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Here's a useful link I found from:


Vitamin K2: Everything You Need to Know
By Joe Leech, Dietitian | 34,373 views
Most people have never heard of Vitamin K2.

This vitamin is rare in the Western diet and hasn’t received much mainstream attention.

However… this powerful nutrient plays an essential role in many aspects of health.

In fact, vitamin K2 may just be the “missing link” between diet and several killer diseases.

What is Vitamin K?

Vitamin K was discovered in 1929 as an essential nutrient for blood coagulation (blood clotting).

The initial discovery was reported in a German scientific journal, where it was called Koagulationsvitamin. That’s where the “K” comes from (1).

It was also discovered by the legendary dentist Weston Price, who travelled the world in the early 20th century studying the relationship between diet and disease in different populations.

He found that the non-industrial diets were high in some unidentified nutrient, which seemed to provide protection against tooth decay and chronic disease.

He referred to this mystery nutrient as Activator X, but this is now believed to have been Vitamin K2.

There are two main forms of Vitamin K… K1 (phylloquinone) is found in plant foods like leafy greens, whereas Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) is found in animal foods and fermented foods (2).

Vitamin K2 can be further divided into several different subtypes, but the most important ones are MK-4 and MK-7.

Bottom Line: Vitamin K was initially discovered as a nutrient involved in blood clotting. There are two forms, K1 (plants) and K2 (animal foods).

How do Vitamins K1 and K2 Work?

Calcium is an incredibly important mineral.

It is more than just building material for bones and teeth, it plays a crucial role in all kinds of biological processes (3).

The main function of Vitamin K is modifying proteins to give them the ability to bind calcium.

In this way, it “activates” the calcium-binding properties of proteins.

However… the roles of Vitamin K1 and K2 are quite different and many feel that they should be classified as separate nutrients altogether.

Vitamin K1 is mostly used by the liver to activate calcium-binding proteins involved in blood clotting, while K2 is used to activate proteins that regulate where calcium ends up in the body (4).

Bottom Line: The main function of Vitamin K is to activate the calcium-binding properties of proteins. K1 is mostly involved in blood clotting, while K2 helps regulate where calcium ends up in the body.

Vitamin K2 May Help Prevent Heart Disease

Calcium build-up in the arteries around the heart is a huge risk factor for heart disease (5, 6, 7).

For this reason, anything that can reduce this accumulation of calcium may help prevent heart disease.

This is where vitamin K2 is believed to help, by helping to prevent calcium from being deposited in the arteries (8).

In the Rotterdam study, those who had the highest intake of Vitamin K2 were 52% less likely to develop calcification of the arteries, and had a 57% lower risk of dying from heart disease, over a 7-10 year period (9).

Another study of 16,057 women found that participants with the highest intake of vitamin K2 had a much lower risk of heart disease. For every 10 micrograms of K2 they consumed per day, the risk of heart disease was reduced by 9% (10).

For the record, vitamin K1 had no influence in either of those studies.

However… keep in mind that the studies above are so-called observational studies, which can not prove cause and effect.

Unfortunately, the few controlled trials that have been done used the K1 form, which seems to be ineffective (11).

We are in desperate need of some long-term controlled trials on K2 and heart disease. There is a highly plausible biological mechanism for its effectiveness, and strong correlations found in observational studies.

The importance of this can not be overstated… cardiovascular disease is the world’s most common cause of death. It killed 14 million people in the year 2012 alone (12).

Bottom Line: A higher intake of vitamin K2 is strongly associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Vitamin K1 appears to be less useful.

Vitamin K2 May Help Improve Bone Health and Lower The Risk of Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis (“porous” bones) is a common problem in Western countries.

It is especially common among elderly women and strongly raises the risk of fractures.

As mentioned above, Vitamin K2 plays a central role in calcium metabolism, the main mineral found in bones.

Vitamin K2 activates the calcium-binding activity of two proteins called Matrix gla protein and osteocalcin, which help to build and maintain bones (13, 14).

Interestingly, there is also quite a bit of evidence from controlled trials that K2 has major benefits for bone health.

A 3-year trial in 244 postmenopausal women found that those taking vitamin K2 supplements had much slower decreases in age-related bone mineral density (15).

Lengthy studies on Japanese women have shown similar benefits, although they did use very high doses. Out of 13 trials, only one failed to show significant improvement.

Seven of those trials also reported fractures and found that vitamin K2 reduced spinal fractures by 60%, hip fractures by 77% and all non-spinal fractures by 81% (16).

In line with these findings, the Japanese officially recommend vitamin K supplementation for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis (17).

However, some researchers are not convinced. Two large review studies concluded that there is not enough evidence to recommend vitamin K supplementation for this purpose (18, 19).

Bottom Line: Vitamin K2 plays an essential role in bone metabolism and studies suggest that it can help prevent osteoporosis and fractures.

Vitamin K2 May Improve Dental Health

Researchers have speculated that Vitamin K2 may affect dental health.

However, no human studies have tested this directly.

Based on animal studies and the role vitamin K2 has in bone metabolism, it is reasonable to assume that it impacts dental health too.

One of the main regulating proteins in dental health is osteocalcin, the same protein that is critical to bone metabolism and is activated by vitamin K2 (20).

Osteocalcin triggers a mechanism that stimulates growth of new dentin, which is the calcified tissue underneath the enamel on your teeth (21, 22).

Vitamin A and D are also believed to play an important role here, working synergistically with vitamin K2 (23).

Bottom Line: It is believed that Vitamin K2 may play a critical role in dental health, but there are currently no human studies to support this.

Vitamin K2 May Help Fight Cancer

Cancer is a common cause of death in Western countries.

Even though modern medicine has found many ways to treat it, new cancer cases are still on the rise.

Therefore, finding effective prevention strategies is of utmost importance.

Interestingly, several studies have been done on Vitamin K2 and certain types of cancer.

Two clinical trials suggested that vitamin K2 reduces recurrence of liver cancer and increases survival times (24, 25).

An observational study on 11,000 men also found that a high vitamin K2 intake was linked to a 63% lower risk of advanced prostate cancer. Vitamin K1 had no effect (26).

Hopefully we will have some better studies on this in the near future.

Bottom Line: Vitamin K2 has been found to improve survival in patients with liver cancer. Men who consume the most K2 have a lower risk of advanced prostate cancer.

Foods Rich in Vitamin K2

Humans can partly convert vitamin K1 to K2 in the body. This is useful because the amount of vitamin K1 in a typical diet is ten times that of vitamin K2.

However, current evidence indicates that the conversion process is inefficient, because we benefit much more from eating vitamin K2 directly.

Vitamin K2 is also produced by gut bacteria in the large intestine, and there is some evidence that broad-spectrum antibiotics can contribute to K2 deficiency (27, 28).

Unfortunately, the average intake of this important nutrient is incredibly low in the modern diet.

Vitamin K2 is mainly found in certain animal foods and fermented foods, which most people don’t eat much of.

Rich animal sources include high-fat dairy products from grass-fed cows, liver and other organs, as well as egg yolks (29).

Vitamin K is fat-soluble, which means low-fat and lean animal products don’t contain much of it.

Animal foods contain the MK-4 subtype, while fermented foods like sauerkraut, natto and miso contain more of the longer subtypes, MK-5 to MK-14 (30).

If those foods are inaccessible to you, then supplementation is a valid alternative.

The benefits of supplementing K2 may be enhanced even further when combined with a vitamin D supplement, because the two vitamins have synergistic effects (31).

If you are interested, then there is a good selection of Vitamin K2 supplements on Amazon.

I do eat plenty of grass-fed dairy and eggs myself, but I also take a K2 supplement every morning.

Although this needs to be studied a lot further, the current research on Vitamin K2 and health is extremely promising.

It could have life-saving implications for a lot of people.
I feel obliged to comment on the latest fascination for vitamin K2. Also, I rather despair for the future of this website because of continued diversion from George's original collation of evidence focussing on milk proteins, vitamin D levels and dietary saturated fats, quite apart from the disappointing role of pharmaceutical companies best efforts. The continued postings about K2 and its interesting role in calcium metabolism hasn't been shown to have any relevance to the immunological function of vitamin D. The role of K2 as some kind of magic bullet for MS has not been addressed or even touched on in animal or human studies and is not furthered by voluminous, repetitive quotes about it.
Agree wholeheartedly.
Dx 1992 OMS 25-2-09
Sorry to bore you with another vitamin K2 article, however I did post it on a vitamin K2 thread.

I personally have been taking vitamin D daily for 8 months now and just recently had my bloods done. I thought my GP would call me in due to high vit D levels, yet when he called me in it was to say I was deficient in vit D. I was shocked so I have decided to take vitamin K2 to see if it helps me absorb vitamin D better.

I haven't eaten meat or eggs for 2 years since I changed my diet. So maybe I need to supplement with vitamin K2 to get my vitamin D levels up which is detrimental to my health.

I wish everyone well on their journeys. Here's to health and improvement to us all, which ever way we find it. xxxxxxx
No Jen, you should take a megadose of vit D3 as Professor Jelinek recommends, to raise your level quickly.
See the Recovery Program on vit D3
http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis. ... Vitamin-D/
and the FAQs
http://www.overcomingmultiplesclerosis. ... rces/FAQs/

Diagnosis Dec 1998 OMS Feb 2010 Retreat Feb 2012
Hi Wendy, I did that when I started on vit D.

When I got my recent results I took 2 megadoses, a week apart. GP said he will review me in 3 months. So will find out then if it's worked.

I've also changed my vit D from tablet to liquid form and up'd it from 5000iu daily to 8000iu daily. Then I'll readjusted when I get my results.

Thanks Wendy

Jen x
Jen I have been on the Program 5yrs and have had to do a lot of testing and adjusting of vitD.

What I have found is my body uses it like you wouldn't believe. I did an experiment last summer and relied on sun and spasmodic supplementation for about 3 months. My levels plummeted. The sun was intense and my body should've been making 10,000IU per session.

I now take 10,000IU per day and a 50,000IU on each Sunday.

If I feel I might be getting sick or under unusual stress I take an extra 50,000IU.

This is what I have to do to keep my levels just over 200 nmol/L. I test twice a year.

In the beginning I too found my daily dose was not enough and George advised me as above in FAQs.

It is such an individual thing and so important to keep your levels up to prevent relapses.
Dx 1992 OMS 25-2-09
Thanks for your feedback Kashu, I will bare that in mind when I get my results.

Thanks :)

Re vitamin K2, Professor Jelinek has made this comment:

We can get all the nutrients we need from our plant-based diet and that we get K1 from our old friends the green leafy vegetables, which the body then converts into K2. So no need for another supplement, just vit D and flaxseed oil alongside the plant-based vegan diet are enough!

Diagnosis Dec 1998 OMS Feb 2010 Retreat Feb 2012
Thanks Wendy, I'll delay taking any vit k2 supplements and just keep up with the leafy greens, that way I'll be able to tell if the two vit D megadoses I took have been affective In raising my levels when I get retested.

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