Nutrient Highlight of the Month – Vitamin K2

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Nutrient Highlight of the Month – Vitamin K2

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By Amanda Miller MS, RN

If there is a single vitamin you need to know more about, it is Vitamin K2. Why?

  1. You likely aren’t getting enough of this essential nutrient
  2. It doesn’t get the recognition it deserves for promoting health and longevity

Vitamin K2 plays multiple vital roles in various physiological processes in the body including:

  • Directing calcium to bones and teeth, preventing osteoporosis and cavities. It also prevents calcium from going to the wrong areas, such as your kidneys and blood vessels, where it could lead to kidney stones or heart disease
    • In blood vessels, vitamin K-dependent proteins help to prevent calcification and inflammation, A Rotterdam study found that the highest intake of vitamin K2 was associated with lower risks of aortic calcification, cardiovascular disease, and mortality.
  • Optimizing sexual function by increasing testosterone and fertility in men and decreasing androgens in women
  • Protecting against diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar through maintaining adequate amounts of insulin
  • Strengthening genes that promote healthy cells while suppressing cancer promoting genes

Foods that are rich in vitamin K2 include:

  • natto, fermented soy
  • goose liver
  • cheese
  • egg yolks
  • dark chicken meat
  • butter

However, please note, the source of the food matters. Grass-fed cows yield higher K2 in milk and butter than grain-fed cows. Cheeses vary, as the vitamin K2 depends on what the cheese cultures produce.

Amanda Miller, MS, RN, is a Clinical Integrative Nutrition Nurse Consultant at the Akasha Center for Integrative Medicine. You can make an appointment with her by calling 310-451-8880 or emailing us at info@akashacenter.com

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