I read an interesting discussion concerning Vitamin K2 and bones
the other day that reminded me again of the confusion that surrounds
Vitamin K. There are several forms of Vitamin K (Vitamin K1, Vitamin
K2 and Vitamin K3).
Most people have heard about Vitamin K1 and its importance for
helping hemophiliacs avoid bleeding to death. This may lead you to
believe that if you take Vitamin K, your blood might clot. The good
news is that though Vitamin K1 does help stop the bleeding for a
hemophiliac, it does not cause clotting.
Now that we have that out of the way, what I really want to focus
on is Vitamin K2 – which also has 2 forms-MK-4 and MK-7. MK-4 is
the natural form – and is most easily absorbed.
In recent years there has been a lot of research on the other forms
of Vitamin K. Also, there is a vast difference between the synthetic
man-made Vitamin K3 and the natural Vitamin K2 which is
recommended for bones as well as heart health.
In the bone, Vitamin K2 -the MK-4 form, has been shown to
decrease fractures and has been approved by the Ministry of
Health in Japan since 1995 for prevention and treatment of
osteoporosis. It has been demonstrated to decrease fractures
up to 87%!
Sadly Vitamin K2 therapy has not been approved by our FDA
for osteoporosis treatment. Instead they continue to approve
the dangerous bisphosphonate drugs even after ordering a
warning on the label that those drugs contribute to brittle
bones – in October 2010.
Isn’t it interesting to note that Japan has a much lower
incidence of osteoporosis than the United States & the UK
where bisphosphonates are the standard treatment?
Vitamin K2 helps to carry calcium to the bones where it is
needed. But a lack of Vitamin K2 allows the calcium to be
deposited in the arteries and other soft tissue causing
hardening of the arteries and many other cardiac problems
as well as osteoporosis.
The sad part of this scenario is the widely prescribed use of
coumadin which completely destroys Vitamin K2. Many
doctors prescribe this drug for seniors, in spite of the well-known
side-effects, while at the same time they encourage their
patients to take large amounts of calcium.
That combination produces hardening of the arteries (or
arterial calcification) and heart problems as well as osteoporosis.
Some Vitamin K2 could be produced by certain bacteria in the
intestines but the abuse of antibiotics in our country prevents
this from happening. You see, the good Vitamin K2 producing
bacteria in the intestines are destroyed by the antibiotics along
with the bad bacteria.
I am happy to learn that an increasing number of physicians
have begun to integrate nutritional and supplement therapy into
their practices to provide their patients with remedies and
preventive measures for coping with some of these serious
conditions without side effects.
Dr. Susan Brown, PhD, CNS who is an osteoporosis nutritionist,
has a wealth of information concerning this and other bone
issues on her better bones blog. I highly recommend her work.
Blessings to you,
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