The Health Edge: Vitamin K2

In this episode of The Health Edge Mark and John review the sources and biologic activity of Vitamin K2. This critical and oft overlooked fat soluble vitamin protects against calcification of vasculature, reduces risk of heart disease and cardiovascular morbidity, and is critical for maintaining bone health.

Vitamin K2 and Vascular Calcification

Coronary Calcium

Rotterdam Study

Vitamin K2 and Bone Health

 

Rejuvenation and Health Retreat at La Montana Azul CR December 3-8, 2017

2 thoughts on “The Health Edge: Vitamin K2

  1. Tara Noseck, RD

    I just finished listening to the episode on vitamin K2 and I’m hoping that you can clear something up for me. I’m confused on how the triage theory lends itself to the functions of vitamins K1 and K2.

    You discussed K1 and K2 as completely separate vitamins found in very different food sources. To me, this would suggest that both would have their own respective “pools” in the body.

    If that is the case, I don’t understand a lack of K1 would have anything to do with a lack of K2. Is there some type of conversion in the body which allows K2 to become K1 , therefore prioritizing clotting?

    Thank you for all the time and effort you put into this wonderful podcast. I have truly been enjoying it.

    • Hi Tara,
      That is a superb question and one that does not seem aligned with what we know about K1 and K2. Bruce Ame’s research, published in 2009 in support of his “triage Theory” was indeed surprising to many as he looked at vitamin K (http://www.smart-publications.com/articles/dr-bruce-ames-proves-his-triage-theory-of-micronutrients-with-vitamin/). As you know, 90% of vitamin K is in K1 and obtained from mostly greens in our diet. K2 is actually a family of vitamins and found in fermented foods and also from the menaquinone’s produced by our gut bacteria. MK-4, a more active form is the only menaquinone (K2) that can be converted from K1. What Ames demonstrated was that when vitamin K1 was insufficient (as it often is in our modern diet), there was less available to convert to MK-4 as priority is given to hemostasis (this happens in the liver). I hope this helps. There have been some studies suggesting people on long-term warfarin who tend to limit vitamin K1 intake may in fact have a higher risk of CVD. It is speculated that it may be due to lower Vit K2 levels, extremely important for decreasing the risk of coronary calcification. Thanks so much for listening to The Health Edge! Mark

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