You may have heard of vitamin K1, but what about vitamin K2? Your body needs both, but not enough people get enough vitamin K2 in their diet because it’s only found in certain foods (such as cheese and eggs). Don’t make the mistake of overlooking this important nutrient; here are 10 surprising facts about vitamin K2 you need to know.
1) It Supports Bone Health
Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin that aids in blood clotting and supports bone health. It’s found in the greatest concentration in the liver, but it can also be found in other foods, including vegetables like spinach. When it comes to vitamin K, there’s one form that stands out from all the rest – vitamin K2. This important fat soluble vitamin not only helps with blood clotting but also supports bone health by activating osteocalcin and protein C.
2) It Protects Against Heart Disease
Vitamin K2 is a nutrient that plays many roles in the body. It helps your blood clot properly, but also helps keep your bones strong and healthy. One of its most important functions is keeping calcium where it belongs: in your bones and teeth, not in your arteries or soft tissues. This makes vitamin K2 especially important for heart health. A recent study found that people who had higher levels of vitamin K2 had significantly less calcification of the coronary arteries than people who had lower levels of vitamin K2.
3) It Keeps Wrinkles at Bay
The second most abundant form of vitamin K, after K1, is vitamin K2. The K stands for koagulation, which means that it aids in the clotting process and also helps keep your blood vessels healthy. One of the most important parts of this process is that it prevents calcium from being deposited in places where it doesn’t belong, such as your organs and joints. This leads to less inflammation and fewer wrinkles–a win-win!
4) Skin Benefits
Vitamin K2 is essential for healthy skin, and insufficient levels can contribute to a variety of skin issues. It’s especially important for those with a family history of acne, rosacea, or eczema. Research has found that vitamin K1 (found in leafy greens) can’t effectively convert into the active form of vitamin K2 without the help of certain bacteria in the gut—which is why it’s important to get your vitamin K from foods high in both nutrients.
5) Brain Benefits
Vitamin K2 plays an important role in keeping your brain healthy. It helps protect against age-related cognitive decline, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease. It also has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis.
6) Powerful Antioxidant
Vitamin K2 is a powerful antioxidant that can protect against free radicals, inflammation and calcification. Some of the best sources of vitamin K2 include egg yolk, fermented foods such as sauerkraut, natto, yogurt and cheese, and organ meats like liver.
7) Reduces Risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia
Vitamin K2 has been found in some studies to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia, along with protecting against bone fractures. Animal studies have shown that vitamin K2 can also protect against colorectal cancer.
8) Prevents Cancer and Infections
Vitamin K2 is known to prevent cancer, heart disease and strokes. It also prevents infections by reducing the growth of bad bacteria in the body, like E. coli and H. pylori, which can lead to ulcers and stomach cancer.
9) Lowers Blood Pressure
Vitamin K2 helps lower blood pressure by blocking the production of proteins that lead to high blood pressure. It also helps prevent calcium buildup in your arteries and improves heart health.
10) Prevents Periodontal Disease
Research has shown that vitamin K2 prevents periodontal disease by aiding calcium absorption and remineralizing teeth. It also may help prevent heart attack and stroke by lowering levels of the bad cholesterol (LDL) while raising levels of the good cholesterol (HDL).