Vitamin K: keeping calcium where it belongs
By Dr. Kate Rhéaume-Bleue
Despite the dramatic increase in sales of calcium supplements and calcium-fortified foods, rates of osteoporosis are relatively unchanged. At the same time, atherosclerotic plaques made up of calcium (among other things), continue to plague western populations. This is the Calcium Paradox: concurrent arterial calcification and bone loss. Is there a way to guide calcium out of arteries and back into bones? Yes, vitamin K.
Vitamin K is a group of fat-soluble vitamins and new research shows that many apparently healthy people are vitamin K deficient, potentially increasing their risk of bone loss and arterial calcification.1
Vitamin K1, (phylloquinone), is made by plants and is available in foods such as green leafy vegetables. Although important for good health, research shows that K2, not K1, is the major player in solving the Calcium Paradox.
Vitamin K2, (menaquinone), is found in the fermented soybean food natto, egg yolk, and dairy products from animals fed primarily on grass, not grain. Until recently vitamin K2 was only available in Canada with a prescription, but is now finally available in supplement form.
Vitamins K and D: better together
Vitamins K and D work synergistically to improve bone density. Many of the clinical trials found vitamins K2 and D had greater effect when given together as opposed to either nutrient alone.2 Vitamin D is required for the absorption of minerals such as calcium while K is needed to direct the minerals to the right place, preventing an inappropriate calcification of soft tissues.
Natural Factors Vitamin K &D provides 120 mcg of vitamin K2 as MK-7 (the most effective type of K2) along with 1000 IU of vitamin D3 in each softgel.
1. Cranberg, E.C.M., et al., “Vitamin K: The coagulation vitamin that became omnipotent”. Thrombosis and Haemostasis July 2007; 98:120-125
2. Weber, P., “Vitamin K and Bone Health.” Nutrition 2001; 17:880-887
Vitamin K + D from Natural Factors provides two major fat-soluble vitamins for bone and vascular health: bioactive and highly bioavailable vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), and vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7 [MK-7]) from natto beans. Both vitamins act on calcium and guide the mineral toward where it is needed throughout the body.
|Each softgel contains:|
|Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) (MK-7) (natto bean)||120 mcg|
|Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) (lanolin)||1000 IU (25 mcg)|
Suggested Use: Combining vitamins D and K may provide even better support than the individual nutrients for bone and teeth development, and vascular health. Contains the bioactive and highly bioavailable D3 and MK-7 forms.
Vitamin K + D from Natural Factors features vitamin K2 as menaquinone-7 (MK-7), an advanced, fat-soluble form of vitamin K that serves multiple functions in the body. Vitamin K2 plays a critical role in protecting the heart, as well as in building strong bones. As a director of calcium, vitamin K2 guides the mineral toward tissues where it is needed, such as bones, and away from tissues where it could have a negative effect, such as arteries. The highly bioavailable MK-7 from natto beans is the only form of vitamin K2 that offers 24-hour protection in a single daily dose. Other commercially available subtypes of vitamin K2, such as MK-4, only last four to six hours in the body and are required in much larger dosages to be effective.
Vitamin D is also a fat-soluble vitamin essential for calcium absorption, playing an important role in the growth and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Ongoing and current research outlines the importance of vitamin D in the prevention of osteoporosis. It helps calcium absorption from the intestines, reduces calcium excretion, and facilitates calcium incorporation into the bones. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the safe, natural, and more biologically active form of vitamin D.
Vitamin K + D from Natural Factors provides the ideal ratio of two major fat-soluble vitamins for overall health and support of bones and vascular health.