When I grew up, my mom was always concerned about my calcium levels. I grew up in a time where people thought dairy contributed to bone health. And I háted cow’s milk. It’s 2018 and we now know that this is not the case – there are even studies, like The China Study, that show higher levels of osteoporisis in countries where they drink a lot of cow’s milk. But what does contribute to bone health? Calcium definitely does. But also magnesium. Now, those are two minerals you’ve heard about before. But vitamin K2 also plays a big role in bone health. And that one might just be new to you!
According to OrthoKennis: “Vitamin K is essential for the activity of a special tissue protein (matrix Gla protein) that by binding calcium helps to keep the artery wall, joint cartilage and other soft tissues in the body flexible and elastic. In addition, vitamin K is indispensable for the activity of osteocalcin, a bone protein that plays an important role in the formation and maintenance of healthy and well-mineralized bone tissue.” So how to take in enough Vitamin K2? It’s found in natto or fermentation of chickpea flour (MK-7); meat and eggs (MK-4); and (fermented) dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt (MK-8 and MK-9).
But… according to OrthoKennis, there is scientific evidence that the vitamin K intake of many adults and children is insufficient for an optimal vitamin K status.
Vitamin K2 deficiency?
Now how do you know if you have a K2 deficiency? Ask your GP for a blood test. These are some of the symptoms that could indicate a Vitamin K2 deficiency: inadequate clotting (longer bleeding time, spontaneous bleeding, bruising, spontaneous nose bleeding, menorrhagia, haematuria), accelerated decrease of elasticity of the vessels and osteoporosis.
Also for skin, hair and nails
I probably don’t have to tell you why bone health is so important, but did you know that if your body has a mineral deficiency, it starts to take out minerals from other places to provide your bones with enough minerals? Your body thinks your bones are more important than your skin, hair and nails. So ultimately, making sure your bones are getting enough calcium, magnesium and vitamin K will probably result in better quality of skin, hair and nails.
If you think you might have a deficiency, or that your body is better of with an extra dosage of vitamin K2, supplements could be helping, but only in consultation with your (orthomolecular) doctor. I personally take an extra dosage of vitamin K2, made of fermentation of chickpeas – from Vitals. It’s suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
This article was written in collaboration with Vitals.