Discovering Vitamin K2, and Its Link to Disease Prevention

(Image: adactio via Compfight cc)
(Image: adactio via Compfight cc)

Doctors and nutritionists are looking to vitamin K2 to increase longevity and stave off diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and cancer.

But to understand this newly recognized vitamin, we first need to understand how extremely complex the human body actually is—millions of chemical reactions are taking place at every moment.

I like to view the body as a massive chain-reaction: If one part of the chain is weak, the whole system will eventually collapse.

This chain-reaction of health means no one nutrient is supreme. Instead, there are many choices you make in the long term to keep your chain strong, avoid disease, and achieve longevity.

Vitamin K is a nutrient that plays an essential role in many biological processes along the chain-reaction. Specifically, vitamin K1 is used in blood clotting, while K2 regulates where calcium is deposited in the body.

What’s calcium got to do with health, you might ask? Well, the most common cause of death in the world is cardio-vascular disease. This disease comes about when calcification (build up of calcium) of the arteries, also called hardening of the arteries, blocks the flow of blood through the arteries that leads to heart failure.

To avoid cardio-vascular disease, include more vitamin K2 in your diet to limit calcification of the arteries.

Getting your daily dose of vitamin K2 is not difficult. Why not include foods that contain higher levels of vitamin K2 in your diet? Foods such as full-fat dairy products from grass-fed animals, free-range eggs, poultry and pork, liver, and other organ meats are good sources of vitamin K2.

Non-animal based foods also contain K2, such as green leafy vegetables and fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi. These actually help the body to make K2, as this vitamin is produced by healthy gut bacteria.

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Kimchi is high in vitamin K2. (Image: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/kimchi)

 

Keep your colony of healthy gut bacteria happy by adding pickles to your meal and having a high-fibre diet. Sugar upsets your stomach flora, so keep sweet foods to a minimum.

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