You probably don’t think about your bones all that much, until you break one that is.
We all know that the skeletal system provides the basic framework for our anatomy, but what can you do to take better care of your bones?
If you think that the calcium and vitamin D found in a glass of milk are enough to sustain our bones, and while they aren’t necessarily wrong, there’s one more extremely special vitamin that plays an integral role in this process, its vitamin K2.
Vitamin K2 is a type of vitamin K that itself comes in many different forms. Most importantly, vitamin K2 menaquinone-7, or mk-7, is one such form with a high bioavailability. This means that mk-7 is absorbed in greater quantities than other forms, and as such can reach a number of different systems within the body – this is just one of the uniquebenefits of vitamin K2.
Vitamin D assists our bodies in absorbing calcium. In much the same way, vitamin K2 allows the calcium we ingest to be utilized more efficiently.
Our bones produce a protein known as osteocalcin that is activated by vitamin K2. When osteocalcin is activated, it allows calcium to bind with the bone mineral matrix. This binding is what makes our bones stronger. Without vitamin K2 this process cannot take place.
In other words, without vitamin K2, we cannot properly use the calcium we ingest.
A 2013 study published in Osteoporosis International followed postmenopausal women who were prescribed a vitamin K2 mk-7 supplement. A separate group was given a placebo.
After three years, researchers analyzed the women’s bone mineral density and overall bone strength. The women who had been prescribed the vitamin K2 mk-7 supplement showed noticeable improvement in both of these areas. The results of this study and others have shown that vitamin K2 provides significant benefits to overall bone health for older peoples.
Many senior citizens break bones as a result of falls, or have to deal with the painful side effects of osteoporosis. Supplementing your diet with vitamin K2 can help prevent those issues from becoming more serious.
One problem with vitamin K2 is that it remains difficult to tell if you are truly deficient, as there exists no real test. However, conditions like osteoporosis, diabetes, and heart disease are believed to have a correlation to vitamin K2 deficiency. So if you’re suffering from one or more of these conditions, then you may very well be deficient.
If you’ve suffered from deep-vein thrombosis and are taking oral anti-coagulants, these medications may block the absorption of vitamin K2, so talk to your health care provider and exercise caution.
How to Get More Benefits of Vitamin K2 In Your Diet
Vitamin K2 is somewhat elusive, being found only in a few foods. Green leafy vegetables, animal products like eggs and milk, and fermented foods are some of the only places it’s found naturally.
If you’re consuming these foods regularly, then you’re probably getting enough vitamin K2 in your diet. If not, you may want to consider taking a vitamin K2 supplement. These typically come in the form of capsules and the recommended dose is 150 micrograms per day.
Strengthening your bones early is the best way to avoid problems like osteoporosis as you age.Click To Tweet By the time you’ve reached age 30, you have accumulated all the bone mass you will ever develop. One of the biggest benefits of vitamin K2 is that it can help you build strong bones now; and it can also help keep your bones healthy as you age.
Unfortunately, bone health is not something that many of us think about until it is too late. Broken bones and conditions like osteoporosis are painful and debilitating, but vitamin K2 can stave off osteoporosis and help you prevent unwanted fractures.
This seemingly insignificant vitamin has vital role to play our bodies and cardiovascular health, so eat more eggs, fresh vegetables, cheese, and fermented foods to ensure that it has a place in your diet.