Vitamin K2 is an essential nutrient that is often overlooked. Now, scientists have come up with a few findings that could correct the knowledge deficit regarding vitamin K2. Vitamin K is best known for its essential role in blood clotting. It consists of a group of essential fat-soluble vitamins. It is divided into vitamin K1- one molecule and vitamin K2- a group of molecules (menaquinones). The menaquinone- 4 (MK-4) and menaquinone- 7 (MK-7) are the most common form of vitamin K2. With its unique ability to prevent osteoporosis, diabetes, and cancer, vitamin K2 deserves a place in your diet.
1. Good For Cardiovascular Health
A nutritional dose of vitamin K can improve your cardiovascular health. It is beneficial for prevention of heart disease. According to the Rotterdam study in 2004, eating foods rich in natural vitamin K2 reduces the risk of both arterial calcification and cardiovascular disease by as much as 50%.1 Vitamin K2 prevent arterial calcification by stopping calcium from entering areas where it should not be. According to a research study published in the journal Thrombosis and Haemostasis, long term use of Vitamin K2 in the form of MK-7 results in improved cardiovascular health.2
2. Lower Risk Of Osteoporosis
Vitamin K2 plays an important role in your bone health. Osteocalcin is the protein responsible for anchoring calcium within the bones and it is activated by vitamin K2. Lack of vitamin K2 makes osteocalcin inactive. Thus, calcium will not be delivered to the bones making it unhealthy.
3. Promotes Dental Health
Vitamin K2 is an excellent calcium regulator. It directs calcium to the right places like bones and teeth. Thus, it makes your teeth stronger preventing cavities.
4. Improves Insulin Resistance
This is a great news for those battling with diabetes. According to a research study, vitamin K2 supplementation for 4 weeks increased insulin sensitivity in healthy young men.3 With an improved insulin sensitivity, you will be able to control your blood sugar level in a better way.
5. Fights Inflammation
The recent researches on vitamin K2 have shown that MK-7 help prevents inflammation. It inhibits pro-inflammatory markers produced by white blood cells called monocytes.
6. Delays Aging
Vitamin K2 has some anti-aging benefits too. Its deficiency may cause excessive skin wrinkling. The role of vitamin K2 in regulating calcium plays a role here. Since it brings calcium to the right places, it will prevent the calcification of elastin fibers, which are responsible for providing the elastic stretch to the skin. Thus, K2 helps prevent the aging of your skin.
Sources Of Vitamin K2
It is primarily found in animal products, such as meat, dairy, and eggs and fermented foods like cheese and yogurt. The richest source of vitamin K2 is natto, a Japanese traditional dish of fermented soybeans. All of the Vitamin K2 in fermented foods is readily available to the body.
Human research is still in the early stages. But, initial research studies show that vitamin K may be effective for future cancer treatment. The lack of vitamin K2 will not produce any symptoms that are detectable. However, its deficiency will eventually lead to cardiovascular disease, dental problem, and bone loss. Hence, make sure that you get adequate K2 from your diet and supplements.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Dietary Intake of Menaquinone Is Associated with a Reduced Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: The Rotterdam Study. The journal of nutrition.|
|2.||↑||Menaquinone-7 supplementation improves arterial stiffness in healthy postmenopausal women. Thrombosis and Haemostasis, International Journal for Vascular Biology and Medicine.|
|3.||↑||Vitamin K2 Supplementation Improves Insulin Sensitivity via Osteocalcin Metabolism: A Placebo-Controlled Trial. NCBI.|