While you might not be deficient in K2, not getting enough or being deficient can be a serious situation, to the point of developing heart disease or having a stroke.
It may not manifest with any symptoms either which can be difficult. However, the benefits of K2 are quite amazing – here are a few:
- Improves bone density – K2 directs calcium into the bone causing remineralisation reducing osteoporosis
- Improves the mineralisation of teeth, lowering the risk of cavities
- K2 reduces PMS, cramps, menstrual pain and bleeding by regulating the function of your hormones
- Helps prevent heart disease especially calcification of the arteries
- Improves brain function
- Maintains healthy gums and teeth
- Directs calcium to the bones, not kidneys to form kidney stones for example, or the heart thereby preventing atherosclerosis
- Improves and enhances exercise performance by improving energy utilization
- Increases testosterone and fertility in males
- Decreases androgens in females with PCOS
- Increases insulin production and sensitivity
- Promotes healthy blood sugar levels
- Offers cancer protection by suppressing and turning off cancer genes and turning on healthy genes
Vitamin K1 vs Vitamin K2
These two are quite different. Vitamin K1 is found in leafy greens, but K2 is found in animal products like grass-fed butter, liver and eggs. K1 is involved in blood clotting while K2 is there to direct calcium to where it should go such as bones and teeth, not our soft tissues. A human cannot convert K1 from greens to K2 the way cows and other animals can – so we have to get it from animal products. Therefore the two vitamins K have very different roles in the body. Vitamin K2 is actually a collection of more specific forms of this vitamin known as menaquinones, abbreviated as MK-4, MK-7, MK-10 etc. MK-7 is the most well-absorbed and most studied form.
Vitamin K1 goes to the liver where it is used to make proteins needed by the body for blood clotting. Vitamin K2 in the form of MK-7 though, gets to bones and teeth, getting the calcium out of the bloodstream and putting it where it should be, not in the soft tissues. It makes use of osteocalcin, a hormone which improves metabolic and hormonal health, and also is valuable at increasing exercise performance. Therefore K2 has an entirely different role in the body to K1. K2 does go to the liver too and stays there much longer than K1 in fact, where it is changed, and can even be used for blood clotting if the body needs it. The MK-4 type of K2 is quickly absorbed and depleted and not nearly as effective as MK-7.
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Originally published on https://www.facebook.com/SallyAnnCreedSA/ in 2020.