Vitamin K2: The Missing Nutrient for Bone Health
Foster Supplement Synergy with Vitamin K2
When it comes to deciding which supplements to take, synergy is key. Sure, taking calcium will do your bones some good, but add in vitamin D3 for absorption and the lesser-known calcium transporter, vitamin K2, and you’ve got a foolproof recipe for bone health.
For some odd reason, vitamin K2 doesn’t get as much attention as it should, and we’re setting out to change that.
Vitamin K2 Facilitates Calcium Binding
The research surrounding vitamin K2 is robust, especially when it comes to its role in bone health. Vitamin K2 is most widely recognized for its ability to direct calcium where it belongs (in bones, teeth & nails) and away from where it doesn’t belong (like your arteries).
It directs the calcium by activating osteocalcin, a protein produced by bone-building cells called osteoblasts, which when activated ensure that calcium binds to the bone mineral matrix.
But vitamin K2’s benefits don’t stop there. It also keeps calcium from straying into the arteries where it can cause gritty calcified problems. The power to help keep arteries elastic is attributed to vitamin K2’s ability to activate matrix Gla-protein (MGP), a protein involved in calcium metabolism, which when activated inhibits calcification of the arteries.
The Missing Nutrient for Women’s Health
The positive effects of vitamin K2 on bone health have been particularly impressive in studies on postmenopausal women. In a placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial, researchers gave 240 postmenopausal women either 180mcg of vitamin K2 per day for three years or placebo. At the end of the trial, they discovered that the vitamin K2 group was protected against age-related bone loss.
In the group that took vitamin K2 for three years, bone strength increased, age-related weakening of the lumbar spine and femoral neck was reduced, and vertebral height loss was much less than the control group! Those are some big benefits for aging bones!
Reduce Markers of Metabolic Syndrome with Vitamin K2
Not convinced that vitamin K2 earns a place among other vitamin all-stars? Maybe this news will be vitamin K2’s defining moment: A recent study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism linked diets rich in menaquinones (the chemical name for vitamin K2) to a lower occurrence of metabolic syndrome!
Looking at waist circumference (WC) and triglyceride levels, the study showed that patients who consumed the highest amount of vitamin K2 had the best WC ratios and lowest triglyceride counts. While waist circumference is one of the best markers of obesity risk we have, triglyceride levels tell a lot about inflammation in the body.
Why K2 is Better Than K1
So, why is vitamin K2 the lucky vitamin we’ve been talking up, and not vitamin K1? While both are made of carbon-hydrogen atoms, members of the vitamin K2 group contain multiple carbon-hydrogen atoms in their side-chain, while vitamin K1 is made up of just one molecule. The length of the side-chain is important because it determines how deeply the vitamin can penetrate different tissues throughout the body. A longer side chain also means better absorption and longer lasting effects.
In short, the longer the side-chain, the better the vitamin at doing its job.
Members – take notice! This impressive vitamin is likely to steal the spotlight in the near future as studies continue to reveal its amazing array health benefits.