times more than vitamin K1.
It is important to note that the butter in the stores is not always a rich source of vitamin K2, because of the production processes. Several studies have shown that butter from cows fed only with grass is much richer in vitamin K2, then from cows fed with fodder.
New research studies that help us to understand the important roles of vitamin K2 have been published continuously. These studies give us a clearer picture of the important role and benefits of these vitamins.
If you have more information about this wonderful micronutrient we will be happy to share it with us.