Vitamin K2 – one Vitamin for both bone and heart health
K2 bridges bone and heart health via its actions on calcium. Calcium is required to build and maintain healthy bones, but excess calcium deposited in arteries can lead to arterial stiffening ‑ a leading cofactor in heart disease. With adequate vitamin K2 intake, calcium is directed towards the bone, and away from arteries. Vitamin K2 puts calcium in balance.
Vitamins are nutrients our body needs. They cannot be produced internally in sufficient quantities, so must be obtained through the diet. This includes vitamin K2. Fermented foods are primary sources of vitamin K2. Western diets are deficient in vitamin K2. As such, K2 must be supplemented for optimal bone and heart health. Research indicates that 90‑120 μg of vitamin K2 as a daily dose is sufficient for good bone health. Populations that reach the recommended daily dose, such as Japanese people consuming natto (a dish high in K2), were shown to have lower rates of bone and heart disease.
A deficiency in vitamin K2 may lead to calcium being deposited in arteries instead of bones, compromising both bone and heart health. The evidence is growing that all populations, from neonatal to geriatric, require vitamin K2 for optimal body function. The good news is that K2 deficiencies can be overcome by supplementation of K2VITAL®.
Calcium is needed for building a strong bone matrix. Vitamin D3 aids the absorption of calcium into the blood, where it can be put to work. Vitamin K2 activates the proteins that integrate calcium into bone. Calcium and vitamin D3 alone, without vitamin K2, will not ensure the proper function of calcium for the maintenance of healthy bones. Since dietary intakes of vitamin K2 are generally low, all products containing calcium or D3 can benefit from formulation extensions that include K2VITAL®.
Excess calcium deposited in arteries can lead to arterial stiffening ‑ a leading co‑factor in heart disease. Vitamin K2 activates matrix Gla protein (MGP) to prevent calcium deposit in the smooth muscle cells of the vascular system. Activated MGP binds excess calcium and removes it, reducing the risk of deposits in vessels and arteries. Studies have documented the beneficial effects of vitamin K2 supplementation for improving cardiovascular health.
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