Vitamin K-2

Health & FitnessNutrition & Supplement

  • Author Arthur Gevarnick
  • Published September 3, 2022
  • Word count 1,040

K-2

Do you know how your microwave works ? I don’t. So I asked a couple of engineers and they both gave me roughly the same answer that sounded like this: “ Microwaves work in much the same manner as other electromagnetic waves work which travels at the speed of light and are a type of radiation…” “Yes,” I said. “But how does it work ? “. And that question was met by silence.

Vitamins are like that. Most of us have neither the inclination nor the time to parse out the biochemical steps those catalysts take. So we rely on the Recommended Dietary Allowance, or RDA, which is “the average daily dietary intake level that is sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of 98 percent of healthy individuals.” As my study of science in general, and chemistry in particular occurred many moons ago, I try to keep abreast of new developments by reading books, professional journals, and of course by referencing the internet. This latter source taught me last week that both you and I, and the lady who sits behind us in church, eat approximately one credit cards worth of plastic each week, since plastic now so ubiquitously pollutes our food and water supplies. The article continued to warn that this is particularly worrisome for those individuals already suffering from irritable bowel disease.

I’m not a big vitamin aficionado and never was, I’ll tell you why. When I was in professional school we had an instructor who was. He took mega-doses of vitamins and advocated that we should too. About mid-way through our term he nearly died while we had to adjust to a new instructor. Why ? You guessed it… nephrotoxicity from ingesting all those vitamins. From that day on I considered mega-dosing vitamins to be analogous to visiting an assassin-rich, bug-infested, do-not-go-there jungle.

There’s much that the RDA doesn’t talk about. It doesn’t talk about how we, in the U.S. have now been farming our soils for over 200 years and currently only replenish them with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium; which hardly addresses the almost 100 known minerals and nutrients native to the soil which now never get replenished. The “big three,“ nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium are all you need to grow a big corn, wheat, or bean plant, but today’s organic farmers would question its value. The RDA also doesn’t address why the over 741 million people of Europe will not buy our meat. Our agricultural livestock industry, as a matter of policy to enhance growth systematically feed steroid to our animals and the European Economic Community Cancer researchers advise that “there is no dietary level of hormones which is safe to consume.” They don’t think it’s fit to eat.

Where does that leave me.. First, I’m unmoved by those delicious looking barbecue steak advertisements on TV. Feedlot cattle are unnatural and unhealthy, period. I consider them one step above eating carrion. Second, recognizing that our soils ARE depleted I’ll buy organically produced food when I can and I’ll take a one-a-day vitamin, at least once a week, as insurance. Vitamins are not nutrients, they are catalysts, they work like keys, you only need a little.

That said, I want to tell you about a vitamin which is important that you may be blissfully unaware of: Vitamin K-2; not to be confused with vitamin K-1, phylloquinone, which is the vitamin K you learned about in school. You get it from eating green leafy vegetables and it’s important in normal coagulation. I’m talking about vitamin K-2 which you and I essentially essentially cannot make in any usable amount. Our ancestors got plenty of it from eating animals that ate grass. We stopped getting it when our domesticated farm animals stopped being fed grass and started being fed almost exclusively on corn. Why is this important ? Vitamin K-2 functions in calcium metabolism and “has been shown to play a role in improving outcomes for osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, cancer, and inflammatory diseases. “ A useful way of thinking of it is that “while vitamin D helps us absorb calcium, vitamin K-2 tells the calcium where to go. “ “Accumulating data from both basic science and clinical studies demonstrate that the beneficial effects of K2 are not covered by current RDI guidelines.” Japan has a 1000 year history of including in their diet a very K2 rich food called “natto,” a fermented soybean dish. (1.) The K2, it was determined, are produced by bacteria in that cuisine. It was postulated that the K-2 might be responsible for the lower fracture risk and stronger bone densities of those older Japanese who ate it individuals. Trial studies were conducted in Japan that administered 350 ug of MK-7 per week ( one of several chemical configurations of vitamin K-2 ) to postmenopausal women that showed a reduced risk of osteoporotic fractures.(2.) Though not as clear, a correlation linking K-2 supplementation and improved cardiovascular health has been shown in a large controlled study,”the Rotterdam Study.” (3.)To date no harmful side effects have been reported regarding vitamin K-2 supplementation. Again, you can get it either by eating grass-fed beef or by taking a fat-soluble supplement-which usually combines some K-1 with two forms of K-2 ( Mk-7 and Mk-4 ). (4.)(5.)

It was long observed that the French, whose diets were as rich in fats as the Italians have long enjoyed significantly lower rates of heart disease. It is now postulated that this may be due to the fact that the French, unique among Europeans, have long had the custom of eating horse-meat. And horses, who cannot be fed on corn, must eat grass and therefore would produce vitamin K-2. (6.)

As of this writing there is still not an RDA for vitamin K-2 in the U. S. In the words of Pearl Buck “The oxen are slow but the earth is patient.“

Arthur Gevarnick

1 Naoka laba et.al. J Nutr. Sci. Vitaminol (Tokyo). 2015

2 JAMA. Intern. Med. 2018 PMID : 2958246 Systemic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

3 Pubmed.gov Johanna M. Geleijnse et.al. J Nutr 2004 Nov. Dietary intake of menaquinone is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.

4 Pubmed.gov Gast et. al. J Nutr Metab Cardio Vasc Dis 2009 Sep.

5 Nutritionkit March 6 2017

6 best france forever. 5th February 2021

Former navy pilot, retired VA dentist. I like to fly fish.

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