Nutraceutical Knowledge

How Can Vitamin K2 Help Reverse Heart Disease?

k2-01.jpg

Most of us are familiar with Vitamin K but did you know that there are two forms of it?vitamin k2 reverses heart disease blog image 1.jpg

Vitamin K on a label often refers to Vitamin K1, but Vitamin K2, which is also known as menaquinone, is a small group of vitamin chains that offer significant health benefits to consumers such as providing a direct benefit to people who want to improve their heart's health.

In this blog, we discuss what vitamin K2 is, what it does for your heart, and how it helps our body, as well as the dosage for vitamin K2. We also discuss the increase of use in custom and private label vitamins

The Interest in Vitamin K2 is Booming

In January of 2004, there was almost zero interest in vitamin K2. However, as the results of medical studies become more talked about, interest is growing into one of the hottest topics in healthy living.

As of July of 2017, internet interest in vitamin K2 is at 72 percent. There is plenty of room for this supplement to take off online and if the current interest-over-time trend continues, vitamin K2 could become one of the most sought after vitamin supplements on the market. 

vitamin k2 reverses heart disease google trends image.png

The geographic places where K2 is hottest is Oregon and Washington - 98 and 97 percent interest, Arizona at 100 percent, Florida at 92 percent, and Oklahoma at 96 percent.

The upper Mid West seems not interested at all, but that is likely to change as vitamin K2 becomes better known. One of the reasons that seems true is that Vitamin K2 as a topic holds a 90 percent interest whereas vitamin K as a topic only holds 15 percent interest.

People are exploring vitamin K2 and specifically looking at the chemical compound as the term: Vitamin Chemical Compound is at 100 percent interest. Here is a little bit more about why vitamin K2 is generating such interest. 

What is Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2  is not just a single vitamin like vitamin C or vitamin D. Instead; it is a group of vitamin k2 reverses heart disease blog image 3.jpgvitamins that are called menaquinones.

They differ only in the number of double carbon bonds that they hold and are discussed by chain length - the number of double carbon bonds is a chain.

When shopping, you might see vitamin K2 listed as MK5 or MK7 or MK9.

There are other names too, but the number which ranges from 1-9 represents the chain length. So, MK7 has seven double carbon bonds. That information is only important if you are looking for a specific type of Vitamin K2. 

Vitamin K2 is a naturally occurring compound that is produced in the intestines by bacteria. Specifically, those bacteria that inhabit fermented foods such as fermented soybeans and sour kraut.

Other forms of K2 come from different sources. Vitamin K2 is also available as a supplement, which for many people might be the easiest way to increase vitamin K2 into your diet. [2]

One reason that supplemental vitamin K2 is important is that our body does not store excess vitamin K2. It uses what it needs and then discards the rest. What this means for consumers is that we need a regular supply of K2. [3]

We mentioned that K2 is the product of beneficial bacteria in our guts. This is important and one of the reasons that prebiotics is also very helpful for the production of K2.

Many of the studies we discuss have positive results for the use of K2. Those studies are poking holes in why we think heard disease might be so common in Western society - the lack of fermented foods in the Western diet. 

How Does Vitamin K2 Help Your Heart?

The key consideration with vitamin K2 is the mineral Calcium. For decades doctors have been pushing calcium as a means of helping people increase bone density, especially for those people over 45 and for teens who are growing. Calcium is a wonderful mineral for growing stronger bones, but too much calcium is a danger to your heart. 

vitamin k2 reverses heart disease blog image 4.jpgMore specifically, calcium is a mineral that likes to be deposited and our body stores excess calcium by depositing it along the inside of arteries as plaque. As it does so, our heart must pump stronger so that the blood flows through what is now a narrower channel.

That process not only leads to arterial disease, but also to high blood pressure and heart disease. Calcification of the arteries is medically known as atherosclerosis. 

Vitamin K2 comes into the picture because It has been shown to prevent the deposition of calcium and other minerals along the inside of blood vessels and arteries.

Peer review studies show that vitamin K2 activates special proteins that prevent calcium from being deposited. When we take in enough vitamin K2 we decrease arterial stiffness and reduce blood pressure. [1]  When there is vitamin K2 deficiency, increased clogging of the arteries occurs, which is very much what health scientists think occurs in the Western diet.

Does Vitamin K2 Reverse Heart Disease?

If you have heart disease and are wondering if vitamin K2 will help reduce heart disease the answer is quite possibly. The answer is not a yes or a no because people have heart disease for different reasons.

If you have hardening of the arteries due to calcification then it is very likely that vitamin K2 can help reduce the calcification. In several studies involving animals -cattle and rabbits - vitamin K2 was able to reduce arterial calcification. It was also shown in a study using rabbits to reduce cholesterol levels and reverse atherosclerosis. [2]

Vascular calcification involves many minerals and not just calcium. In a study that involved people, it was shown that vitamin K2 can decrease HDL (bad cholesterol) and lower total cholesterol levels. The result is a decrease in minerals that our body uses to line the walls of blood vessels, which directly lowers the risk of hardening of the arteries. [2]

Other studies point to the role that dietary vitamin K2 plays in decreasing the risk of aortic calcification and Coronary Heart Disease. In fact, the outcome of recent trials testing vitamin K2 has been so positive that researchers are looking at the Western Diet, which is naturally low in vitamin K2, as the primary cause of heart disease. 

Arterial calcification is higher in patients who suffer from renal disease and those who are diabetic. Vitamin K2 was shown to help both groups reduce arterial calcification. [2]

Because Vitamin K1 is found in plants, we take that vitamin in when we eat foods like chard and spinach. Vitamin K2, however, is not a plant-based vitamin. It comes from eating certain foods, such as fermented soy beans. 

How Much Vitamin K2 Do You Need?

A double blind clinical trial found that a Vitamin k2 dosage for heart disease of 180 mcg of vitamin K2 per day was enough to improve both bone health and cardiovascular health. [1]

vitamin k2 reverses heart disease blog image 5.jpg.jpg

The paradox between healthy bones and a healthy heart catches a vast majority of people between two medical hard spots. What vitamin K2 offers is a solution that enables both healthy bones and a healthy heart. That fact, backed by medical studies, is something that people are closely watching.

That makes Vitamin K2 a supplement with sustainable potential because as we age, we lose bone strength and face heart disease. This could be a viable solution that modern medical practitioners are likely to adapt in much the same way baby aspirin is freely prescribed to help prevent heart attacks.