I’m here to talk about one of my favorite things, which helps bones. And the topic today is vitamin K2, specifically. I was recently listening to a podcast. The podcast featured Dr. Goodman, who primarily talked about heart health because he is a lipidologist, a specialized cardiologist of New York. In his podcast, he explained the importance of K2, not just for the heart and the blood vessels, but for our bones. And I was like, “Wow?” Because I had so often heard about vitamin K and the importance of K in bone health, I never understood it.
So, one of the things that he explained was that vitamin K’s role is to, in a simplistic way, keep the calcium that is important in our diet, out of our blood vessels, and in our skeleton. And so, how it does that is that we have a protein called osteocalcin that is floating around in our bloodstream, essential in bone building. And it needs calcium to help build bone, but it needs a byproduct to help that calcium. And that byproduct is not a byproduct, and I guess it’s a cofactor. It’s a helper in the calcium to bind to the osteocalcin to build our bones. But that helper is vitamin K., And so, it’s like of a sudden, like, well, that so makes sense in terms of studies where people are taking lots of calcium, but they never looked at how much K they were taking, and the calcium was coating their arteries. And so, everybody was concerned about how much calcium everybody was getting and not looking at all the other essential nutrients in our diet.
So, you might be wondering, “Where do we get vitamin K?” So, vitamin K comes in a lot of wonderful foods that we already recommend for bones, kale and spinach, and green, leafy vegetables such as Chinese cabbages. All these things are already, you know, very significant in terms of alkalinity. It also is present in soy and olive oils, some fish, and eggs. So, you know, you might want to do the math one day and figure out how much K you’re regularly getting in your diet. And if you feel like you’re not getting enough K, you might be wondering even how much you should be taking. So the recommendation by Dr. Goodman for postmenopausal women is in the range of 180 micrograms per day. So, if you are not getting that level in your diet, you might consider supplementing. So then, the next question is, what type of K do I supplement with?
Because there are many types of K on the market, the most bioavailable that appears to be beneficial is K2. And when it comes to K2, there’s even, sort of, a division as to what type of K2. There’s an MK4 and MK7, and it appears that MK4 has been used as the type of vitamin K in many studies, but that MK7 is, you know, just one step better in that it appears to have a longer half-life from MK4. But I think either one would be a very beneficial addition to your bone health. And so, word of caution, one is…, and I’m not as sure about the MK7 in terms of people who have a soy allergy because MK7 is derived from fermented soy, so its bacteria comes from fermented soy. And the other word of caution is for individuals who are on anticoagulants. So, it’s not that K is negative for someone who’s an anticoagulant, even though K is essential for blood clotting. It’s more than you must be on a steady state of K.
If you’re started on anticoagulant therapy and already on a supplement, make sure you speak to your doctor. But as long as you’re maintaining that level of K throughout your anticoagulant course, then it seems to enhance the Coumadin or whatever anticoagulant medication you happen to be given. So, as with all supplements you’re considering adding to your diet, you should speak with your pharmacist or physician about adding the K2. And so, I hope that this information on K2 gives you one more piece to your puzzle in making sure that you have optimum bone health. Thanks for reading.