7 Reasons Why Vitamin K2 Is Good For You
Health Benefits Of Vitamin K2
A key nutrient that is often overlooked, vitamin K2 helps regulate calcium in your body. It directs calcium to the places it's required in like your bones and teeth and eliminates it from places it shouldn't be present in like your arteries. This results in improved heart and dental health and a reduced risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin K2 is good for diabetics and helps prevent skin aging too.
Vitamin K, which is best known for its essential role in blood clotting consists of a group of essential fat-soluble vitamins. These vitamins are divided into vitamin K1 – a single molecule – and vitamin K2 – a group of molecules that are also known as menaquinones. An essential nutrient that is often overlooked, vitamin K2 is found primarily in animal products like meat, dairy, and eggs and fermented foods like cheese and yogurt. Menaquinone-4 (MK-4) and menaquinone-7 (MK-7) are its most common forms. In the recent past, research has shown that it possesses the unique ability to protect against serious illnesses like osteoporosis, diabetes, and cancer. So, it surely deserves a place in your diet. Let’s find out more about why vitamin K2 could prove to be such an important addition to your diet.
1. Promotes Heart Health
Vitamin K2 stops calcium from entering areas it should not be present in. This prevents calcium build-up in the arteries, or arterial calcification, and allows for smooth blood flow. The 2004 Rotterdam study showed that eating foods rich in natural vitamin K2 reduces the risk of both arterial calcification and heart disease by as much as 50%.1 Another study published in the journal Thrombosis and Haemostasis showed that the long-term use of Vitamin K2 in the form of MK-7 results in improved cardiovascular health.2
2. Lowers The Risk Of Osteoporosis
Osteocalcin, the protein responsible for anchoring calcium to bones, is activated by vitamin K2. So, an adequate supply of vitamin K2 is crucial for your bones to be healthy and to reduce the risk of osteoporosis.3 A deficiency of the vitamin makes osteocalcin inactive, preventing the delivery of calcium to your bones. This, in turn, makes your bones weak, possibly increasing the risk of osteoporosis.
3. Promotes Dental Health
Vitamin K2 is vital for the regulation of calcium in your body. It directs calcium to your teeth, making them stronger and preventing cavities.
4. Improves Insulin Sensitivity
A research study showed that providing vitamin K2 supplementation to healthy young men for 4 weeks increased their insulin sensitivity.4 Increased insulin sensitivity prevents the body from resisting insulin utilization, making the regulation of blood sugar easier. This is particularly beneficial for those battling diabetes.
5. Fights Inflammation
The MK-7 form of vitamin K2 is said to prevent inflammation. It is believed to do this by inhibiting pro-inflammatory markers produced by white blood cells called monocytes.
6. Delays Skin Aging
The role of vitamin K2 in regulating calcium is responsible for its ability to delay skin aging. It prevents calcium from building up in elastin fibers, which are responsible for skin elasticity, and keeps skin supple. Any deficiency in vitamin K2 may cause excessive skin wrinkling.
Current research shows that vitamin K may also be effective in cancer treatment.5 However, more research is required to confirm these findings in humans. Also, the lack of vitamin K2 is unlikely to result in any detectable symptoms.
Start eating foods rich in vitamin K2 today to gain its many benefits and stay healthy.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Geleijnse, Johanna M., Cees Vermeer, Diederick E. Grobbee, Leon J. Schurgers, Marjo HJ Knapen, Irene M. Van Der Meer, Albert Hofman, and Jacqueline CM Witteman. “Dietary intake of menaquinone is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: the Rotterdam Study.” The Journal of nutrition 134, no. 11 (2004): 3100-3105.|
|2.||↑||Knapen, Marjo HJ, Lavienja AJLM Braam, Nadja E. Drummen, Otto Bekers, Arnold PG Hoeks, and Cees Vermeer. “Menaquinone-7 supplementation improves arterial stiffness in healthy postmenopausal women.” Thrombosis and haemostasis 114, no. 05 (2015): 1135-1144.|
|3.||↑||Iwamoto, Jun, Tsuyoshi Takeda, and Yoshihiro Sato. “Effects of vitamin K2 on osteoporosis.” Current pharmaceutical design 10, no. 21 (2004): 2557-2576.|
|4.||↑||Choi, Hyung Jin, Juyoun Yu, Hosanna Choi, Jee Hyun An, Sang Wan Kim, Kyong Soo Park, Hak C. Jang, Seong Yeon Kim, and Chan Soo Shin. “Vitamin K2 supplementation improves insulin sensitivity via osteocalcin metabolism: a placebo-controlled trial.” Diabetes care 34, no. 9 (2011): e147-e147.|
|5.||↑||Matsumoto, Kazuya, Jun-Ichi Okano, Takakazu Nagahara, and Yoshikazu Murawaki. “Apoptosis of liver cancer cells by vitamin K2 and enhancement by MEK inhibition.” International journal of oncology 29, no. 6 (2006): 1501-1508.|
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.