Medically Reviewed By Elizabeth A. Swick, MS, RDN
Vitamin K2 and Cardiovascular Health
Bones Should Be Calcified, Not Your Arteries
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among both women and men in the U.S. Deaths due to heart disease are often preventable with treatment, and lifestyle changes and early interventions can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease. Doctors have recently begun recommending vitamin K supplementation with vitamin K2 for some patients at risk for heart disease. Read on to learn more about how vitamin K2 benefits the cardiovascular system and may support healthy arteries.
What Is Hardening of the Arteries?
Hardening of the arteries is another term for calcification of the arteries, which means the arteries are stiffer than usual. Your arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood away from the heart and liver. Arterial elasticity or flexibility allows blood to move freely through the body. When arterial stiffness occurs, blood flow may be hindered, leading to an increase in blood pressure and a greater risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Why Does Hardening of the Arteries Occur?
Hardening of the arteries happens when plaque builds up inside the blood vessels. In addition to cholesterol and cellular waste products, the plaque contains calcium. Calcium is an essential mineral for strong bones and teeth and for the nervous system to function correctly. However, calcium in the soft tissue of the blood vessels makes the arteries stiffen.
What Is Vitamin K2?
Vitamin K2 is a form of vitamin K found in meats, cheeses, eggs, soybeans, blueberries, figs, and green leafy vegetables. Vitamin K has two main jobs: helping blood clot and regulating the activities of osteocalcin protein.
Vitamin K2 is the type of vitamin K associated with osteocalcin regulation. This protein controls the formation of calcium deposits and plays a vital role in bone cell production.
Reversing Coronary Artery Calcification With Vitamin K2
Research into vitamin K2 and calcium deposits indicates that when levels of the vitamin are inadequate, the body may be more prone to creating calcium deposits in areas outside of the bones and teeth. Specifically, scientific studies have revealed a connection between a lack of vitamin K2 and arterial calcification. Because of this, studies are underway to determine whether reversing coronary artery calcification with vitamin K2 may be possible. One study revealed that vitamin K2 reduced the hardening of the arteries by 40% in lab rats. Although more research is needed to verify the benefits of vitamin K2 for arterial calcification, many people concerned about heart health take vitamin K2 supplements.
Other Benefits of Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 supplements are also sometimes recommended for people with osteoporosis and those at risk of developing the disease. Osteoporosis occurs when tiny holes form in the bones, leading to weakness and brittleness. People with osteoporosis are more likely to suffer bone fractures and may experience bone pain.
Bone mass naturally decreases with age. Doctors often recommend calcium supplements to maintain bone density, and a growing body of evidence suggests that taking vitamin K2 supplements may also be beneficial. This is because vitamin K2 may help the body turn calcium from supplements into new bone deposits by controlling the activities of osteocalcin protein.
Vitamin K Supplementation for Bone and Heart Health
If you wish to take a vitamin K supplement to support bone and heart health, look for a product that contains menaquinone-7. Also known as MK7, menaquinone-7 is a form of vitamin K2. Research suggests that compared to other types of vitamin K2, MK7 may be more bioavailable. This means that your body may have an easier time absorbing and using MK7 than other types of vitamin K2.
Taking vitamin K2 with vitamin D may also benefit bone and heart health. Vitamin D is another essential vitamin. Your body can produce some of it in response to sun exposure, but many adults in the U.S. don't get enough daily sunlight to maintain an adequate supply of the vitamin. Your body needs vitamin D to properly absorb and utilize calcium found in supplements and the foods that you eat. Studies have also found that people with low vitamin D levels may be at an increased risk for heart attack and stroke.
Body Kitchen Vitamin D + K2 Supplement gives you the benefits of both MK7 vitamin K2 and vitamin D. The nutrients come from plant-based sources, and the capsules are free of genetically modified organisms to suit your healthy diet.
The supplement is exactly what we needed in dosages and we are very excited that the K2 dosage matches perfectly with the D - Deniss
Vitamin D + K2 60CT