vitamin K

Keeping your arteries healthy is very important for heart health and this may actually be the best way of doing so…

Vitamin K1 and K2 are very well known for their function in thrombosis. According to Dr. Schurgers, all vitamin K’s have more or less the same function, which is related to the part of the vitamin, called the naphthoquinone ring structure. This ring structure is identical to K1 and K2.

K1 is known for being crucial for blood clotting. But, Dr. Schurgers clarifies that by saying K1 and K2 activated certain coagulation factors. There are four coagulation factors in the coagulation cascade that are activated by vitamins K1 and K2. According to the doctor, there is no risk of over coagulation if you take a lot of vitamin K. So, your coagulation factors won’t become overactive if you take high amounts of vitamin K.

Elderly people with atrial fibrillation or venous or deep-vein thrombosis are often put on oral anticoagulants, which are vitamin K antagonists, which means they block the recycling vitamin K. So, get your baseline prothrombin measurements while you are taking vitamin K from the diet and your oral anticoagulant. Then have your doctor adjust your dose based on that evidence.

Vitamin K has many important benefits like, it is needed to activate the protein osteocalcin which is found in the bones. Matrix Gla Protein (MGP), is found in the vascular system and without vitamin K these and another vitamin K-dependent proteins remain inactivated and can’t perform their daily functions.

MGP is a strong inhibitor of calcification. If MGP is inactive, the body can end up with serious arterial calcifications, this is why vitamin K is so crucial for the cardiovascular system. Evidence suggests vitamin K can regress arterial calcification that is induced by vitamin K deficiency.

Vitamin K2 is responsible for the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular calcification, and the lower chance of dying from cardiovascular disease. Vitamin K2 is more fat soluble than K1, which means the body distributes K2 better than K1. K2 helps prevent arterial calcification by transporting calcium away from areas where it shouldn’t be. K2 also seems to be more important for vascular flow to the brain.

To get around vitamin K deficiency, researchers have developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA). These blood tests measure active and inactive forms of MGP. You can determine whether you’re sufficient in vitamin K or not. It is suggested that 200 grams of vegetables a day will provide you with the recommended vitamin K dose the body needs. Studies suggest you need about 360-500 micrograms of vitamin K2 per day.

Keeping you vitamin K levels balanced has potential for improving your health. Eating fermented vegetables is a sure fire way that you will get the vitamin K the body needs. Most people are deficient in vitamin K to some degree, if you have cardiovascular disease, increase your vitamin K intake.

Sources:

http://healthimpactnews.com/2015/vitamin-k1-and-k2-two-underappreciated-nutrients-that-are-crucial-for-health/

http://www.lef.org/Magazine/2008/3/Protecting-Bone-And-Arterial-Health-With-Vitamin-K2/Page-01