There are several ways to make brick, but only one way to make a bone. We would never consent to using cheaply made bricks to construct our homes. Neither should we skimp when it comes to the structure of our bodies. Understanding what goes into the building blocks of a strong, healthy body helps in making wise choices about our health.
Since your mother and grandmother were born, processed food consumption has risen sharply, and so has forearm fractures in children. At the same time, studies show most of our children are Vitamin K deficient.
It’s probably common knowledge that Vitamin D is essential in forming strong bones. But, Vitamin D without Vitamin K is kind of like using brick halves to build a house … it just can’t finish the job.
A Brand New You
Every 7 to 10 years the skeleton is reproduced. Cells called osteoblasts form the matrix (material between the cells from which bone is formed). Osteoclast cells tear down the old bone. The right balance between building up (absorption) and tearing down (resorption) needs to be maintained. But, the skeletal reproduction process happens with, or without, the right vitamins to maintain the balance.
Healthy Bones And Much More
Besides the risk of osteoporosis and malformed bones, there is a volume of research on the connection of Vitamin D deficiency with other health risks, including:
- Dental and periodontal disease
- Skin conditions (psoriasis, vitiligo, etc.)
- Menstrual issues (PMS, menstrual migraines, etc.)
- Weight problems (obesity and difficulty losing extra pounds)
- Cardiovascular issues (hypertension, cholesterol, atherosclerosis)
- Mental health, and brain function (depression and more)
- Musculoskeletal issues(weakness and falling, pain, etc.)
- Autoimmune conditions (rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma…)
- Immune response (infections, flu, colds)
- Cancer (especially breast, prostate and colon)
While Vitamin D3 does many things, one of the main functions is to help the intestines absorb calcium for building healthy bones. But Vitamin D cannot work alone. It must have Vitamin K-2. Vitamin K-2 is fat soluble, so, it is stored in the intestines and transported by fat.
It’s Never Too Late To Start
Vitamin D3 with K-2 is critical for the entire life cycle: from embryo through the golden years. Vitamin K2’s main job is activating proteins that regulate where calcium goes in the body. It directs calcium away from soft tissue such as arteries, and toward bones. It activates matrix GLA protein (MGP), a protein in arterial walls (and other places), to prevent calcium buildup (atherosclerosis). Recent research demonstrated K-2 even worked toward reversing arterial stiffness in healthy post-menopausal women. It’s never too late to start taking D3 with K2!
So, while Vitamin D3 directs calcium into the body, Vitamin K-2 directs it to the appropriate places, and prevents it from going to the wrong places. Without K-2, calcium would be wandering around the body, slowly causing mayhem.
Why Two Forms Of Vitamin K Are Essential
There are several forms of Vitamin K, but K2 is most essential for partnering with Vitamin D. And, K2 has two forms:
K2 as: Menaquinone 4 (MK-4) and K2 as: Menaquinone 7 (MK-7)
MK-4 and MK-7 act on different proteins to direct calcium away from arteries and toward bones. But, MK-4 and MK-7 act on different areas, so, both forms are necessary.
Where Do We Get Vitamin K-2?
Vitamin K2 can be found in fermented foods, such as
- Japanese natto (the best source)
- Korean kimchi
- Some cheeses (mature, hard rind)
Western taste, difficulty of finding good enough sources and consistently consuming them make it virtually impossible to get enough Vitamin K-2 from our food. The best source, then, is supplementation.
MenaQ7 is patented K-2 as MK-7, and is the only pure and bioactive trans form. Clinical research has shown it to offer statistically significant protection.
- Vegan (contains no lanolin, which is sheep’s wool – Read more about this here!)
- Full-Spectrum (MenaQ7 + MK-4)
References used for this blog post:
Foreman, David, R.Ph. (2016) A foundational Program for Healthy Children, A.R.C.
Goodman, D., MD. (2015). Vitamin K2: The Missing Nutrient For Heart And Bone Health. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.
International Health and Science Foundation, Vitamin K2 Org., All About Vitamin K2.
NattoPharma ASA, Vitamin K2: Essential For All Stages Of Life. 2014.
MenaQ7 Fact Sheet, MenaQ7™ & Vitamin D3: A Complementary Combination.
J Thrombosis and Haemostasis. Epub 2015: 113/5 (May) pp. 911–1157. Summary: Menaquinone-7 supplementation improves arterial stiffness in healthy postmenopausal women
A double-blind randomised clinical trial
Farlex, The Free Medical Dictionary, Definition: bone matrix.
Wikipedia, List of Fermented Foods.
Minnesota Bricks, Making Bricks the Old Fashioned Way.
Mother Earth News, Making Your Own Bricks From Soil.