The Benefits of
The body produces many proteins, and this is true for the young and the old, men and women. These proteins activate processes that keep systems healthy. But until vitamin K2 is introduced, those proteins merely circulate through systems, remaining inactive.
The function of K vitamins is unique among other vitamins. While K vitamins are mainly known for blood-clotting activity, it is now recognized that vitamin K2 is essential for the body to optimally utilize calcium, which is necessary to build healthy, strong bones and inhibit calcium deposits in the arteries, leading to improved cardiovascular health.
Vitamin K activates certain proteins in the body, such as osteocalcin in the bones, Matrix Gla Protein (MGP) in the arteries, and clotting factors in the liver. These proteins are dependent on vitamin K in order to bind calcium to the surface of bones, inhibit calcium deposits in the arteries and help coagulate blood.
Inadequate vitamin K – and especially lack of vitamin K2 – may result in what is known as the “Calcium Paradox,” whereby too little calcium is utilized by the bones, resulting in weak bones, while excess calcium accumulates in the arteries, making them stiff and inelastic.
Without vitamin K, these proteins remain inactive, and these normally healthy processes are greatly compromised.
What’s really exciting about vitamin K2 is that there are currently 17 different vitamin K-dependent proteins known, which means that it is recognized by medical and nutritional science to be one of the most important vitamins to keep bodies running smoothly. This extended interest suggests the potential benefits of vitamin K2 for
- Skin health
- Conditions of the central nervous system
- Antitumor activities
- Mental acuity and brain health
Further, every segment of the population can benefit from adequate vitamin K2 intakes, whether from diet or supplementation. Using bone health as an example, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), poor bone metabolism is a condition that affects some 200 million people globally:
- One in three men are expected to incur bone fractures in the future
- Lifetime risk of fracture for women is nearly one in two, as they more vulnerable due to 1) having less bone mass then men, and 2) the annual bone mass in women accelerates after menopause
- As young bones are highly active and osteocalcin levels are eight to 10 times higher compared to adult bones, the requirement of vitamin K2 is also higher for children