Putting Vitamin K to Work for Blood and Bones

You wouldn’t think a boring old mineral like calcium would still be making the news. I know, I know, calcium is super important.

“Inadequate calcium significantly contributes to the development of osteoporosis. Many published studies show that low calcium intake throughout life is associated with low bone mass and high fracture rates.”

http://www.niams.nih.gov/health_info/bone/bone_health/nutrition/

Just puts me to sleep. Sorry.

However, I am extremely awake and excited about what one special form of Vitamin K2 does for calcium, your arteries and your bones.

You’ve probably heard of Vitamin K1. It’s in leafy greens and is really good for you.

However, you may not have heard of another form of vitamin K: Vitamin K2 in a special form called menaquinone-7 or MK-7.

MK-7 is almost impossible for Americans to get in their diet. It’s found in a form of fermented soybean called natto. I saw some one time in the refrigerator of an Asian deli. It was gray and sticky and smelled funny. I’m an adventurous eater and even I didn’t want to try it.

Anyway, here’s the news. First, a large population study in Europe called The Rotterdam Study found that people who ate the most vitamin K2 (in another form called MK-4) had – by far – the healthiest arteries. Fermented cheeses and yogurts contain MK-4.

Then scientists found that MK-7 was much more bioavailable than MK-4.

Next, animal studies showed that vitamin K2 in the MK-7 form triggers a protein in the blood called Matrix Gla Protein, or MGP for short.  Okay, here it is… this is what you’ve been waiting for … NOT boring … This protein, which is activated by vitamin K2 MK-7, helps shuttle calcium out of the blood into the bones. This helps arteries stay clean and healthy and bones stay robust and strong. Wowza!

And when combined with vitamin D, the MK-7 form of vitamin K2 actually supports healthy bone growth.

Didn’t you have a sneaky suspicion that all those gigantic calcium horse pills weren’t going to the right place?  Well, that calcium will get where you want it to go – your bones — if you add a tiny amount of vitamin K2 MK-7.

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