02 Nov Those Boney Vitamins
Which Vitamins REALLY Support Bone Health
It is repeated over and over again that calcium is the key to good bone health, but have you heard the word about vitamin K2 yet? Without vitamin K2 and vitamin D, having enough calcium in your diet (or via supplementation) is useless. In fact it could be outright harmful!
What is vitamin K2? K2 is just one of the forms of vitamin K required for health. K2 needs fat to absorb, it is made in the gut by your own clever bacteria and it is found in some fermented foods and some dairy products. Some of your best sources of K2 are natto (fermented soy), butter and offal.
Why is it important? All of your vitamins are important, the word vitamin means “essential for human health”. And we are discussing K2’s importance today because of the role it plays in calcium distribution in the body, specifically in the bone and in the heart!
K2 in Bone Health K2 is involved in organising the minerals needed for bone mineral density. A deficiency in Vitamin K2 increases your risk of developing osteoporosis and / or a fracture. As we age, the requirements for this vitamin are increased and are especially important in post-menopausal women.
K2 in Heart Health Vitamin K2 prevents calcium buildup in the walls of the blood vessels, build up which could otherwise lead to heart disease and even heart attack. Supplementing with Vitamin K2 may protect your heart from further damage if you are at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Why might you be deficient in K2? If you have a healthy diet with lots of variety and a healthy microbiome (gut bacteria), then your vitamin K2 levels may be absolutely perfect. Unfortunately, due to our current diet and environment, many people suffer from decreased absorption of vitamins and minerals or you may experience inflammation in the gut inhibiting vitamin K2 production. These people should consider supplementing with K2, especially if you are at increased risk of cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis.
Specific conditions associated with deficiency:
- Osteoporosis / Osteopenia
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative Colitis
- Coeliac disease
- IBS / SIBO
- Atherosclerosis (high cholesterol)
- Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Medications which may interfere with Vitamin K2:
- Reflux medications
- Blood thinners
It should be noted that taking Vitamin K2 as a supplement while on blood thinning medication may be unsafe and if you are taking any medication, you should speak to your trusted healthcare professional before starting any form of supplementation.
Vitamin K2 may be the newest flavour of the month when it comes to bone health, but with good reason. I always recommend consulting with a nutritionist, naturopath or dietician about the right supplements and diet for you to prevent or slow osteoporosis development.
Happy Bones Happy Humans 🙂 Is that how the expression goes?
Chloe Turner, Naturopath, My Gut, My Immunity.