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Why You Can’t Afford to be Deficient in Vitamin K

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Vitamin K Vitamin K is a critical nutrient widely known for its ability to promote normal blood clotting. A wealth of new information demonstrates that this vitamin in its multiple forms can provide a powerful anti-inflammatory shield to protect against many lethal diseases of aging. In fact, in one study published in the Journal of Nutrition, researchers found that vitamin K works with other fat-soluble nutrients to protect the brain from arterial calcification that leads to a stroke or cognitive decline.

Vitamin K works to prevent the deposition of calcium within arterial walls and ushers the mineral toward the normal construction of bone throughout the body. The research provides proof that eating a healthy diet to maintain adequate stores of vitamin K over a lifetime can help prevent arterial hardening, atherosclerosis and cognitive decline.

Also read:
The New Essential Bone Health Nutrient You Might Be Missing

Vitamin K Supports Brain Health to Prevent Cognitive Decline

To determine the effect of vitamin K on cognitive function, researchers studied three groups of mice that were broken into a low, adequate, or high level of vitamin K supplemented in their diet over the course of their lifetime. Vitamin K is a fat soluble nutrient that can easily cross the blood-brain barrier to provide antioxidant support to a critical organ composed primarily of omega-3 fats.

Researchers found that vitamin K plays an important role in maintaining the white matter region of the brain by supporting the myelin sheathing that protects axons, connecting glial cells together with axons, and facilitating the speed at which your brain functions. Animals with the lowest supplemental vitamin K levels displayed the highest degree of cognitive decline as they grew older, compared with the highest vitamin K group.

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Vitamin K2 Inhibits Arterial Hardening and Can Prevent Atherosclerosis

Scientists publishing in the journal Atherosclerosis determined the effect of vitamin K on 564 post-menopausal women. The study was designed to contrast dietary intake of both the phylloquinone (vitamin K1) and menaquinone (vitamin K2) with coronary artery calcification (atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries). Researchers found that the K2 form of vitamin K was associated with a significant decrease in coronary artery calcification, while vitamin K1 did not appear to impact disease progression.

Dark green leafy vegetables provide a healthy dose of vitamin K1 but are not a significant source of vitamin K2, the form shown to yield protection against arterial hardening and dementia. Fermented foods such as natto, egg yolks and certain cheeses provide high levels of K2, although many people may choose to avoid these foods. Health-minded individuals will need to supplement with a quality supplement providing the full range of vitamin K isomers (1000 – 2000 mcg per day) to avert atherosclerosis and cognitive function decline.

References:

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/early/2011/06/08/jn.110.137638

http://www.wellnessresources.com/studies/vitamin_k_enhances_cognitive_function_during_aging/

http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2009/jan2009_Vitamin-K-Protection-Against-Arterial-Calcification-Bone-Loss-Cancer-Aging_01.htm

http://www.atherosclerosis-journal.com/article/S0021-9150%2808%2900507-8/abstract


John Phillip is a diet, health and nutrition researcher and writer with a passion for understanding weight loss challenges and encouraging health modification through natural diet, lifestyle and targeted supplementation. John’s passion is to research and write about the cutting edge alternative health technologies that affect our lives.

Discover the latest alternative health news concerning diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia and weight loss at My Optimal Health Resource.

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5 responses to “Why You Can’t Afford to be Deficient in Vitamin K”

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  4. Connie Hablenko says:

    I have to be vitamin K deficient since I am on a blood thinner and probably will be for the rest of my life. Nice to know how having between 65 and 100 mgs a day will have such horrible effects on my heart, arteries, bones and various other bady functions. suggestions?

    • Suzanne says:

      I don’t know the answer to your question but I do know that K2 was named the Forgotten Vitamin by Dr. Weston A. Price, DDS. He was a brilliant man and probably should be called the Forgotten Dentist/Nutritionist/Researcher. There is a free talk on K2 on Dr. Joe Mercola’s site, www.mercola.com that may have the answer. Also check out this amazing book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Vitamin-K2-Calcium-Paradox-Little-Known/dp/0062320041/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1398252854&sr=1-3

      Are you allowed to eat foods that have K2 in them like grass fed meat, raw milk and grass fed butter? Eating this way, you might get enough K2 in your system. I wouldn’t ask your doctor but a nutritionist who is schooled in K2. I am a nutrition coach but we weren’t taught much about this vitamin in school.