Although it’s an essential nutrient, many people have never heard of vitamin K2. Despite not receiving much attention from mainstream nutritional advice, vitamin K2 is a powerful vitamin that plays a central role in your body’s health.
Research suggests a link between vitamin K2 deficiency and several chronic illnesses. Therefore, it is important to know what the benefits of vitamin K2 are so that you can maintain good health.
WHAT DOES VITAMIN K2 DO?
Vitamin K2 contributes to a diverse range of processes throughout the body, including:
- Contributing to skin health
- Supporting bone metabolism
- Promoting cognitive function
- Preventing cardiovascular disease
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF VITAMIN K2?
Vitamin K2 plays an essential role in the metabolism of calcium. As a bone-forming molecule, it helps maintain bone structures by activating the calcium-binding properties of different proteins. Therefore, the benefits of vitamin K2 may include improved bone quality, which reduces the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
Recent observational studies have discovered that insufficient levels of vitamin K2 are associated with low bone density and an increased risk of fractures. For instance, a study by Harvard Medical School analysed data from the Nurses’ Health Study. They found that women whose daily intake of vitamin K2 was less the 109 milligrams had an increased risk of hip fracture. This suggests that the benefits of vitamin K2 are significantly linked to bone health.
It is believed that one of the benefits of vitamin K2 is its ability to prevent calcium settling in your arteries – consequently improving heart health. The build-up of calcium in your coronary arteries is a significant risk factor for heart disease. Therefore, if vitamin K2 can prevent the accumulation of calcium in the arteries around your heart, it may reduce the risk of heart disease.
In a recent study, scientists have discovered an observational link between vitamin K2 and atherosclerosis – the blocking of arteries that can result in heart disease. The research found that those with a higher intake of vitamin K2 had a 57% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. By preventing arterial thickening, the benefits of vitamin K2 are strongly linked with a reduction of complications arising from calcium deposition.
Research has also suggested a link between vitamin K2 and dental health. A protein critical to the metabolism structures – osteocalcin – is activated by vitamin K2. However, osteocalcin is also one of the main regulating proteins in dental health. Therefore, it could be that vitamin K2 triggers osteocalcin to stimulate the growth of tissue that sits underneath the enamel on your teeth.
Although no human studies have tested the link directly, animal studies have researched the role vitamin K2 plays in dental health. For instance, one study observed an association between the proteins that maintain dental health and the proteins activated by vitamin K2. This suggests that vitamin K2 may play an essential role in dental health, although more human research needs to be conducted to support this.
SHOULD I TAKE VITAMIN K2 SUPPLEMENTS?
Although more research on the links between vitamin K2 and chronic illnesses are needed, scientists are beginning to stress the importance of regular supplements to improve health. It’s clear that vitamin K2 plays an essential role in maintaining good health and it’s important to consume the correct amount.
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