The Vitamin K2 heart disease link is intriguing. Just as the calcium in hard water can clog pipes and ruin your dishwasher and sprinklers, calcium can be incorrectly deposited in the lining of our arteries. If we don’t have enough Vitamin K2 to place the calcium properly in bones and teeth, it can land in places you don’t want it.
Calcium in the arteries is part of Atherosclerosis – hardening of the arteries. When arteries become narrow, hard, or inflexible due to the calcium lining them, blood pressure increases to push blood through those narrow channels. This can result in high blood pressure, and may actually be the main cause of Hypertension. Most doctors however are not aware of this and continue to blame fat as the cause.
If the arteries become sufficiently clogged with calcium, plaque, and fatty deposits, you will have blocked arteries and probably a heart attack. Or two…
NOTE: This is Part 2 of a series on Vitamin K2. Please read Part 1 for info on the effects of K2 on children’s cheekbones, teeth, and jaws. You might avoid braces and tooth extractions if you understand this issue.
The Fat Soluble Vitamins
Vitamins K1, K2, A, D and E are absorbed from the small intestine with dietary fat. Those with malabsorption from Celiac Disease, Chron’s or Colitis will tend to be deficient in fat-soluble vitamins. Absorption also depends on adequate bile being produced in the gall bladder and excreted into the small intestine. (If you do not have a gall bladder any more, take 1/2 to 1 of these with every meal to improve fat digestion).
Unlike A, D, and E, we cannot store Vitamin K2 and must replenish it daily. Our ancestral diet provided fat soluble vitamins from grass fed animals, egg yolks, pastured lard, organ meats and fats. Our modern diets discard the organ meats and the healthy saturated/animal fats we require. We eat more feedlot and processed food then we should and more muscle meat than organs.
Because we don’t eat enough pastured animals, eggs and their fat, or dairy made from raw pastured milk and cream, we need to supplement K2 from cradle to grave.
The Vitamin K2 Heart Disease Link
As with B vitamins, there are several K’s, including K1 and K2. K1 keeps our blood at the right stage of clotting so we won’t bleed excessively when cut.
K2 impacts where calcium is deposited in the body. “K Karries Kalcium” is one way to remember this.
Effects of a Vitamin K2 deficiency might include:
- Dental plaque
- Arterial calcification and cardiovascular disease
- Varicose veins
- Brain health problems, including dementia
- Myelin sheath defects
K1 comes from green vegetables, and we convert some of that K1 into a small amount of K2. K2 itself primarily comes in two forms: from certain fermented cheeses using pastured dairy, fermented natto from soy, and from organ meats, pastured egg yolks, fish eggs, and pastured ghee, lard and butter.
Butter with K2 comes from cows grazing lush spring pastures. Butter labelled as Pastured/Spring Grass Fed is highly seasonal so buy it when you can and freeze it. Ghee made from pastured butter also contains a little bit K2, D, and A . Check out Pure Indian Foods for my favorite ghee. I consume a lot of this product. Even though I am intolerant to all other dairy I can tolerate their Ghee
The Vitamin K2 Heart Disease Link: Never Take Vitamin D Without K2!
Can I tell all the cardiologists in the world just one little secret? Don’t let your patients take D or calcium without K2!
Taking K2 can REVERSE much of this artery-clogging plaque. K2 can carry calcium out of the arteries and put it back into bones, muscles, nerves and teeth where it belongs. Read The Calcium Paradox and marvel at the possibilities of Vitamin K2 reversing heart disease.
The fat-soluble vitamins must be in balance. Taking high doses of Vitamin D without A or K2 can cause calcium to deposit in joints, arteries, and organs of the body. I sell this combo product containing A, D, and K in my online store. I highly recommend you take this daily for the rest of your life. Kids and the elderly too…
The Dangers of Cod Liver Oil Without K2
Cod liver oil has Vitamins A and D but no Vitamin K2. If you take cod, you must add Vitamin K2.
There are several ways to get K2 in supplements. I sell Walkabout Emu Oil, containing the totally natural form of K2, as well as the D3 Complete supplement mentioned above. Walkabout Emu Oil has 3.6 mcg. K2 as MK-4 per capsule. Some use High Vitamin Butter Oil but this heritage Emu Oil has 10 times the amount of K2 in butter oil. I also sell the patented trans-bond MK-7 version of K2 from OrthoMolecular for a more economical option.
Note that all other commercial emu oil is devoid of K2. Only the heritage Emu from Walkabout has K2, along with many other nutrients. Here’s my Primal Diet – Modern Health podcast with the doctor who brought this product to the US.
As for cod, I prefer Rosita fermented cod liver oil liquid (also available in gel caps here) from Corganic. Rosita’s Cod oil has the natural and correct forms of A and D as well as the anti-inflammatory DHA found in fish. Other Cod Oil has ben stripped of its vitamins and they are added back before bottling. These are not the same as the natural form occurring in the fish itself.
Rosita’s unique cod oil is harvested fresh from true Norwegian cod, not farmed cod, and has a pleasant light taste. Here’s some great info on this product and an interview with the Corganic co-founder. You’ll find this oil to be quite different from Green Pasture’s or Nordic Naturals.
This is the second in a two-part series on Vitamin K2. Read this first article for more on the role of K2 in building strong cheekbones and a roomy dental palate that can hold all 32 adult teeth. You can reshape your chin and palate at any age, but having adequate K2 and the right orthodontist as a child can save years of dental work and expense!
Important: If you take anti-clotting drugs, consult with your doctor about having an induced Vitamin K deficiency. Have a Naturopath support you with the correct dose and form of Vitamin K2. It won’t antidote the anti-coagulants when done properly and will help prevent the greatly increased risk of heart disease that K deficiency can cause.