Vitamin K2 & Bone Health

Vitamin K2 & Bone Health

Bev Dunne

I’m sure we are all aware when it comes to bone health Calcium and Vitamin D are generally the ‘go-to’ supplements. However, as I have written previously, it is becoming more evident that Vitamin K2 plays an essential role in our bone health. In fact anybody who has spoken to me over the past decade will know I am a strong advocate for Vitamin K2 when it comes to bone health as well as heart health.

Last week I wrote about the benefits of ensuring our body is in an alkaline state to help avoid osteoporosis. Vitamin K2 has also been found to be pivotal in preventing and treating osteoporosis.

It’s interesting to note, that our total skeleton is replaced every 7 to 10 years through a process called osteoclasts (which is the process of breaking down the skeleton) and osteoblasts (which is the process of rebuilding the skeleton).  For this process to be successful and for our bones to remain healthy, the rebuilding process needs to be as equally effective as the breakdown process of the bones. If not, obviously our bone density will be majorly decreased.

To effectively bind calcium to our bones, it is essential for our body to produce this protein known as osteocalcin. Even more importantly, the osteocalcin must be activated and once again it requires Vit K2 to do this successfully.

 A 3 year placebo-controlled study Dutch study in 2013 of 244 healthy post-menopausal women found the women taking Vit K2 Menaquinone-7 had less inactive osteocalcin in their blood which of course indicated they had higher levels of Vit K2. Not surprisingly, testing indicated they had higher bone density and bone strength.(1)

Then there was the collective evidence of seven Japanese studies revealing that supplementiation of Vitamin K2 had found a 60% reduction in fractures of the spine and an 80% reduction in hip and other nonvertebral fractures. (2) Pretty amazing!! A number of Japanese trials found Vit K2 completely reversed bone loss and may increase bone mass in people with osteoporosis(3)

The question then arises – should we therefore not take calcium?  We need calcium to build and maintain strong bones, however, the crucial factor is to ensure the calcium is absorbed into our bones. There has been research indicating calcium supplementation can cause cardiovascular disease and there is very good reason to be concerned about this. However, as I have written previously supplementing with Vit K2 is the key to ensuring calcium is absorbed into our bones and not allowed to build up in the arteries.

It’s also important to take the most absorbable form of calcium. I take a plant-based calcium extracted from an organic marine plant which is high in elemental calcium, magnesium and other trace minerals. Plant-based calcium contains a range of minerals from a single natural source and this together with its porous matrix structure is believed to enable better absorption. Plant-based calciums are by far the biggest seller in our store and that is because of the belief it is far more absorbable.

We have known for some time that Vitamin D3 is important to enable our body to absorb calcium. Vitamin K2 however, just as importantly guides the calcium to the various parts of the skeleton where calcium is required. Both these vitamins have important roles in not only maintaining our bone health but also our heart health. Without the help of Vit K2, the calcium that the Vit D so effectively absorbs may be directed to the wrong areas.

Magnesium is also important as it helps draw calcium out of the blood and soft tissue back into the bones. As I mentioned last week gelatin collagen can also be beneficial in preventing and treating osteoporosis. It is believed to be the cement that holds our bones together.

Prevention and treatment of osteoporosis means we also need to take a holistic approach. Eating the right foods, taking the right supplements and just as importantly undertaking weight-bearing exercise.

For more information call down to the store to chat with Bev and the girls at Go Vita Batemans Bay in North St, Batemans Bay or call us on 0244729737. Don’t forget to tune into Bev on 2EC every Wednesday at 12.45 pm.

(1) Osteoporosis International September 2013;24(0;;2499-2507

(2) Archives of Internal Medicine 2006;166;1256-1261

(3) European Journal of Nutrition December 2004;43(6);325-335