Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Ph: 1.587.830.2332

Email: connect@jessicapecush.com

All Rights Reserved to Jessica Pecush Nutrition

 

A Culinary Nutrition &

Holistic Lifestyle Blog

What Do You Know about K2?

February 17, 2018

 

My knowledge and understanding of the critical relationship and interactions that occur between the minerals calcium and magnesium, vitamin D (actually a hormone) and vitamin K2 was greatly deepened by reading “Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life” (by Kate Rhéaume-Bleue, B. Sc., N.D.).

 

This literature is a suitable read for any individual (nutrition or health and wellness practitioner or not), interested in deepening their knowledge and understanding of bone health and learning how to effectively nourish the body in a way that these four nutrients can function optimally in the body.

 

As this blog post is simply an overview of some of the key ideas this literature has to offer (trust me, I took A LOT of notes on my computer as I read it), I encourage you to seek out further information and guidance if you require it!  This includes taking a read of this book! 

 

As always, nutrition should primarily come from WHOLE, REAL FOOD, relying on supplements only as needed.  If you are challenged by lack of absorption in your body, due to digestive difficulties, the supplements may not be absorbed very well, so getting to the root of the problem if needed.

 

CALCIUM

 

  • Plays an important role in both bone health, amongst that of other functions, such as muscular contract and nerve conductivity

  • If supplementing calcium, should be supplemented in a 2:1 ratio with magnesium, as these minerals function hand-in-hand (magnesium supports the relaxation phase that follow’s calcium’s contraction phase)

  • Ineffective calcium supplementation (without that of magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K2) can set the stage for having calcium deposit in undesired areas of the body (i.e. in the arteries, as opposed to in bone)[i]

  • As such, a correlation between Osteoporosis and Heart Disease exists[ii]

  • Ineffective metabolism (breakdown and use of this mineral in the body) is the result of vitamin K2 deficiency in the body[iii]

  • Calcium-rich foods include: dark/leafy greens, broccoli (any green vegetable!), raw milk, raw almonds

 

MAGNESIUM

 

  • The Anti-Stress mineral

  • Is just as important as calcium in the pursuit of optimal bone health[iv]

  • A critical mineral that helps balance the metabolism (breakdown and use) of calcium in the body[v]

  • Supports the reduction of blood pressure[vi]

  • Is required for the absorption and metabolism (breakdown and use) of vitamin D[vii]

  • Magnesium-rich foods include: dark/leafy greens, dark chocolate, raw pumpkin seeds, raw almonds

 

VITAMIN D3

 

  • Functions as a hormone, despite its label as a vitamin

  • The popularity of supplementing vitamin D (provided how naturally-deficient we are as Canadians), can be contributing to the challenge of poor bone mineral deficiency if it is not being supplemented in combination with vitamin K2[viii]

  • Vitamin D functions to absorb calcium from the intestines, yet once calcium is absorbed into the bloodstream, vitamin D has no authority over where that calcium ends up in the body, which poses the problem[ix]

  • While some calcium will end up supporting your bone, some portion of it may end up deposited in your arteries[x]

  • Therefore, while vitamin D supports calcium absorption, calcium is then free to run where it chooses once absorbed[xi]

  • In conjunction with vitamin A, vitamin D helps produce the proteins that vitamin K2 activates in the body for appropriate calcium deposit[xii]

  • Vitamin D-rich foods include: fatty fish (i.e. wild-caught salmon, mackerel), cod liver, oil, sardines, (eggs and mushrooms contain some)

 

VITAMIN K2

 

  • A vitamin NOT to be confused with vitamin K1, which is responsible for blood coagulation

  • Vitamin K2 shuttles calcium into the bones, so it may then help strengthen bone mineral density[xiii]

  • Therefore, vitamin K2 assists with combating bone fractures while preventing and removing calcium deposits from the arteries[xiv]

  • Vitamin K2 works to move calcium in the bloodstream into bone, as opposed to allowing it to deposit along the walls of the arteries, (once calcium has been absorbed by the intestines with the assistance of vitamin D)[xv]

  • When K2 is plentiful in the body, bone mineral density remains strong and the arteries remain free of undesired calcium deposits[xvi]

  • Vitamin K2 intake is sourced both from the diet and from intestinal bacteria; however, the trace amounts produced in the intestinal tract are not enough to prevent a vitamin K2 deficiency, so dietary sources are required[xvii]

  • If an individual has past history of antibiotic use, or any other health-related condition in which their beneficial gut bacteria have been compromised in some way, very little vitamin K2 (if any at all) would be produced in the individual’s intestinal tract[xviii]

 

The food industry, as we know it, unfortunately makes vitamin K2 challenging to come by!  It is particularly challenging to obtain this nutrient if you choose to follow a vegetarian diet (depending on the flexibility level of the vegetarian diet), or if vegan. 

 

When animals grazed strictly on pasture, vitamin K2 was much more plentiful in our food supply.[xix]  This is because chlorophyll (the pigment that makes plants green) and vitamin K1 (and its later conversion into vitamin K2) are closely linked.[xx]  Conventional sources of animal products, as we know, do not contain the same nutritional profiles as that of their grass-fed/grass-finished counterparts.

 

Some of the most concentrated food sources of K2 include:[xxi]

 

  • Natto (fermented soybeans – the richest food source) (fermented soy IS health-promoting and provides a source of beneficial (probiotic) gut bacteria

  • Particular types of hard and soft cheeses (i.e. Dutch Gouda style, French Brie style)

  • Egg yolk, butter and lard from grass-fed/grass-finished cows (grass-fed/grass-finished butter also contains vitamins A and D)

  • Grass-fed/grass-finished meat

 

*Ghee (from a grass-fed/grass-finished source) is also an option, particularly as a health-promoting cooking fat[xxii]

 

*Other fermented foods contain small amounts of vitamin K2, but the degree to which they do varies widely, due to the variety of bacteria used/generated during the fermentation process

 

In summary, we require both vitamin D and vitamin K2 to reap the benefits that both of these critical nutrients have to offer! To truly improve bone density, supplementing both nutrients together is most valuable and effective.[xxiii]

 

As we reach peak bone mass by approximately the age of 20, it becomes our responsibility to then maintain that desired bone density moving forward, as we age; the degree to which we retain this degree of bone density is largely associated with vitamin K2 levels in the body.[xxiv]

 

 

ENDNOTES

 

 

[i] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p.5).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[ii] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 5).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[iii] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 5).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[iv] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 233).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[v] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 233).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[vi] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 233).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[vii] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 233).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[viii] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 10).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[ix] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 11).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[x] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 11).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[xi] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 11).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[xii] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 182).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[xiii] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 4).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[xiv] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 4).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[xv] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 11).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[xvi] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 12).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[xvii] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 44).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[xviii] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 44).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[xix] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 53).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[xx] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 53).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[xxi] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 66).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[xxii] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 61).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[xxiii] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 103).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

 

[xxiv] Rhéaume-Bleue, K.  (2012).  Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (p. 5).  Toronto, ON, Canada: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Please reload

Featured Posts

"Healthy as F*ck"! Your Next Read?

November 28, 2019

1/8
Please reload

Archive
Please reload

Follow Me
  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • Grey Twitter Icon
  • Grey Instagram Icon
  • Grey Pinterest Icon
  • Grey LinkedIn Icon