Is Vitamin K2 Worth Taking?

Is Vitamin K2 Worth Taking?

Written by Ben Bunting: BA, PGCert. (Sport & Exercise Nutrition) // British Army Physical Training Instructor // S&C Coach.

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Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, affecting the heart and vascular system that provides blood to other vital organs.

It is made from a family of compounds called menaquinones, which differ in the number of repeats of 5-carbon units on their side chains. These side chains are used to activate specific proteins in the body that are involved with blood clotting, bone health and the regulation of soft tissue calcification.

Vitamin K2 For Blood Pressure

The vitamin k2 activates a protein called matrix Gla protein (MGP), which inhibits the deposit of calcium on the walls of blood vessels. The gamma-carboxylation of inactive dp-ucMGP to dp-cMGP occurs in vascular smooth muscle cells and chondrocytes, where it is further phosphorylated by a casein kinase into p-cMGP, an active form that inhibits calcification. This process may play an important role in preventing cardiovascular disease and reducing the risk of strokes.

1. It Helps Clear Out Calcium

Vitamin K2 helps to break down calcium in the body, removing it from the blood vessels and preventing hard deposits of calcium from forming in the arteries. This helps keep your arteries smooth and flexible, helping to prevent blood clots that can lead to heart disease.

In addition to its cardiovascular benefits, vitamin k2 also has bone-building effects. Research shows that vitamin k2 helps activate osteocalcin, which binds to calcium to form bones.

This helps to strengthen and protect your bones, reducing the risk of fractures. It also helps to build and maintain the tissue in your teeth, preventing tooth decay and cavities.

Vitamin K2 is found mainly in meat, dairy products and fermented foods such as cheeses, yogurts and kefir. But it's not easy to get enough in your diet alone. Fortunately, supplements are available to help you meet the recommended intake for this nutrient.

Researchers found that a high-dose vitamin K2 supplement reduced calcium precipitates associated with hardening of the arteries in rats. The study was published in the journal Cell Reports.

2. It Helps With Blood Clotting

Vitamin K is one of the most important vitamins you need for blood clotting. Without it, your body would have a difficult time preventing excessive bleeding and a hard time healing wounds. 

Most vitamin K forms are fat-soluble, which means they dissolve in fats and oils. 

3. It Helps Keep Your Heart Healthy

Vitamin K has been found to help keep your heart healthy by keeping the arteries clear and preventing vascular calcification. This is a process that can lead to heart disease and strokes.

Another key role of Vitamin K2 is that it helps to clot blood. This is an important function because it can prevent clots from traveling to your brain and causing a stroke.

It also helps to maintain a normal blood pressure level. Having high blood pressure is not good for your heart, and it can also cause damage to your organs.

However, it is possible to keep your heart healthy by maintaining a proper diet and lifestyle. You can do this by eating plenty of leafy greens, fermented foods and eggs.

In a study that looked at the diet of 4,807 Dutch women and men over a 10-year period, researchers found that a daily intake of 25 mg of Vitamin K2 reduced the risk of dying from heart disease by 57%. It also reduced cases of coronary heart disease by 41% and severe arterial calcification by 52%. 

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Vitamin K2 and Erectile Dysfunction

If you're experiencing erectile dysfunction it could be caused by poor blood flow. Vitamin K is an essential nutrient that promotes smooth, healthy arteries and can prevent calcification which leads to decreased blood flow.

This nutrient also boosts artery elasticity and reduces the amount of cell death within the arteries. Having these arteries healthy will help you achieve a quality erection and maintain it.

Vitamin K2 Joint Pain

As well as its role in bone health, vitamin k2 also helps to keep your joints healthy. A new study published in Arthritis Care & Research suggests that it may work by preventing the formation of calcification inside your knee joints.

A growing body of research has shown that low levels of vitamin k2 are linked to multiple co-morbidities and functional decline in older adults, including osteoarthritis. It has also been found that a lack of vitamin k2 can contribute to joint pain, osteophytes and bone marrow lesions among the elderly.

Vitamin k2 is a fat-soluble vitamin that's needed for normal blood clotting and bone development. 

Some anti-coagulant medicines (called VKAs for short) inhibit the ability of your body to make vitamin K, and so they can increase your risk of developing OA. They include warfarin and acenocoumarol.

It's a good idea to avoid using these anticoagulants if you have osteoarthritis. But if you must take a VKA, it's best to switch to another type of medicine that doesn't inhibit vitamin K.

There are other VKAs, called NOAC/DOAC, that don't affect vitamin K at all. If you're taking an anticoagulant, it's best to speak with your doctor about switching to a NOAC/DOAC.

Ulcerative Colitis and Vitamin K2

A deficiency of vitamin K2 can be a problem in people with ulcerative colitis. It's an essential nutrient that plays an important role in the formation of bones, blood vessels, tissues and other parts of your body. It's also important for a healthy nervous system and red blood cell formation.

You can get vitamin k2 from foods such as fatty fish, liver and dairy products. 

Your Diet:

Eating a well-balanced diet is the best way to ensure that you get all the nutrients your body needs. You'll want to work with a dietitian who can help you plan meals that will meet your nutrition needs.

Your Medicines:

Some medications you take to treat your ulcerative colitis can interfere with your ability to absorb vitamins and minerals. For example, steroid medications can get rid of your body's calcium supply and sulfasalazine can lower folate levels.

Your Vitamins:

Your doctor may recommend taking a supplement to make sure you're getting enough vitamins A, E , K, and D. These fat-soluble vitamins are necessary for a healthy immune system, bone health and the proper functioning of your eyes, brain and digestive tract.

Vitamin D is important for preventing bone fractures, as well as maintaining your bone density. It can also protect you from osteoporosis, a condition in which the bones become thin and weak. You can take a daily dose of 800 IU to prevent your bone health from falling out of balance.

Vitamin K2 Prostate

A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that vitamin K2 intake could be linked to less occurrences of prostate cancer. In the study, 11,319 men with total or advanced prostate cancer in the Heidelberg cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) were surveyed.

According to Nimptsch, Rohrmann and Linseisen, men who had higher vitamin K2 intake had significantly lower incidences of prostate cancer than those who consumed less of this nutrient. Specifically, the men who took more of this long-chain form of vitamin K2 tended to have fewer cases of prostate cancer and a lower risk of death from this disease.

As a fat-soluble vitamin, this nutrient is used to make coagulation factors in the liver and it's essential for bone metabolism and cell growth. It also acts as a hall monitor for calcium, ensuring that it's deposited in the right place and that it doesn't build up in places it shouldn't.

Conclusion

Vitamin K2, which is also known as menaquinone, is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be found in fermented dairy products, certain meats and nuts. It can also be found in supplements.

It is known to help prevent bone loss and cardiovascular disease. It can also reduce your risk of cancer, improve the synthesis of sphingolipids and enhance brain health.

The role of vitamin K2 in your body is still a mystery, but emerging research shows it may be important for many of your health conditions.

Deficiencies in vitamin K2 are associated with osteoporosis, which causes the bones to become porous and weak, raising your risk of fractures.

A higher intake of dietary vitamin K2 is associated with better heart health and lower rates of strokes, myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease, especially among postmenopausal women.

The nutrient activates the matrix GLA protein that prevents calcium build-up in arteries and helps maintain healthy blood flow.

There are several foods that are rich in phylloquinone, the vitamin K1 form of vitamin K2, including leafy greens, avocados, fatty fish and some cheeses.

You can also obtain a good amount of vitamin K2 by eating fermented foods such as natto, tempeh and miso. However, these are usually high in saturated fat.

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