Are you aware of the benefits of vitamin K2? Are you even aware of vitamin K2? I know I wasn’t until a couple years ago. As a kid I remember hearing the importance of vitamins A, B, and C… but I didn’t even know there was a vitamin K2. Turns out, it’s a pretty important one.
What is vitamin K2?
Vitamin K2 is traditionally found in animal products such as meat, fat, dairy and eggs. Since many American’s like to indulge in fast food burgers, cheesy crackers, and the like you would think that there wouldn’t be much of a vitamin K2 deficiency. But when you peel back the layers and look more closely on how K2 is actually made available, you’ll see why most Americans are actually quite deficient in this vitamin.
“Since the advent of industrialized agriculture our food supplies have become sadly nutrient bereft, and vitamin K2 is among the elements which have been almost completely obliterated. This travesty occurred primarily in the 1940s when farmers realized that livestock could be cheaply fed a diet of grains fortified with synthetic vitamins A and D, and could thus survive without ever having to see the sunlight. With all of the animals raised neatly in massive commercial buildings, production capacity skyrocketed as did profit. Vitamin K2 is synthesized from the chlorophyll ingested by cows, chickens or pigs when grazing in lush green pastures, which means that they must be in the sunshine to get it! When animals are left confined to dark spaces without movement and fed processed grains, there is absolutely no chance for K2 to be created. Today, we unfortunately need to make a highly conscious effort to get K2 into our diet. -Radiant Life Company”
K1 vs. K2
Vitamin K can be classified as either K1 or K2:
- Vitamin K1: Found in green vegetables, K1 goes directly to your liver and helps you maintain a healthy blood clotting system. (This is the kind of K that infants need to help prevent a serious bleeding disorder.) It is also vitamin K1 that keeps your own blood vessels from calcifying, and helps your bones retain calcium and develop the right crystalline structure.
- Vitamin K2: Bacteria produce this type of vitamin K. It is present in high quantities in your gut, but unfortunately is not absorbed from there and passes out in your stool. K2 goes straight to vessel walls, bones, and tissues other than your liver. It is present in fermented foods, particularly cheese and the Japanese food natto, which is by far the richest source of K2. (source)
Among the many benefits of this vitamin (like healthy bones and teeth) some of the most crucial include:
- Vitamin K2 is crucial in preventing osteoporosis (source)
- Vitamin K2 lowers your cancer risk (source)
“Most people get enough K from their diets to maintain adequate blood clotting, but NOT enough to offer protection against the following health problems—and the list is growing:
– Arterial calcification, cardiovascular disease, and varicose veins
– Prostate cancer, lung cancer, liver cancer, and leukemia
– Brain health problems, including dementia (the specifics of which are still being studied} (Source)”
How to Get Vitamin K2 In Your Diet:
Meat, Eggs and Dairy from Grass-fed Animals
These animal products must come from grass-fed and pastured raised animals. Don’t trust marketers who use words like “cage-free” or “organic” as that doesn’t necessarily mean the animals got the necessary life to give you proper nutrition. Your best option, if possible, is to find local farms where you can actually see and discuss their farming practices.
Even supplementing can be tricky as the specific type of vitamin K2 found in grass-fed animal products (MK-4) is very expensive to replicate and synthetic MK-4 is all you’ll be able to find. Because the synthetic form is metabolized quickly you’ll have to take several doses to keep your K2 levels in range.
This is why my family always tries to get our nourishment from whole foods. The body just knows what to do with it better… plus, I’m guessing there are even more complex things happening in our food than our scientists know. Mother nature has been doing this whole “nourishing” thing for a lot longer than any lab. Some whole food options include: making your own raw butter or indulging in beautiful golden grass-fed ghee.
Natto or MK-7 Supplements
This is actually what my family uses to ensure we’re getting adequate vitamin K2. Natto is a unique Japanese superfood made from non-GMO fermented soybeans that offers the highest natural concentration of vitamin K2 available. The form of vitamin K2 found in natto is MK-7, which is entirely different from the vitamin K1 found in other plant sources like green leafy vegetables. MK-7 is synthesized through a process of bacterial fermentation, making it a highly bioavailable source of K2.
The good news: MK-7 is a great way to get K2 as the body is very receptive and the levels last much longer than synthetic forms of K2.
The bad news: You can only find MK-7 in natto… which my family (and many others) find kind of… disgusting.
The best news: We can get adequate amounts of K2 in our diet with one single dose from these fermented natto supplements. (Can I get a “hallelujah!?”)
Tell me: How do you get your vitamin K2?