Vitamin K is known to most of us as something that helps clot our blood. Its most useful and wonderful benefits are certainly not well known to the general public. Certain forms of Vitamin K have proven to be able to build bone and clean the plaque out of arteries. Sounds great, right? So,where do we get Vitamin K, and especially Vitamin K2?
Our gut bacteria, or probiotics, actually manufacture Vitamin K2 for us. Without a healthy gut population, we go without this vital nutrient that has so many important functions. The two really interesting benefits of Vitamin K2 are really one in the same. The bone building is intimately partnered to the artery cleaning. It sure is great how everything in the body works together and seemingly small lifestyle choices have far reaching effects – it’s really all one process. One of the steps involved with depositing calcium to your bone is called “carboxylation,” and without Vitamin K present that step is unable to proceed. The calcium that seemed destined for bone strengthening now has to go somewhere else. The answer is that it floats around in the blood stream until it comes upon a damaged or an inflamed portion of artery and there it is deposited as part of the arterial wall. Voila! Arterial Calcification. This reaction is supposed to be mediated by our bodies in part by Vitamin K as it directs extra calcium to bone growth and therefore pulls it out of the bloodstream. Let’s reemphasize that Vitamin K2 actually has the ability to take calcium out of the arterial walls where it is very bad for us and put it into the bone which is very good for us. At no point in our story of cleaning the arteries and building bone did we mention the need for Lipitor, Vytorin, Crestor, Zetia, Zocor, Fosamax, Actonel, Boneva or Evista. Those drugs simply address the symptoms of atherosclerosis and bone loss. The real issues go much deeper. Taking care of our gut health is the real answer. Maintaining a healthy probiotic level and avoiding such toxins as caffeine, carbonation, alcohol, excessive sugars and processed foods which negatively affect our gut health. Healthy probiotic populations will create all the Vitamin K2 that we need leading to proper carboxylation reactions of shuttling calcium to the bone while removing it from the arterial walls where it causes problems.
Of course we recognize that current lifestyles tend to make it hard to maintain healthy probiotics, much less rebuild the population. So supplemental Vitamin K2 can be especially useful in turning around a degenerative situation and helping us back to a more sustainable level of health. It is important to notice the form of Vitamin K that we want is K2. Vitamin K1 is the kind in leafy green vegetables and K3 is a toxic synthetic. K2 is produced by way of probiotics in us and in some fermented foods. In partiuclar an Asian staple called natto. It is important when considering calcium supplementation that K2 is one of the nutrients included for proper utilization of the calcium.