When we think about health, wellness, nutrition and beauty, most of us want to feel healthier, look younger and live longer. The glow of good health is linked to a complex range of chemical and biological actions that occur in the cells throughout our bodies.
We know that vitamins serve the body by providing essential nutrients for building bones, promoting heart health and maintaining our brain and nervous systems. While most of us know about vitamin A, B, C, D, and E, I’d like to tell you about vitamin K2 – the “Forgotten Vitamin.”
Vitamin K2’s benefits of helping blood to clot are well known, and clinical research has also established vitamin K2’s role in building healthy bones.
1. Healthy Bone Building
Part of the family of nutrients called menaquinones (MKs), vitamin K2 helps your body use calcium to build bones – both the hard outer shell and spongy inner tissue bone matrix. The entire skeleton is constantly being repaired so that it is completely replaced, more or less, approximately every seven years.
One of the most important proteins in bone building is called osteocalcin, which needs natural vitamin K2 to function properly. When vitamin K2 is deficient long-term, it can lead to loss of calcium in the bone and reduced quality.
2. Calcification in Blood Vessels
Additionally, while vitamin K2 helps bind calcium to our bone structure, this nutrient simultaneously reduces calcium buildup. Too much calcification increases the stiffness and fragility of blood vessels, sometimes impeding healthy blood flow to and from the heart.
Recent research has unequivocally linked the role of vitamin K2 to the prevention of vascular calcification.
3. Who needs vitamin K2?
Unfortunately, most in the United States get far less of this useful nutrient than our bodies need daily. Here are the people who need vitamin K2 the most, in order to maintain bone growth and overall cardiovascular health:
-- Children: Bones grow and develop more intensively during childhood and adolescence.
-- Women and men over 40: Peak bone mass occurs in our 20s and 30s and begins to decline for most in our 40s.
-- The elderly: Loss of bone increases as we age, and we want to maintain our cardiovascular health.
4. Good Source of Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 can be found naturally in many animal-based foods, such as meat and poultry, as well as cheese and eggs.
A highly pure form of vitamin K2 is menaquinone-7 (MK-7). In scientific literature, MK-7 is recognized as the long-lasting and bioactive form of vitamin K2. MenaQ7™ is a trusted source of vitamin K2 and shown to be safe and effective for children and adults at a daily dose of only 45 – 180 mcg.
For more information on vitamin K2, visit the vitamink2.org.
Katarzyna Maresz, PhD, is currently a Scientific Coordinator and President of International Science and Health Foundation. Prior to that position, Dr. Maresz was a post-doctorate fellow within the Marie-Curie Programme at the department of biochemistry, biophysics, and biotechnology at the Jagiellonian University (Krakow, Poland) (2008-2012).