Strengthen your bones with nature's nutrients
Never heard of Vitamin K2? Neither had I until a few years ago. It is however probably the most important nutrient that you can take to help yourself have a healthy heart and healthy bones, and what’s more – we just don’t get it from the western diet.
So why should you make Vitamin K2 part of your supplement program?
Because caring for our cardiovascular health and our bone health are two of the most pressing health issues facing Australians today, women in particular and Vitamin K2 helps to support both of these important areas of well being.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a major cause of death in Australia, with 45,392 deaths attributed to CVD in Australia in 2015. Cardiovascular disease kills one Australian every 12 minutes. CVD is one of Australia’s largest health problems. Despite improvements over the last few decades, it remains one of the biggest burdens on our economy. Very simply put, Vitamin K2 is the body’s light switch. It activates or turns on important proteins in the body, such as osteocalcin for strong bones and the Matrix Gla Protein (MGP) for heart health.
By turning on these K-dependent proteins, Vitamin K2 helps keep calcium that crucial bone-building nutrient away from your arteries so they don’t harden and lead to cardiovascular disease. Young women pursuing a career and raising a family often put off medical care not realising that they are at risk for a heart attack or stroke. Medical experts recommend women be mindful of preventative measures throughout all stages of their lives to avoid premature heart disease and cardiovascular events. And Vitamin K2 is an essential component in that pursuit.
Unfortunately, studies have shown that 97 percent of Western populations are deficient in this vital nutrient, even those consuming healthy diets. So supplementation presents a viable alternative to ensure we have enough Vitamin K2 to experience both cardiovascular and bone benefits.
A multitude of studies have been conducted proving Vitamin K2’s effectiveness in three categories: cardiovascular health, bone health, and children’s health. I will focus on the cardiovascular and bone benefits in adults. More research is being done every day to support its benefits in these crucial areas. One exciting study published last year in the journal Thrombosis and Haemostasis, using a specific Vitamin K2 called Mena.
Q7 confirmed the impressive cardiovascular support this nutrient offers. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial of healthy postmenopausal women showed that taking 180 mcg daily for three years not only inhibited age-related stiffening of the artery walls, but also made a statistically significant improvement of vascular elasticity. In other words, a nutritional dose of Vitamin K2 actually made the arteries more flexible. I believe this breakthrough trial adds further evidence to prove the benefit of Vitamin K2 an especially important benefit to womens heart health.
Another study that caught my attention was also conducted on healthy postmenopausal women over a three-year period. This randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial again used 180 mcg of MenaQ7® Vitamin K2 and showed the first clinically statistically significant protection of the vertebrae and the hip (femoral neck) against bone loss. After three years of supplementation, maintenance in both bone mineral content and bone mineral density were statistically significant in the MenaQ7® group.
Moreover, bone strength was statistically improved, demonstrating therapeutic benefits for the MenaQ7® group as compared to the placebo group. This study published in Osteoporosis International in May 2013. Studies like these are why I love Vitamin K2, and hence I wanted to educate the public and health professionals to the benefit of this important nutrient, and the scientific evidence to support it. I believe there are several supplements that are scientifically proven to be of benefit and Vitamin K2 as MenaQ7® is one of them.
According to a study published Nov. 23 2016 in JAMA Internal Medicine, young women who’ve had a heart attack will have a 20-times increased risk of a second heart attack, and a tripled risk of a first stroke, according to findings.
Two more recent studies published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology confirm that women under the age of 55 are often unaware of the risk factors of heart disease, and are less likely to receive life-saving procedures to open clogged heart arteries compared to their male counterparts.
One of my biggest concerns about heart disease prevention for women is that health care givers are not making the connection between a woman’s bone and heart health. Calcium supplementation plays an important role for building bones, but can cause problems for the heart if Vitamin K2 is missing from the calcium supplement.
What many doctors will tell women to do is to just stop taking the calcium, but that’s not the answer. Our bodies cannot produce calcium on their own, and it is required for many functions in the body, including building strong bones. The answer is to take calcium with Vitamin K2, as it plays a critical role in regulating calcium metabolism.
By keeping the calcium in your bones and out of your arteries where calcium buildup can lead to artery clogging that can cause heart disease and strokes Vitamin K2 is an essential nutrient for promoting bone and cardiovascular health.
– Blog post provided by Craig Fallshaw, CMG and Essential Nutrition