You mayhave heard of vitamin K. Perhaps you’ve even heard of vitamin K2. But how many of you have heard of vitamin K2 MK-7? Let me tell you about vitamin K2 benefits. Be enlightened as to how this mostly unknown vitamin appears to be vital, especially in helping to regress arterial calcification.
Calcification heralds heart disease
In artery and heart cells, if calcium levels are too high within a cell, the cell actually changes physically and will die. Excess calcium makes for stiffness and hardening and if soft tissue hardens it is a real problem, the problem of calcification. This calcification impedes proper functioning and heralds the advancement of heart disease. The correct balance of calcium to magnesium will counteract this calcification.
Your first heart event could be your last
The problem with calcification is that it creeps up insidiously and increases year on year. As the calcification burden intensifies, we probably won’t even know about it, until one day, out of the blue, a heart event occurs. 50% of the time, the first heart event in someone’s life is the death of them.
Introducing vitamin K2
The imbalance of calcium and magnesium, which causes calcification in soft tissues, is well known. Not well known is that those who do have calcifications can reduce the outcome of atherosclerosis with vitamin K2. Those who consume good amounts of K2 have the lowest risk of cardiovascular disease. Also, calcification of the arteries can be reduced, lowering the chance of dying from these diseases.
K1 and K2 are different
K1 and K2 are both fat soluble vitamins necessary for blood clotting, but with vitamin K2 it has other functions. It activates osteocalcin and matrix Gla-protein (MGP).These are very important enzymes that aid calcium out of the vascular system and ushers it into the bones. Vitamin K1 has not shown to have the same anti calcific properties as K2.It is, however, used in a controversial vaccination which is given to newborns.
K1 given to newborns
Most of the newborns worldwide have an injection of vitamin K1 which prevents haemorrhaging. Vitamin K is stored in the liver as apposed to being throughout the body. This inhibits the mother’s vitamin K from crossing the placenta. Consequently babies can be born with a vitamin K deficiency, which incurs a risk of haemorrhage. Once babies start eating solid food, their livers will store vitamin K from food. It is uncommon for babies to have a vitamin K deficiency bleed but it can be catastrophic should it happen.
Baby’s first injections?
Baby’s first injections causes much debate and controversy. At the moment, parents are given the choice to skip this first shot of K1 but the other vaccination of Hep-B is often given without consent from the parent. Hep-B is completely unnecessary in my mind and can cause devastating problems for the unfortunate few. But that’s another article…
MGP and osteocalcin work together
MGP (matrix gla protein, the Gla is short for glutamic acid), extracts calcium out of the arteries and directs it to the bone. Osteocalcin which resides in the bone, then helps keep calcium in the bone where it belongs. These two proteins MGP and osteocalcin are so important. They are both vitamin K2 dependent and neither can function without it.
The vascular system
MGP, is found in the vascular system which includes all the body’s network of blood vessels, arteries, veins and capillaries. You can imagine how important it is, as this network carries our blood to and from the heart. You can also imagine how many diseases would be induced if this system broke down. Atherosclerosis is hardening of the arteries which is shown up with a coronary calcium scan.
NIH description of atherosclerosis
As the NIH (National Heart Lung and Blood Institute) states – “Atherosclerosis can affect any artery in the body, including arteries in the heart, brain, arms, legs, pelvis, and kidneys. As a result, different diseases may develop based on which arteries are affected.”
MGP inhibits calcification
Another important finding was that MGP is a very strong inhibitor of calcification. If you inactivate MGP, you endup with serious arterial calcifications. This is why vitamin K2 is so crucial for cardiovascular health. Evidencesuggests vitamin K2 can even regress arterial calcification induced by vitamin K2 deficiency.
The K2 story is quite involved. Don’t glaze over with boredom. Know that you could protect yourself from this problem by just taking a simple supplement of K2 MK-7. You can also consume certain foods that will give you your daily microgram dose. Gaining it from food is more of a problem, not least because some of the food is not to everyone’s taste!
Somewhat unpalatable Natto
The foods that contain MK-7, are fermented foods such as a fermented soy known as natto. Natto is produced using a specific strain of bacteria called Bacillus subtilis. This stuff is an acquired taste to say the least and some find it obnoxious, that’s why so many go for the MK-7 supplement.
K2also known as ‘menaquinone’
Vitamin K2 is also known as ‘menaquinone’ and K2 has a whole family of them. But we’re just interested in K2 MK-4 and K2 MK-7. MK-4 and MK-7 are the only K2s available as supplements and the concensus of opinion is that MK-7 is the better menaquinone to take.
What do the letters stand for?
The M stands for menaquinone, the K stands for the vitamin K and the number is a description of how the molecule is made up. As you can see from the diagram, it shows the different structures of K1, K2 MK-4 and K2 MK-7. We can get MK-4 from green leafy veggies, some cheeses and egg yolks. MK-7 you can only obtain from fermented foods such as natto and miso. MK-4 has a short half life which means you have to take it 3 or 4 times a day to get maximum benefit. With the MK-7 though, the half life is much longer and a single dose per day is all that’s necessary.The amount needed by the body each day is very small, in micrograms. Doses of as little as 45mcg per day have been suggested as being adequate.
Dr Leon Schurgers
Dr. Leon Schurgers is a senior scientistat Maastricht University. Hebegan his research on vitamin K some 20 years ago. Currently one of the leading researchers in the world on this vitamin, he says:
“There is a very strong correlation between inactive MGP and microcalcifications. It’s very interesting tospeculate that vitamin K deficiency is causative of microcalcification, which then sets on a whole cascadeof processes leading to atherosclerosis.”
The Rotterdam Study
This study was started in 1990 when subjects were introduced over a 3 years period (1990-1993). The analysis included 4807 people with dietary data and no evidence or history of myocardial infarction (heart attack) at baseline. These people were followed until January 2000. The study used 3 different levels ofmenaquinone (vitamin K2). Results found that there was a direct relation to the reduction in coronary heart disease (CHD) as well as all cause mortality. Those consuming the upper levels of K2(45mcg) had a 50% reduction in coronary calcification. They also had a 50% reduction of all cause mortality against those consuming the lower amount of K2.
Have a look at this short video about K2 from Dr Eric Berg.
And for those taking statins
Statins stimulate atherosclerosis and heart failure: pharmacological mechanisms by Dr. Harumi Okuyama from Japan. This is an article in theExpert Review of Clinical Pharmacology, March 2015. It starts by saying: In contrast to the current belief that cholesterol reduction with statins decreases atherosclerosis, we present a perspective that statins may be causative in coronary artery calcification and can function as mitochondrial toxins that impair muscle function in the heart and blood vessels through the depletion of coenzyme Q10and ‘heme A’, and thereby ATP generation. Statins inhibit the synthesis of vitamin K2, the cofactor for matrix Gla-protein activation, which in turn protects arteries from calcification.
Dr Dennis Goodman
Dr Dennis Goodman is a cardiologist and currently a Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at New York Medical Associates in Manhattan. Commenting on the above article, he stated that for him, if true, it was huge that statins actually deplete vitamin K2. Therefore, everybody on a statin (26% of over 40s in USA in 2012), will be deplete in vitamin K2. Taking a K2 supplement is a must to counteract this statin side effect.
Dr Joe Mercola
Dr Joe Mercola, talking with Dr Dennis Goodman remarked that “There are certain things that you need to take, like magnesium and vitamin K2, because they help to prevent the aging process.” Dr Goodman replied “I think magnesium, vitamin D and vitamin K2 would be a wonderful combo.” (to counteract cardiovascular diseases).
Are you vitamin D deficient?
It is no good being replete with vitamin D3 unless you have adequate magnesium levels. Magnesium is necessary to activate the storage form of vitamin D. So, even if you may appear to be vitamin D deficient, upon repleting with magnesium, that apparent deficiency may disappear. Please be careful with vitamin D. Too much of it can have an adverse affect causing a buildup of Ca in the blood.
Mg/K2, a brilliant team
Out of all the supplements you can take to increase your health and/or protect you and your children’s health for the future, Magnesium would be my number 1 choice. I would addK2MK-7 to help with regressing calcification. As you can see from these 2 eminent doctors, they also put Mg at the top of their list of supplements.
Don’t take my word for it!
Don’t take my word for it, take theirs. They are both experts in the field of integrative medicine and are knowledgeable on all fronts of allopathy and naturopathy. Their advice is to take Mg and K2MK-7. With vitamin D, take Mg first and see how much your D deficiency improves before taking a D3 supplement.
Lucky enough to enjoy sun most days?
Of course, if you live in sunny climes, you will not need to supplement at all with D3, as long as you bare your skin to the sun regularly. Don’t use sun creams! Use hats and long sleeved cotton shirts and long shorts to protect you after you’ve had your ‘skinful’. Just 15 minutes a day in midday sun should do the job. A little less if you are very fair skinned.
Why vitamin D3?
Research in 2011 found vitamin D3 to be superior in raising levels in the body compared with vitamin D2. Now new research has compounded this finding with one study showing that D3:
- Converts 500 percent faster to its active form than D2.
- Is 87% better than D2 at raising and maintaining vitamin D levels.
- Produces up to 3 times greater storage than D2.
Spread the word!
Vitamin K2 benefits
Heard of vitamin K? Perhaps you've heard of vitamin K2. But how many of you have heard of vitamin K2 MK-7? Let me tell you about vitamin K2 benefits.
Does K2 prevent calcification? ›
Background: Menaquinone-7 (MK-7), also known as vitamin K2, is a cofactor for the carboxylation of proteins involved in the inhibition of arterial calcification and has been suggested to reduce the progression rate of aortic valve calcification (AVC) in patients with aortic stenosis.Can vitamin K2 remove plaque from arteries? ›
Scientifically reviewed by Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in May 2022. Written by: Jennifer Ming. In a new study, scientists have presented powerful evidence that vitamin K2 can reduce the progression of atherosclerosis, the “blockage” of the arteries that can lead to heart attacks and strokes.Does K2 take calcium deposits from arteries? ›
K2 also activates a second important enzyme that specifically protects the heart from the unhealthy effects of calcium. Matrix Gla protein (MGP) is another calcium-binding enzyme activated by vitamin K2. When activated, MGP binds excess calcium in the blood and prevents it from being deposited in arteries.Does vitamin K reduce calcification? ›
Vitamin K may also inhibit progression of vascular calcification by enhancing the activity of MGP through facilitating its γ-carboxylation. In support of this hypothesis, the procalcific effects of warfarin, an antagonist of vitamin K, on arterial calcification have been demonstrated in several clinical studies.How long does it take for K2 to clean arteries? ›
In the groups receiving high-dose vitamin K1 or K2 (MK-4), not only was there no further arterial calcium accumulation, there was a 37% reduction of previously accumulated arterial calcification after six weeks. After 12 weeks, there was a 53% reduction in accumulated arterial calcium deposits.What supplements reduce calcification? ›
However, a promising candidate in this regard would be vitamin K. Of all the nutritional supplements, this vitamin presently has the best perspective to become recommended for the prevention or progression of calcification.Does magnesium dissolve arterial plaque? ›
In vitro (15–19) and animal (19–23) studies suggest biological mechanisms through which magnesium may prevent or reverse plaque formation and calcification.How do you reverse calcification of arteries naturally? ›
This includes eating a diet that consists of:
- Dieting (especially to limit cholesterol, fat and sodium)
- Quitting smoking.
- Avoiding alcohol.
- Losing weight.
Niacin, or Vitamin B3, is the best agent known to raise blood levels of HDL, which helps remove cholesterol deposits from the artery walls.
How do you Decalcify arteries and veins? ›
- Take Vitamin K2. : K2 is a fat-soluble vitamin that may help reduce calcium. ...
- Consume Vitamin D3. : D3 is another fat-soluble vitamin that works together with K2 an may also help reduce calcium in your arteries. ...
- Take Magnesium. ...
- Take IP-6 (Phytic Acid)
It is responsible for making blood coagulate or thicken, to form a clot.What can remove calcification? ›
No treatments can remove calcium deposits from the cartilage of the joints, so doctors tend to rely on glucocorticoid injections, oral colchicine, and NSAIDs to relieve any pain and underlying inflammation. Surgery may be necessary for some people with this condition.What vitamins help calcification? ›
The Role of Vitamin K
Vitamin K regulates calcium in your body in at least two ways: Promotes calcification of bone: Vitamin K activates osteocalcin, a protein that promotes the accumulation of calcium in your bones and teeth ( 4 ).
- Quit smoking – In general, this is better for your overall health.
- Eating more green vegetables – Vitamin K helps to block off calcium from building up in your arteries.
- Reduce salt intake – Too much sodium in your diet can cause high blood pressure.
When you take Vitamin K2, it helps your body to produce more of the protein needed for blood clotting. It also helps to keep your bones healthy by keeping calcium in your bones and out of your arteries. Vitamin K2 is also essential for heart health because it helps prevent the arteries from hardening.Can you reverse calcified arteries? ›
Larger studies provide new evidence that arterial calcification and blockages are reversible.Does magnesium stop calcification? ›
Magnesium has been shown to effectively prevent vascular calcification associated with chronic kidney disease. Magnesium has been hypothesized to prevent the upregulation of osteoblastic genes that potentially drives calcification.Can magnesium reverse hardening of the arteries? ›
In vitro studies have shown that low magnesium determines endothelial dysfunction, the initiating event leading to the formation of the plaque. Moreover, oral magnesium therapy has been shown to improve endothelial function in patients with coronary artery disease.Which magnesium is best for arteries? ›
Which magnesium is best for heart health? If heart health is the goal, you'll actually want a few different forms of magnesium in your supplement! Magnesium citrate is the form of magnesium that your body absorbs with the most ease. Magnesium oxide has a higher level of elemental magnesium in it.
What is the number one food that clogs arteries? ›
Overeating processed meat like bacon, jerky, ham, and sausages might raise LDL or harmful cholesterol levels. It, in turn, blocks the arteries by cholesterol deposits.Can oatmeal unclog arteries? ›
For example, the fiber in oatmeal can lower our blood cholesterol levels so that less gets stuck in our arteries, but there also are anti-inflammatory and antioxidant phytonutrients in oats that can prevent atherosclerotic build-up and then help maintain arterial function (see Can Oatmeal Reverse Heart Disease?).Does apple cider vinegar unclog arteries? ›
Although we're not sure where this claim originated from, we do know there is no scientific evidence proving apple cider vinegar clears clogged arteries. In fact, vinegar should not be substituted for standard treatment.Does anything dissolve plaque in arteries? ›
The key is lowering LDL and making lifestyle changes.
"Making plaque disappear is not possible, but we can shrink and stabilize it," says cardiologist Dr. Christopher Cannon, a Harvard Medical School professor. Plaque forms when cholesterol (above, in yellow) lodges in the wall of the artery.
- Eating a diet low in saturated fats and cholesterol, with less sugars and simple carbohydrates, and rich in fruits and vegetables.
- Maintaining a healthy body weight.
- Not smoking.
- Exercising regularly.
- Managing stress levels.
- Keeping blood pressure and cholesterol down.
- Maintaining low blood sugars.
- Folic acid.
- Vitamin D.
- Omega-3 fatty acids.
- Eat Foods That Are High In Omega-3 Fatty Acids. ...
- Eat Walnuts. ...
- Add Berries To Your Diet. ...
- Eat Citrus Fruits. ...
- Eat Beans. ...
- Eat Vegetables. ...
Vitamin K2, to be specific, is crucial to preventing scalp calcification, which is when calcium builds on the scalp and prevents hair growth. Vitamin K2 helps us regulate our calcium intake and maintain a healthy scalp.Who should not take K2 mk 7? ›
Vitamin K2 Contraindications
You should not use this medicine if you have had an allergic reaction to any single vitamin or multivitamin. Do not use this medicine if you are under 18 years old.
One Japanese study found that a daily intake of low-dose vitamin K2 significantly improved vertebral BMD in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis, but there were no significant changes in BMD among postmenopausal women without osteoporosis.
What does vitamin K2 do to arteries? ›
Increased vitamin K2 intake may reduce arterial stiffness, slow progression of vascular and valvular calcification, lower the incidence of diabetes and coronary artery disease, and decrease cardiovascular mortality.What supplement removes plaque from arteries? ›
- Atherosclerosis and cholesterol.
- Artichoke extract.
- Red yeast rice.
- Things to consider.
“We think that enzymes called proteases, which break apart proteins, are involved in breaking the basement-membrane into smaller fragments that get washed away,” Dichek said. Protease inhibitors, drugs used for a variety of medical conditions, have been explored as protecting against plaque ruptures.Can anything reverse plaque buildup in arteries? ›
Medical treatment, regular exercise, and dietary changes can be used to keep atherosclerosis from getting worse and stabilize the plaque, but they aren't able to reverse the disease.What vitamins open your arteries? ›
Vitamin C helps vitamin E work better in your body. It also improves the way your arteries work. Together, these two vitamins help protect your arteries from oxidized cholesterol. They also help your arteries relax and open up more.What eats plaque in arteries naturally? ›
- Fish. ...
- Seeds & Nuts. ...
- Green Vegetables. ...
- Olive Oil. ...
- Berries. ...
- Avocado. ...
- Broccoli. ...
A healthy diet rich in nutrient-dense foods may help reduce your risk of developing clogged arteries. Research has shown that adding foods like cruciferous vegetables, fish, berries, olive oil, oats, onions, greens, and beans to your diet may be an effective way to prevent atherosclerosis.Can you remove calcified plaque from arteries? ›
An atherectomy is a procedure to remove plaque from an artery (blood vessel). Removing plaque makes the artery wider, so blood can flow more freely to the heart muscles. In an atherectomy, the plaque is shaved or vaporized away with tiny rotating blades or a laser on the end of a catheter (a thin, flexible tube).Does coffee help clean arteries? ›
Three cups of coffee a day clears out your arteries and could help beat heart disease, according to a new study. Scientists at the University of Sao Paulo took dietary information and Coronary Artery Calcium (CAC) readings from more than 4,400 study participants, nearly all of whom drank coffee.