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.
Calcium in the arteries is part of Atherosclerosis – hardening of the arteries. When arteries become narrow, hard, or inflexible, blood pressure increases to push blood through those narrow channels. This results in high blood pressure, and may actually be the main cause of Hypertension. Most doctors however are not aware of this.
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.
Unlike A, D, and E, we cannot store Vitamin K2 and must replenish it constantly. Our ancestral diet provided plenty of fats and fat soluble vitamins from animals, eggs, nuts and seeds. Our modern diets tend to avoid the essential organ meats and the healthy saturated/animal fats we require. And we eat more feedlot and processed food then we should.
Those with gallbladder disease, repeated antibiotic use, or Celiac Disease absorb less of all the fat soluble vitamins. Basically, we all need supplementation of 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 and natto, and from organ meats, shellfish, fish eggs, 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 K2, D, and A . Check out Pure Indian Foods for my favorite ghee. I consume a lot of this product even though I am completely intolerant to all other dairy.
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 and 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 and teeth where it belongs.
There is a synergy between the fat-soluble vitamins and they must be in balance. Taking high doses of Vitamin D without any 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 Australian Emu Oil, the totally natural form of K2, as well as the D3 Complete supplement mentioned above. The 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 MK-7 version of K2 from ProThera for a more economical option.
As for cod, I prefer Rosita fermented cod liver oil liquid (also available in gel caps here) from Corganic. Cod oil has the natural and correct forms of A and D as well as the anti-inflammatory DHA found in fish.
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.
Starches, grains, sugars, and fruits are void of fat-soluble vitamins. As hunter-gatherers, we would have what we needed from animal fats and eggs, and as farmers consuming real eggs, pastured meats, fermented raw cheese and butter, we could acquire some as well.
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, and 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.