The Secrets of Vitamin K for OsteoporosisCalcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are often talked about when it comes to bone health, but what about vitamin K? Research over the last decade has found that in addition to vitamin K’s blood clotting factors, it also plays a role in bone metabolism and protection against osteoporosis. You see, vitamin K is required for the gamma-carboxylation of osteocalcin (also known as Gla protein). This Gla protein is a calcium-binding protein produced by osteoblasts (these are bone-building cells). On top of that, vitamin K also works with vitamin D. They work synergistically to regulate osteoclasts (these are the cells that remove bone) so that new bone can be put where it needs to be. Two Forms of Vitamin K | Sub-Types of Vitamin K | Vitamin K Food Sources | Vitamin K Safety and Risks
The Two Forms of Vitamin K And Why You Need Them
- Vitamin K1 is required to activate the proteins better involved in blood clotting,
- And Vitamin K2 is required to activate the proteins that determine where calcium goes in our bodies, making sure that the calcium we absorb goes into our bones where we want it and not into our arteries or our hearts where we don’t. That’s the job of the proteins activated by K2.
Not only does Vitamin K2 regulate where calcium goes in your body, but Vitamin K2 and Vitamin D work together, they’re a team.Vitamin D increases both our body’s ability to absorb calcium, and at the same time Vitamin D also increases our body’s production of Vitamin K dependent proteins, osteocalcin and matrix-Gla protein. Osteocalcin which puts calcium when we want it and matrix-Gla protein which keeps it out of the places where we don’t want it. Our bodies come pre-programmed to keep us healthy. Your body knows automatically that Vitamin D will only increase your absorption of calcium but do nothing to regulate where that calcium goes. Your body knows that that is the job of Vitamin D’s partner, K2. Your body is pre-programmed for this partnership. When you take Vitamin D, your body automatically produces more of the Vitamin K dependent proteins, osteocalcin and matrix-Gla protein, so that the increased calcium you will be absorbing is going to be put in the right place. This, however, can only happen when you provide your body, not only with calcium and Vitamin D, but with the K2 that it has to have to activate ostecalcin and matrix-Gla protein. So that’s the quick overview. To have healthy bones, we must have Vitamin K, and we need it in both its forms, K1 and K2. In our next video we’ll start talking in detail about Vitamin K1 and all the ways in which it helps us to have healthy bones. And we’ll also discuss what happens when we don’t get enough Vitamin K1. Thanks for tuning in. I hope this has been helpful for you.
Sub-Types of Vitamin KResearchers further classify vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 into sub-types.
- Vitamin K1 is also known as phylloquinone in its natural, plant-based form. The synthetic form of the compound, phytonadione, is most commonly used in nutritional supplements and medications. Both offer similar benefits.
- Vitamin K2 compounds, known as menaquinones, or MKs, can be classified into MK4 and MK7. Although vitamin K2 (MK-7) works best for the majority of people. The video below explains…
- Why the MK7 form of Vitamin K2 works best for the majority of us,
- But why some of us need more of these MK7 form than others do and why just a few of us may find that they need less MK7 than the average person. Or even that the MK4 form of Vitamin K serves them better.
- We will also talk about how to figure out how much Vitamin K2 you need and whether you’ll do best with MK4 or MK7.
The Best Sources of Vitamin KAs we have discussed, vitamin K1 in its natural form is plant-based. The best natural sources of K1 are the following:
- Turnip greens
- Dairy products (certain cheeses)
- Meats (organ meats)
- Natto – a Japanese fermented soy product.
Safety And Risks of Vitamin KVitamin K is best known for its blood clotting factors. If you have been prescribed an anticoagulant (blood thinner) you should consult with your doctor about taking vitamin K supplements. Even including foods rich in vitamin K to your diet should be monitored and restricted. For more on why, click here.
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