A note on vitamin K2 from Nathan Zassman:

As a critical nutrient for proper calcium absorption and metabolism, vitamin K2 ensures that calcium, either from supplements or the diet, is used to help build bone mineral density. As a precursor to the production of MGP (matrix GLA protein) and osteocalcin, K2 prevents calcium from being deposited in the arteries, and is for this reason one of my essential supplements, along with a multi vitamin mineral antioxidant, omega 3 (DHA/EPA), Omega 6 (GLA), and Vitamin D. The best forms of vitamin K2 include MK4 and MK7. I recommend 150-200 mcg per day of MK7.

Health Disclaimer.

Vitamin K: The Next Must-Have Vitamin

By Jeanne M. Andrews

When asked which vitamin has the most significant positive effects on their health, many people would name vitamin C, for its ability to ward off colds and flu. A few more would cite vitamin D, since a growing body of medical literature credits "the sunshine vitamin" for helping to prevent cancer and other serious diseases.

Few people would cite vitamin K on a list of absolutely essential nutrients. However, an increasing body of research shows that this must-have vitamin may play as substantial a role in your health as powerhouse vitamins C and D.

Vitamin K Helps Build Strong Bones

Most nutritionists believe vitamin K plays its major role as a clotting agent - without enough of it circulating in your blood stream, your blood won't form clots. People who take blood thinners such as Coumadin are at particular risk for a deficiency in vitamin K, since those blood thinners interfere with the body's ability to re-use the vitamin K it has on hand.

However, health researchers are beginning to realize that vitamin K also may play a critical role in bone health and strength. In order for your body to produce the building blocks necessary to create strong bones, it needs vitamin K. Taking supplemental calcium to strengthen your bones won't do any good unless you also have enough vitamin K in your system to move that calcium from your blood stream to your bones.

In addition, some research shows that vitamin K may play a role in strengthening blood vessel walls and cartilage. Finally, it may help to reduce oxidative damage in your body, and it's possible that it may help support and improve the structure of your nerves and brain.

Sources of Vitamin K: Foods and Supplements

Currently, the recommended daily allowance for vitamin K is 90 micrograms for men and women 19 and older, and 75 micrograms for teens. Children need less vitamin K than adults: 30 micrograms for those one to three years old, 55 micrograms for four- to eight-year-olds, and 60 micrograms for children nine to 13 years old.

It's not clear whether most people get enough vitamin K from food - some researchers say yes, while others say no. Food sources of vitamin K include leafy greens such as spinach, kale and dark green lettuce, vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage, and fermented foods such as soy-based natto.

Many multi-vitamin supplements contain some vitamin K, but few contain anything close to the recommended daily allowance for adults. If you're concerned about getting enough, you'll need to either take a separate supplement or increase your consumption of vitamin K-containing foods.

Research into vitamin K's role in the body is ongoing, especially into its ability to prevent calcification - i.e., hardening - of the arteries. Future studies may indicate this vitamin is just as critical to human health as vitamins C and D.

Health Disclaimer. Copyright ©2011-2014. Published with permission. Jeanne M. Andrews is a freelance writer and is not affiliated with avivahealth.com.

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