I wonder if you know the answer to this question. Not many people I talk to about bone health do...

No doubt you’ve heard that calcium is the key mineral when it comes to building healthy bones and fighting osteoporosis.

But can you name the two nutrients that are essential for calcium to carry out its bone-building jobs?

Hint: They're both vitamins.

Ok, you'll probably know about the first one – vitamin D. You need "the sunshine vitamin" to absorb calcium effectively. In fact, without vitamin D you can only absorb 10-15% of the calcium you consume! (Source 1)

But here's the one not many people know about – vitamin K2.

Vitamin K2 might be less well-known, but it plays a very important role in your bone health. Vitamin K2 activates two proteins that regulate where calcium is sent in your body: (Source 2)

Osteocalcin: Directs the calcium you consume to where it's needed... your bones!

Matrix Gla protein: Keeps calcium out of your blood vessels, kidneys, brain, and soft tissues.

Think of vitamin K2 as your body’s very own set of traffic signs, specifically designed for calcium.

And vitamin K2 can explain those scary studies you've seen about calcium too. The ones that claim that supplementing with calcium, or calcium and vitamin D, increases the risk of heart attack. (Source 3)

You see, those studies completely ignore the role of vitamin K2 in how your body uses calcium. Remember, without vitamin K2, there is nothing to control where the calcium is going.

So yes, the participants in the studies were taking calcium. And in some cases, they were taking vitamin D to ensure it was being absorbed.

BUT, they weren't getting vitamin K2, so the calcium was getting into their blood vessels where it would calcify. And that's why they saw an increased risk for heart attack.

Here's the key takeaway:

Calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin K2 work as a team to build healthy bones. And you need to supply your body with ALL of them.

When you do, you're supplying your bones with the nutrients they need to grow and stay strong. With no risk of heart attack.

Now, there is a little snag though. Vitamin K2 is hard to come by in food products.

The richest source is natto (fermented soybeans), but that doesn’t appear often in the Western diet and is an acquired taste. Some fermented cheeses contain small amounts of vitamin K2 too, but not enough to supply your needs. So taking a supplement is the best way to get enough vitamin K2!

Sources:

1: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3356951/
2: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22516724
3: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21505219

Author's Bio: 

Dean Neuls is AlgaeCal’s Co-Founder and CEO. He is a natural health author and student of bone health science who is passionate about helping people and bettering lives. As the discoverer of plant calcium and sponsor of calcium clinical research, he is uniquely qualified in this field.

Learn how you can increase bone mineral density naturally: https://www.algaecal.com/osteoporosis-treatment/