Meat or Dairy Free? Prevent Arterial Plaque + Strengthen Bones with Vitamin K2

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What do you know about calcium?

Most of us know we need calcium for healthy bones, teeth, as a buffer for acidity, muscular contractions, heart rhythm, and possibly more. What many of us don’t know is that if not delivered and utilized properly, calcium can dangerously attempt to make bone in the wrong places—like your arteries!

There is a special nutrient that controls calcium, keeping it in your bones and out of your blood vessels: vitamin K2!

Inadequate vitamin K2 can result in calcium (plaque) accumulation in the arteries, rendering them stiff and eventually brittle. Lucille Ball, star of I Love Lucy, suffered from accumulation of calcium in her arteries, eventually making her arteries stiff, rigid, and brittle.

While calcium is easily attained from a healthy diet, vitamin K2 is more difficult to find, and many folks run low. Vitamin K2 is a common deficiency that increases with age, putting much of the aging population at risk for heart and bone concerns.1

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Two Basic Forms of Vitamin K

  1. Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone)

This type comes from green vegetables and is involved in maintaining proper viscosity of the blood, making sure it coagulates properly from a cut or injury.

Vitamin K1 consumption from a diet high in leafy greens can help block calcium from being deposited into the arteries, but it does so very inefficiently.

  1. Vitamin K2 (menaquinone)

This type is derived from bacteria and can also be found in meat, dairy, eggs, and fermented foods, such as cheese, yogurt, and natto—a Japanese dish of fermented soybeans.2  Vitamin K2 is essential for making new bone and keeping calcium from depositing in the arteries.

Delivery of calcium to bone is a simple process. It starts with vitamin D3 in the intestinal tract, which carries calcium into the bloodstream. Then, vitamin K2 activates matrix GLA proteins that block calcium from entering soft tissues, like the arterial wall, while activating bones to let calcium in and lay down new bone.1

You can see how without vitamin K2, the arteries have no protection from excess calcium!

Higher Vitamin K2 Intake = Less Arterial Plaque Depositsvitamin k2 for heart and arteries

Without a doubt, Western diets contain insufficient vitamin K2. Vitamin K, particularly as K2, is nearly nonexistent in processed/junk foods, but little is consumed even in a healthy modern diet. The only exception seems to be the Japanese diet, in which high quantities of foods rich in vitamin K2, such as natto, are regularly consumed.

To effectively support healthy bones and elastic arteries, you need sufficient vitamin K2. Populations with higher intake of vitamin K2 have stronger bones and less arterial calcium deposits.1

At least 32 mcg of dietary vitamin K2 per day is needed to significantly lower risks for blood-vessel calcification, heart health concerns, and to maintain a healthy level of arterial wall elasticity.

Particularly in postmenopausal women, vitamin K2 in combination with vitamin D3 has been found to support healthy arterial elasticity.1,4

>>> Learn more about the best form of vitamin K2 to best protect from unwanted calcium accumulation in your arteries.

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4566462/
  2. http://store.lifespa.com/k2-max.html
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15320745
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4042573/

11 thoughts on “Meat or Dairy Free? Prevent Arterial Plaque + Strengthen Bones with Vitamin K2”

  1. I’ve always heard the importance of Mg keeping Ca in the bones… we know D3 and Mg work well synergistically. Be interesting to hear about Mg in connection to K.

    Reply
    • Learn to like Natto. I am still working on the cultivation of this taste. I make soy milk, then I inoculate the left over soy pulp with purchased natto beans, then cover and heat in my dehydrator (like yogurt) about 117 degrees overnight. Then I store this in my frig to use in my green smoothies.

      Reply
    • Hi David,

      Thanks for reaching out about this. Dr. John provides food examples in the article, but does not indicate the amounts of K2 in each. For some of the foods he listed, look up nutrition details on types you may enjoy in your diet to determine if you could get enough from diet. Supplementation when first starting, or even just on days when you know you won’t get quite enough from food, can be helpful.

      Essentially, it really depends on how much of those foods you may be consuming and you can incorporate both K2 methods (diet and supplementation) should you feel that will work best for your unique situation.

      Best,
      LifeSpa Staff

      Reply
  2. Can Vit K2 be absorbed from other naturally fermented foods like cabbage, or beets or a good non vinegar sauerkraut and can it be heated or must eat raw?

    Reply
    • Cabbage and beet ferments offer other types of good bacteria. Natto( starting with inoculated cooked soy beans, then fermented at a warm temperature over night, like yogurt, is traditionally eaten without cooking. Jappanese natto eaters have been found to have stronger bones .

      Reply
    • Hi Rita,

      We do not have information on that at this time. Please let us know if you find out any details on this!

      Best,
      LifeSpa Staff

      Reply
  3. and no mention of how emf exposure (cell phones, bluetooth, dect cordless phones, why fry ;))
    help drive calcium to the cells where they must not be.

    Reply

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