Vitamin K is an essential vitamin that is found in certain foods, and can also be obtained through supplementation. There are 3 groups of vitamin K: K1, K2 and K3. However, in this article we will focus only on Vitamin K2 Menaquinone-7 (MK7), which has the highest bioavailability and the longest half life.
Furthermore, numerous studies have shown that K2 has unique positive effects on heart disease and bone health. In fact, athletes use it to help recover and strengthen their bodies, so they can go through grueling workouts and recover faster. Therefore, based on this, we can see that it is a potent weapon as part of supplemental stacks.
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How it works and what it does
Vitamin K2 plays a critical role in promoting bone health density by facilitating the transport of calcium from the blood to the bones. Hence, those with deficiencies of vitamin K2 will have bone loss, especially older women. Moreover, poor levels of vitamin K will cause Matrix Gla-protein (MGP) accumulation in the arteries, which leads to heart strain because it means that calcium in the blood will bind to arterial walls. This will trigger something called calcification, and it will open the person up to heart problems as they age.
Interestingly, K2 is ten times more bio-available than K1, and it can stick around in the body for up to 72 hours, which is considerably more compared to K1 that gets cleared by the liver in under 8 hours.
Research and Medical Uses
Human studies showed that those who took the most vitamin K2 had better cardiovascular results than those who ingested the least amount. Furthermore, animal studies on this subject showed that K2 will block the progress of calcium deposits and reduce calcification by 37%. Therefore,it is extremely important to take in enough vitamin K2, since it is never too late to start supplementing with K2.
Moreover, several studies have shown that vitamin K2 has unique properties with regards to bone health and metabolism. Hence, supplementation with vitamin K2 has far reaching benefits.
Osteoporosis and the American diet
Americans not only fail to get enough vitamin K2, but they get a lot of bad foods and drinks, which deplete the body of minerals and vitamins as well. Processed foods, soft drinks, coffee, high sugar foods and even dairy products will strip the bones of calcium it needs.
In the past 100 years, sugar intake in the USA has increased substantially and this has led to obesity, arthritis, heart problems, diabetes, and many other diseases. To make matters worse, many people start their day off with coffee, cream and sugar, being all 3 of them notorious bone killers due to the following facts:
Sugar stimulates stomach production of hydrochloric acid, which causes an acidic imbalance in the body and speeds up bone loss.
Caffeine will lower blood calcium and increase parathyroid hormone, telling the body to draw calcium from the bones.
Dairy products are acidic, hence, they will deplete bones of all minerals. In fact, men and women are both at risk of major bone problems as they age because of poor lifestyle.
Nonetheless, the good news is that consuming certain foods and drinks only in moderation, and supplementing with Vitamin K2 will help reverse this trend quickly, so it is never too late to change things.
Use for Bodybuilders
Vitamin K2 promotes bone growth and mineralization of the bone matrix. When a weightlifter pounds away at their body constantly, it will starve for vitamins and minerals. Hence, strengthening the body will help prevent injuries and speed up recovery, so the athlete does not miss any gym time.
Another way in which K2 will benefit the bodybuilder, is related to those who use anabolic steroids. We know that anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS) tend to strain the heart due to cholesterol disbalance caused by bad cholesterol going up and good cholesterol going down. As mentioned earlier in the article, studies have shown that K2 will help prevent calcification, and it literally can extend the life of the athlete as they age by preventing blockage of the arteries.
Therefore, it is important to include vitamin K2 as part of a supplemental stack of minerals and vitamins if you want to protect the bones, avoid injuries, and protect your long term heart health.
Vitamin K2 is well tolerated at high dosages. However, it would be a waste of money to ever exceed the recommended dose per day.
It is recommended for a normal person to get around 100 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin K2 per day, most of which should come from supplementation.
Where to find
Vitamin K2 is found over the counter in vitamin shops and online stores. It works best for athletes when taken as part of a complete supplemental stack of other vitamins and minerals that all work in synergy together. I recommend a product called N2Joint Rx, which contains 250mcg of Vitamin K2 (MK7) and many other ingredients, all of which are designed for the athlete, and it can be found at n2bm.com.
Want to read about Vitamin K2 on our forums? check out these threads: