Vitamin K2 is Crucial for the Prevention of Atherosclerosis
When you think about what you should do to help prevent heart disease, you may think about eating healthy, exercising, keeping stress to a minimum, and taking supplements such as magnesium, CoQ10 and fish oil, however there is one little-known vitamin that has been overlooked until fairly recently. There is a new “Superhero” in town that has been shown to be crucial in helping to prevent calcium build up in your arteries, therefore helping to prevent atherosclerosis: Vitamin K2.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a family of vitamins, the most important being Vitamins K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (menaquinones). They have similarities, such as working in the liver for blood clotting, and chemically they share a quinone ring called menadione. Vitamin K2 has several molecules, called menaquinones, which make K2 available beyond the liver for other systems in your body. Vitamin K1 is the principle source of dietary Vitamin K and is needed for proper blood coagulation. Meanwhile, Vitamin K2 is essential to avoid calcium deposits in the arteries, as well as to build and maintain strong bones.

Not all forms of Vitamin K2 are created equal. The two most commonly commercialized forms of Vitamin K2 are MK-4 and MK-7. Due to its side chain, MK-7, which is what we use in our Vitamin K2 product, has a much longer half-life in the body than MK-4, allowing it greater access to tissues beyond the liver.

How Vitamin K2 Works to Help Remove Calcium from Your Arteries

Vitamin K2, specifically MK-7, activates special proteins, allowing the body to properly utilize calcium. Two of these proteins are osteocalcin and Matrix GLA protein. The former attracts calcium to where it is needed most, namely into bones and teeth; the latter keeps calcium away from where it is not needed, namely soft tissues.

Matrix GLA protein, which is found in the tissues of the heart, kidneys, and lungs, plays a dominant role in vascular calcium metabolism. Its production is stimulated by Vitamin D3, but it requires adequate Vitamin K2 intakes to be activated. Once activated by Vitamin K2, this Matrix GLA protein can bind calcium and escort it out of the areas where this mineral is destructive, namely arteries and soft tissues.

Heart Studies

The landmark Rotterdam Study showed that high dietary intake of Vitamin K2 has a strong protective effect on cardiovascular health. Findings from this 10-year population-based study indicated that eating foods rich in natural Vitamin K2 resulted in 50% reduction of arterial calcification, 50% reduction of cardiovascular risk, and 25% reduction of all-cause mortality. 

In 2009, these findings were confirmed by another population-based study with 16,000 subjects (ranging in age from 49 to 70) from the Prospect-EPIC population. After following female participants for up to eight years, the researchers found that for every 10 mcg of Vitamin K2 consumed, the risk of coronary heart disease was reduced by 9%. 

The Rotterdam Study and the Prospect-EPIC Study were the first population-based evidence that a high dietary intake of Vitamin K2, but not vitamin K1, offered a strong positive reduction in cardiovascular risk.

Vitamin K2 Plus D3

It is also important to note that Vitamin K2 works in concert with other nutrients, in particular, Vitamin D3. A 2013 study examined Vitamin K2’s influence on vessel calcification in chronic kidney disease patients over six months. It evaluated the cardiovascular effects of oral administration of Vitamin K2 plus vitamin D or vitamin D alone.

The progression of coronary artery calcification index and common carotid intima media thickness, which are both markers of calcium deposits in arteries detected with computerized tomography, showed a slower progression of the calcification in the K2/vitamin D group than in the vitamin D-alone group, an encouraging sign to use K2 and D together.

We are here to help.

Order your Vitamin K2 and Vitamin D3 with K2 today. Do you have questions about your vitamin and supplement needs? Call our Certified Holistic Nutritionists and Vitamin Consultants today for a complimentary consultation at 281-646-1659. It will be our privilege to serve you.