The importance of Vitamin K2 & why you need to eat fermented foods now!

What is vitamin K2 and Benefits HeadlineA lot of “westerners” have never heard of Vitamin K2 because this particular vitamin is rare in our diet since it comes from fermented foods which make it very rare in modern “western” diets. It is very important and one of the key nutrients behind bone health (calcium alone is not very good!) and more. It also plays an important role in many aspects of our overall health.

What is vitamin K2?

Like Vitamin B, which has different forms, Vitamin K has been found to have different forms as well. In the past, vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 were only considered as vitamin K but a dentist by the name Dr. Weston Price, found that non-industrial diets were high with a nutrient which he called “Activator X” which seemed to provide protection against tooth decay and chronic diseases.

This nutrient was later identified as Vitamin K2. Since then vitamin K has 2 main forms, K1 and K2. Our liver uses vitamin K1 to activate calcium-binding proteins involved in blood clotting. Vitamin K2 is being used to activate proteins that controls where calcium ends up in the body.

Vitamin K1(phylloquinone) is mainly found on plant based foods like anything that is leafy and green. Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) is mainly found on fermented and animal foods. Vitamin K2 has been divided into 2 types known as MK-4 and MK-7. MK-4 are found in animals that are purely grass fed based and MK-7 are found in fermented soybeans or certain types of cheese.

Vitamin K2 benefits

Vitamin K2 acts as an activator of nutrients such as vitamin A and D so that our body can actually take advantage of the benefits from them. It is also an activator of calcium so that our bones can absorb the calcium. It is also responsible for vibrant health and high resistance to degenerative diseases and aging. It might be a reason the Okinawa’s from Japan who often live above 100 years and can stay healthy and active. Fermented foods (like Natto) are very common there.

Bone Health

A study conducted to 244 healthy women, who are on postmenopausal stage, receiving a 3-year low dose menaquinon-7 supplementation has proven to help in preventing bone loss.

Another study conducted on 13 Japanese women using higher dosage have shown similar benefits. It was found that vitamin K2 reduced hip fractures by 77%, spinal fractures by 60%, and all non-spinal fractures by 81%.

 foods with vitamin k2 are important to prevent calcium buildupHeart Health

According to the studies (1,2), calcium build-up in the arteries around the heart contributes to a huge risk factor for heart related disease. On the other hand, this study shows that vitamin K2 helps prevent calcium from being deposited in the arteries around the heart.

  Dental Health

There is a study linking that vitamin K2 may help improve dental health. One main regulating protein in dental health is osteocalcin, which stimulates the growth of new dentin. Osteocalcin is a that protein critical to bone metabolism and is also being activated by vitamin K2.

Fights Cancer

Another clinical study conducted to about 11,000 men found that taking high dosage of vitamin K2 has lower the risk of advanced prostate cancer by 63%.

Sources of Vitamin K2

As mentioned above, vitamin K2 is mainly found on fermented and animal foods. Here’s a list of vitamin K2 foods that were measured by the USDA as foods high in vitamin K2 according to Chris Kresser.

 

  • Butter (Ideally from grass fed cows)

Vitamin D Deficiency Symptoms – You Might be at Risk Even if You Go Outside!

vitamin d deficiency even if you go outside I think a lot more people nowadays are aware of vitamin D deficiency symptoms and how most people are actually deficient in this even if they go outside a few hours a day due to having clothes on & not living near the equator (where the sun strikes at an angle that hits your skin the hardest). A study showed that ~46% of UK people aged 45 were deficient in vitamin D (under 40(OH)D nmol/L) during winter & spring months. Finally, if you wear sunscreen your vitamin D production from UVB rays is reduced by ~90% or more! I also have to mention how even those that do supplement in vitamin D probably take too little and how you can find your proper dosage.

Vitamin D is actually not really a vitamin, it’s a hormone that the sun stimulates your body into producing after your skin comes into contact with the sun’s rays and this process actually takes a while (hours) between production and its complete absorption inside our skin. For that reason its important to mention that it might be preferable to NOT go swim/shower after a good 10-30 min exposure of sun if you worry about your vitamin D levels. While this research is not full proof, it does seem that water/showers can wash away vitamin D on our skin before we absorb it so I do mention it for those like me that enjoy reading at the swimming pool everyday for some morning sun.. If you also like to go swim at the same time, you might be hurting your goal of absorbing natural vitamin D.

What does Vitamin D do?

Vitamin D (and magnesium) is one of those vitamins that’s responsible for a LOT of things and makes a huge difference once you are at adequate levels. The biggest? I practically almost never get colds now… And when I do the symptoms are quite mild. This might partly be one of the benefits of vitamin C from the high amount in my diet from all the vegetables I eat but in my friends that do not eat “as well” as me (aka grains/baked goods devoid of vitamins/minerals), they still saw huge improvements from taking vitamin D supplements. The other more well known benefit nowadays is directly related to calcium and bones. Most people have been hammered to death, especially by milk advertisements, how calcium is good for growing tall and strong… The truth is, yes calcium is useful but without other important nutrients such as vitamin D, Magnesium and vitamin K2 it does not work optimally.

By having adequate levels of vitamin D you of course reduce your risk of any of the following vitamin D deficiency symptoms, some of these are taken from webMD:

  • Increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease

6 Reasons 99.9% of The People Should NOT Take Multivitamins.

are multivitamins good for you - Probably not

Something that a lot of people think, including me a few years ago, is that multivitamins are great to take. Not only great but they serve as an “insurance policy against any vitamin deficiencies I might have forgot to handle with my diet today”. No, in fact, taking the vitamins multivitamins together in one pill will make it hard for your body to even absorb some other nutrients

It’s an idea that is easy to sell to the public, take this multivitamin once a day and you don’t have to worry about nutrition ever again. But not only do multivitamins probably give you all the benefits you actually need from supplements, they can/will cause you to overdose on others that CAN cause issues. Of course, I’m not gonna repeat obvious reasons such as the mentality some people have of “if I take a multivitamin junk food is ok”, not only is that very harmful, some of these reasons will show you how more of what you do not need (in a multivitamin) can be harmful.

The Benefits of Vitamin C, Easy to Take Advantage of & Risk Free

benefits of vitamin c post read on!

image taken from https://www.flickr.com/photos/84744710@N06/8399032152

Vitamin C is one of the oldest vitamins available in supplement form, it has been studied for so long! For me it was one of the first vitamins I supplemented it when I was young as my dad would give me some to fight off colds and other sicknesses. Over time I researched more on it to see if I should keep taking it and overall vitamin C is one of the best things to supplement since it has no “realistic” overdose chances (in fact, huge quantities injected in the blood have been shown to fight cancer!) and gives you a lot of health benefits!

 

The Most Notable Vitamin C Benefits for Your Body

Major antioxidant. It’s very useful in manufacturing Glutathione, the bodies primary antioxidant. It’s also why when I drink alcohol I take some vitamin C supplements (1-2g) before hand, usually alongside N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) since they both work very well together to protect me from alcohol’s toxicity and prevent almost all potential hangovers for me.

Vitamin E Benefits & The danger of Common Vitamin E supplements

benefits of vitamin E and potential risk of vitamin E supplementsTo start off with this post, I want to mention the benefits of vitamin E for your body, some good health foods to get the vitamin E you need and finally why you probably want to AVOID vitamin E supplements!

What does vitamin E do?

The primary vitamin E benefits for our body is for skin protection against environmental damage. It protects the skin against free radicals and other environmental factors such as UVB rays from the sun. It’s a very important antioxidant for the body. the antioxidant activity from vitamin E can be summarized quickly from this paragraph in this life extension article:

“Vitamin E, because it’s a lipid-soluble antioxidant, easily penetrates into the vital membranes of the skin cells and accumulates there to protect against the damaging effects of lipid peroxidation.2 Both tocotrienols and tocopherols can freely donate a hydrogen atom (a proton plus electron) from the hydroxyl group on their chromanol ring. This action completes the molecular structure of the unbalanced free radical, effectively inactivating or quenching it.”