Hardened arteries, weak, brittle bones, cancer and heart disease are major contributors of aging. Research suggests that Vitamin K can have an impact of preventing or reversing these effects.

Vitamin K, like other vitamins found in nature is really a group of compounds. The different forms or types of Vitamin K come from have specific actions in the body.

K 1 otherwise known as phylloquinones are found in green leafy vegetables and are responsible for blood clotting.
K 2 otherwise known as menaquinones (MK 4-9) are found in meat, eggs, dairy and fermented foods. The subtype MK -7 is very beneficial because it stays in your body longer to direct calcium from arteries and tissues to bones thereby preventing or reversing hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), calcium deposits in other tissues and osteoporosis.

Vitamin K2 subtype MK-7 is most abundant in natto, a fermented soy product widely consumed in Japan. Another source is fermented curd cheese. Natto is an acquired taste and many people find it distasteful. Fortunately, K2 as MK-7 is now available as a dietary supplement. Studies have shown that people consuming a diet high in Vitamin K2 (menoquinone) have:

Reversal of bone loss and fractures and increase in bone mass
Decreased risk of prostate cancer and possibly non Hodgkin’s lymphoma
Reduction of calcified arteries and coronary heart disease
Reduced overall cancer risk and lower risk of dying from cancer

To work properly, Vitamin K must be eaten with a fatty meal. It works collaboratively with Vitamin D.

In order to build bone, you need all of the other minerals and cofactors such as calcium, magnesium, silica, manganese and boron.
While many people take calcium alone to build bones, it is not beneficial for arteries, which can become calcified or hardened. Vitamin K protects blood vessels from calcifying. It along with Vitamin D increases a protein called Matrix GLA protein (MGP) that guards the elastic fibers of your arteries, keeping them supple, smooth and preventing deposits of calcium that damage the artery lining leading to plaque formation, clots and blockage.
Calcium can build up in, inflame and damage other soft tissues. Arthritis, kidney stones, heart valve disorders, and bone spurs are among some disorders where calcium build up plays a role. Vitamin K may protect against these disorders and can be a part of an anti aging regime.

Most diets have sufficient amounts of K1 to allow blood to clot but may not have sufficient amounts to protect against calcification and inflammation in other tissues. To get more vitamin K, eat a diet rich in:

Kale, spinach, collard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts for K1, some is converted to K2
Fermented raw curd cheese and natto for K2
Supplements such as K2 menoquinone or MK7 in a dose of 45-185 mcg a day. Use caution if on higher doses if you are taking blood thinners.
Avoid the synthetic form K3 or menadione.

According to the Food and Nutrition Board, “No adverse effects associated with vitamin K consumption from food or supplements have been reported in humans or animals.” Always, check with your physician if you are taking medications such as blood thinners that may be affected by vitamin K.

Author's Bio: 

Lorraine Maita, MD is a recognized and award winning physician and author-transforming people’s lives through preventive and anti aging medicine. She is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Anti Aging and Regenerative Medicine and Board Certified in Internal Medicine and has over 20 years experience in Preventive Health and Wellness, Internal, Occupational and Travel Medicine and Executive Health.

Dr. Maita served as Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Prudential Financial, Medical Director on The Pfizer Health Leadership Team and Medical Director of North America for Johnson & Johnson Global Health Service and was an attending physician at St.Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital, Emergency Department and Executive Health Examiners in New York City. She is a consultant for companies wanting to develop or enhance their employee and occupational health and wellness programs and has a private practice in Short Hills, NJ. She is author of “Vibrance for Life: How to Live Younger and Healthier.”

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