Wed, Jun-21-17, 08:21
I supplement with K2, not K1, in the form of MK-7 every day. One of the reasons for this is due to the property of K2 to move calcium to where it needs to go (bones, teeth) and to keep it from where I don't want it (soft tissues, arteries). There is a need for research of K in general, as I'm interested in knowing whether the supplementation is necessary. For example, could it be a factor in lowering a high CAC score? Initially, CAC was thought to be a static measurement that would never be reduced and would only increase. The issue here was how fast the CAC score would increase. Now I'm finding that since CAC is a relatively new health measurement, there are those who believe that there is a possibility of lowering it. That would be good news. There are other K2 benefits as well.
I did a lot of research on K2 and found that MK-4 and MK-7 forms are most beneficial to humans. MK-4 is in meats, cheeses, eggs. MK-7 is in fermented foods. MK-4 supplements are synthetic, MK-7 supplements are the same form as found in fermented foods. That's why I take the MK-7 supplement. I'm still open to getting the K2 I need naturally from whole foods rather than supplements, but now I'm taking supplements. I'm also reading the K1 conversion in the body to K2 is very inefficient.
Chris Masterjohn has very good information about vitamin K found here:
A couple of quotes from Chris' post:
The Health Benefits of Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 has a wide range of underappreciated health benefits:
- It prevents calcium from going into all the wrong places and makes sure it gets into all the right places. For example, it keeps it out of your kidneys, where it would cause kidney stones, and keeps it out of your blood vessels, where it would cause heart disease, but helps it to get into your bones and teeth, making your bones strong and your teeth resistant to cavities.
- It helps you make insulin and remain very sensitive to insulin. This means it helps stabilize your blood sugar, protects against diabetes, and prevents the metabolic problems that often arise as a consequence of obesity.
- It promotes sexual health by helping you optimize your sex hormones. For example, it increases testosterone and fertility in males, and it helps bring the high levels of male hormones found in women with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) back down to normal.
- It helps improve exercise performance by enhancing your ability to utilize energy during bouts of physical activity.
- It protects against cancer by suppressing the genes that make cells cancerous and expressing the genes that make cells healthy.
Why the Form of Vitamin K You Eat Is So Important
Vitamin K comes in different forms. Vitamin K1 is primarily found in plant foods and is most abundant in leafy greens. Vitamin K2 is only found in animal foods and fermented plant foods. The term “vitamin K2 ” actually refers to a collection of more specific forms known as menaquinones that are all abbreviated “MK” with a specific number attached: for example, MK-4, MK-7, MK-10, and so on.
Does it matter whether you eat one form or another? Absolutely. There are two reasons for this, so let’s deal with them one at a time.
First, once we eat foods with vitamin K in them, our bodies handle the different forms differently. Consider these examples:
- Vitamin K1 travels to our livers more effectively than it does to our bones or blood vessels. The liver is where we use vitamin K to make the proteins involved in blood clotting, so vitamin K1 is better at supporting blood clotting than it is at providing other health benefits.
- MK-7 is much more effective than K1 at reaching bone. This doesn’t just make it good for bones: our bones use vitamin K to produce a hormone known as osteocalcin, which improves metabolic and hormonal health and increases exercise performance. Thus, MK-7 better supports these health benefits than K1 . The portion of MK-7 that reaches the liver, moreover, stays active in the liver much longer than K1 before being broken down; as a result, MK-7 is even better than K1 at supporting blood clotting.
- MK-4 is taken up by our tissues very rapidly after we consume it. While it hasn’t been studied as carefully as MK-7, it may be less effective than MK-7 at reaching liver and bone but more effective at reaching most other tissues. This would make it better at protecting those tissues from calcium deposits and cancer development and supporting sex hormone production through its direct actions within our sex organs.
Overall, then, the collection of different vitamin K2 compounds better supports all the health benefits listed above than vitamin K1 because they better reach the tissues that matter.