Vitamin K2 - The Bone-Saving Vitamin

Vitamin K2 is a vit­am­in that every­one is talk­ing about — but do you know what it is? For those of you that are unfa­mil­i­ar, I will give a Coles’ notes ver­sion about this vit­am­in.

What is vitamin K2?

Vitamin K2 is in the vit­am­in K fam­ily (fat-sol­uble) that includes three vit­am­ins; phyl­loquinones (K1), men­a­quinones (K2), and men­a­diones (K3). Vitamin K1 (phyl­loquinone) is the vit­am­in we know and asso­ci­ate with clot­ting and is found in many green plants , where vit­am­in K2 is pro­duced by bac­teria mostly. Some anim­als can pro­duce vit­am­in K2 by con­vert­ing in their body from Vitamin K1, but humans do not do this eas­ily and nor­mally con­sume anim­als that can do this to obtain the vit­am­in in its act­ive form through them. This is also known as the food chain… vit­am­in K1 is con­ver­ted to K2 in a chick­en who eats grasses as an example, we eat those chick­ens, and we get the act­ive K2.

As most of you already know, our food sources are no longer as true to the food chain (some of the smal­ler anim­als that nor­mally eat grasses can be fed oth­er things), and as a res­ult we are not get­ting the same amount of K2 in our foods as we did pre­vi­ously. Foods that are high in K2 are chick­ens’ eggs who have been grass-fed, as well as loc­al and organ­ic dairy products (but­ter). For those of you who can­not con­sume dairy products, sup­ple­ment­a­tion will be vital.

How and why is K2 so important for bone health?

K2 is involved in the sig­nal­ing of a molecule called osteo­cal­cin. Osteocalcin needs to be “turned on” by vit­am­in K2, and the pres­ence of osteo­cal­cin is involved in the bone uptake of cal­ci­um and cal­ci­um sig­nal­ing. Bone uptake of cal­ci­um intim­ately involves vit­am­ins D and A as well, and in a very fine bal­ance. Without K2, D, and A you can­not sup­ple­ment cal­ci­um and act­ively affect osteo­cal­cin and improv­ing bone health. Osteoporosis pre­ven­tion, growth, teeth — K2 and its rela­tion­ship to these factors is crit­ic­al in cal­ci­um sig­nal­ing.

The inter­view on K2 the bone-sav­ing vit­am­in I read today could not be bet­ter timed, as I prom­ised to update all of you on the bene­fits of K2. I actu­ally heard a fab­ulous lec­ture giv­en by Dr Kate sev­er­al years ago on K2 who now has a book on this top­ic, and a sci­ence geek to the core, I was excited to learn more. I hope you will be also!

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