The Importance of Vitamin K2 for Bone Health

vitamin k bone benefitsVitamin K is well-known for its role in blood clotting in the liver but it also plays a very important role in bone health as well.

Current dietary recommendations only reflect vitamin K needs to support its blood clotting benefits.

Vitamin K experts agree that more dosage is needed to take advantage of the health effects on the whole body – like the bone.

To take advantage of bone benefits, the “K2-7” form of vitamin K happens to stay around in the whole body longer, and works better to support vitamin K needs outside of the liver (1; 2; 3).

Why is Vitamin K2 Important for Bone Health?

Low vitamin K intake is a strong risk factor for hip fracture and low bone mass. Vitamin K2 is essential for regulating where calcium ends up in the body – in the bone where it belongs, and not in other tissues.

There are a number of proteins in the body whose function depends on Vitamin K. If vitamin K is not available, the proteins do not work.

Calcitonin is one of those vitamin K-dependent proteins. Calcitonin is a bone-building hormone. With enough K2, calcitonin is “activated” and promotes calcium mineralization in the bone (4).

Calcitonin (when activated by K2) supports bone mass and bone quality (5; 6; 7; 8) – and ensures that calcium is not available to deposit in other places – like the arteries (9).

If there is not enough K2, calcitonin is not activated properly and fracture risk increases (10; 11; 12; 13) (and more calcium may be available to deposit in the wrong places).

Once calcitonin lays down calcium in the bone, calcitonin may offer other health benefits healthy blood sugar, body fat, & improve metabolism – reducing risk for metabolic syndrome and diabetes. These dynamics are still being understood (14); yet the implications are profound when you look at the incidence of blood sugar and heart-related health problems.

K2 and calcitonin supports bone health which is powerful in itself – as bone health accounts for a top five reason that people visit their doctor, not to mention quality of life such as getting in and out of a chair, walking, and exercising.

While the evidence is clear that vitamin K2 is important for proper bone health and maintenance, the benefits of K2 on cardiovascular health is more powerful.

Complications from heart attacks, high blood pressure, and strokes combine as the number one cause of death. K2 may help to reduce and even reverse those risks. 

Research continues to support the wide anti-aging benefits of K2. K2 is largely absent in American diets, and poor gut function can also lead to vitamin K2 deficiency. Supplementation is the next best strategy. 

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