Secrets – Vitamin K2 & Pregnancy
“For pregnant women, extra Vitamin K2 supplementation prevents possible cranial defects in the baby that in turn can create narrow dental arches, crooked teeth, underdevelopment of the face and jaw, underdevelopment of the sinuses with mouth breathing in some cases, and poor tooth development resulting in a high susceptibility to dental cavities.”
(Vitamin K2 – Safety: “If you take Coumadin, Heparin, or another anti-coagulant you should consult your physician before taking vitamin K2 supplements. Vitamin K2 helps normal coagulation of blood. High levels of K2 do not cause abnormal blood clotting. You should not be concerned about taking levels of 45 mg/day or less, as numerous Japanese studies have shown even this high level is safe for adults. Most vitamin K2 supplements offer 45 – 150 micrograms per day.”)
Interesting how a few cents of Vitamin K2 before and during pregnancy can save thousands of dollars in future dental work for the family, prevent birth defects and vastly increase the health of the mother by helping to regulate blood sugar levels during pregnancy. G
For those caregivers starting the Vitamin D3 program, you would now be adding Vitamin K2 in the amount of 1,000 micrograms weekly (this is a very small amount) to create a synergetic result with the Vitamin D3 as suggested by the research by Dr. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. http://www.selfhealthsystems.com/archiveletter.php?id=292
It is not recommended to take extra calcium supplementation with this particular Vitamin D3 program. The purpose of the Vitamin K2 is to work with the Vitamin D3, as a co-factor, to clean the calcium deposits from your arteries and deposit them into your bone structure. Vitamin K2 will also provide you major protection from osteoporosis, cardiovascular blockages and pathological calcification.
“It has been 10 days since I personally began the enhanced Vitamin D3 program. Today is the first day at 50,000 IU’s of Vitamin D3. (I worked my way up to that dosage as I began to see the daily positive physical effects) My arthritis pain is down 95%. First relief of chronic pain at daily 10,000 IU’s of Vitamin D3 after forty eight hours. Sleeping very deeply and easily now. My muscular strength is increasing. Physical endurance is enhanced. Mood nicely elevated. Chronic low level depression lifting. I can feel the digestive and intestinal tract healing. Food intolerances and sensitivities are being eliminated. Can’t wait to get up every morning to see what else new and positive happens to my body. Wow, this D3 program is totally amazing! Thank you again for your feedback on the Vitamin D3 program. So exciting to hear the positive results to far that people are experiencing! Looking forward to hearing more excellent reports. ” Best wishes, Gail J. Dahl
An important follow up question from SF:
SF: One question…. why can’t we take calcium supplements with this high of Vit. D…..I hear my osteoporosis settling in.
My body seems to love the Vitamin D3 program as well. Most amazing results! Every day something different happens. With the proper amount of Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2, the body will quickly begin to scavenge the calcium being stored throughout your system, especially joints and arteries, remove it from there, thus reducing pain and inflammation in that area, and then make the proper deposit of this calcium into your bones where you need it. I will send you a sneak preview on the next newsletter on Vitamin K2. I think you will be interested in the vital part this relatively unknown vitamin does not only for our pregnant moms, for ourselves as well. People who work long term evening shift work or have indoor work only, or sensitivities to the sun, can have tremendous challenges with brittle bones. No Vit D3, no sun, no absorption of the calcium, thus brittle bones.
So the short answer, is you won’t need extra calcium supplements on this program. Your body will make excellent use of what is already in your system and from the food you are eating. Without Vitamin D3 or being in the sun, your system was most likely not absorbing the extra calcium supplements anyway, most likely just storing it in places like joints or arteries, where you don’t want it. The most amazing part of the Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2 program is that the D3 has the ability to go in and start healing internal organs. X might be interested in experiencing this program for 30 days as it has an ability to heal and soothe the digestive and eliminative systems and can reduce or eliminate food intolerances, allergies and sensitivities. An amazing health supplement for such an amazingly low price. So exciting to hear of everyone’s excellent progress. Let me know the very next thing you notice being changed within your system. I am very curious! Best, G
The information contained in or provided through this publication is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be, and is not provided as, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your midwife, physician, or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment or for answers to any questions you may have regarding any medical condition.
Secrets – The Critical Importance of Vitamin K2 Before and During Pregnancy
Vitamin K2 and Cranial Development During Pregnancy
“……Here are a few quotes from a review paper by Dr. Webster’s group. I have to post the whole abstract because it’s a gem:
“The normal vitamin K status of the human embryo appears to be close to deficiency [I would argue in most cases the embryo is actually deficient, as are most adults in industrial societies]. Maternal dietary deficiency or use of a number of therapeutic drugs during pregnancy, may result in frank vitamin K deficiency in the embryo. First trimester deficiency results in maxillonasal hypoplasia in the neonate with subsequent facial and orthodontic implications. A rat model of the vitamin K deficiency embryopathy shows that the facial dysmorphology is preceded by uncontrolled calcification in the normally uncalcified nasal septal cartilage, and decreased longitudinal growth of the cartilage, resulting in maxillonasal hypoplasia. The developing septal cartilage is normally rich in the vitamin K-dependent protein matrix gla protein (MGP). It is proposed that functional MGP is necessary to maintain growing cartilage in a non-calcified state. Developing teeth contain both MGP and a second vitamin K-dependent protein, bone gla protein (BGP). It has been postulated that these proteins have a functional role in tooth mineralization. As yet this function has not been established and abnormalities in tooth formation have not been observed under conditions where BGP and MGP should be formed in a non-functional form.”
I think there’s a good case to be made that most people in modern societies exhibit some degree of “Binder’s syndrome” due to subclinical vitamin K2 deficiency during growth. I believe the evidence suggests that prenatal vitamin K2 MK-4 deficiency is behind narrow dental arches, crooked teeth, underdevelopment of the face and jaw, underdevelopment of the sinuses with mouth breathing in some cases, and poor tooth development resulting in a high susceptibility to dental cavities.
These symptoms are so common they are viewed as normal in industrial societies. There is no other single factor that so elegantly explains these characteristic changes in cranial form. Rickets (vitamin D deficiency during growth) also causes cranial malformations, but they are distinct from those caused by K2 deficiency.
Humans do not efficiently convert K1 into K2 MK-4 (unlike rats), so we require a ready source of K2 in the diet. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors had a relatively high intake of K2 MK-4 from the organs of wild animals (particularly brain, pancreas, and marrow), insects and seafood. Our food supply today is depleted of K2, due to our avoidance of organ meats and poor animal husbandry practices. K2 MK-4 is found only in animal products. Pastured dairy is the most convenient source of K2 MK-4 in the modern diet, just as it was for the villagers of the Loetschental valley when Dr. Price visited them. Dairy from grain-fed cows contains much less K2.
Price felt that to ensure the proper development of their children, mothers should eat a diet rich in fat-soluble vitamins both before and during pregnancy. This makes sense in light of what we now know. There is a pool of vitamin K2 MK-4 in the organs that turns over very slowly, in addition to a pool in the blood that turns over rapidly. Entering pregnancy with a full store means a greater chance of having enough of the vitamin for the growing fetus. Healthy traditional cultures often fed special foods rich in fat-soluble vitamins to women of childbearing age and expectant mothers, thus ensuring beautiful and robust progeny…..”
“My name is Stephan Guyenet. I received a B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Virginia in 2002, and a Ph.D. in neurobiology from the University of Washington in 2009. Professionally, I conduct bench research on body fat regulation. In my spare time, I study and convey time-tested strategies for achieving and maintaining health and well-being. This blog is a free service to whoever wants to read it. It’s supported by generous reader donations. I have no ties to any company or special interest group.”
More on this Vitamin K2 article on the following link…. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/01/vitamin-k2-and-cranial-development.html
Vitamin K2 – Vitamin K2 Supplements & Pregnancy
Why the Public May Never Find Out About Vitamin K2!
Vitamin K2 cleans calcium deposits from your arteries and deposits it in your bones, and you have most likely never heard of it? It’s almost like the old good news/bad news jokes. The good news is Vitamin K2 has been clinically proven to provide extraordinary benefits for bone health and cardiovascular health, plus it is a powerful anti-oxidant and some emerging science indicates it might help your joints and intestinal health. Now for the bad news. It costs $1.5 million per kilogram so most supplement companies find it is not cost effective to include in their formulas. As long as we can buy a house and a Ferrari for the price of a kilo of K2, it may remain a secret that is relegated to research papers! A few companies like AlgaeCal International are dedicated to making vitamin K2 available in significant dosages in spite of the cost, so read on and see why we think it is worth the price.
Forms of Vitamin K
Vitamin K is the name of a group of compounds that are all related to one another. The first one discovered was Phylloquinone or K1. In the last decade most of the research has turned to the more effective Menaquinones, or vitamin K2. The vitamin K2’s are further divided into MK-4, MK-7 and several other forms. Recent studies have shown vitamin MK-7 to be more complete and have additional heart condition benefits.
You Need Vitamin K But in Most Cases Your Body Does Not Manufacture Enough of it
A healthy intestinal tract can produce Vitamin K but in many cases it is not produced efficiently so it must be supplied by your food. Vitamin K is different from other fat soluble vitamins because it cannot be stored in the body either. It will almost always be necessary to get Vitamin K from your diet.
When you eat vitamin K1 in your food, only 5-10% of ingested K1 is absorbed and reaches your blood, but almost 100% of K2 is absorbed into your blood stream where it can be distributed for beneficial use in tissues including bones and arteries. Vitamin K2 also lasts for several days in your bloodstream compared to K1 which mostly disappears in a few hours.
Foods that include reasonable amounts of vitamin K1 include leafy vegetables, olive oil, cheese, liver, soy beans, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, coffee, and green tea. More than 80% of the Vitamin K in western diets consists of vitamin K1. The more beneficial form, K2, is difficult to find in your diet with the exception of the Japanese traditional food, Natto1
Vitamin K2 and Your Heart
K2 has been reported to decrease serum cholesterol and cholesterol deposits in the aorta, contributing to the suppression of atherosclerosis.16-17 Vitamin K2 has been linked to a reduction in coronary heart disease. In fact one very large and significant study conducted in the Netherlands in 2004 followed 4800 healthy men and women for ten years. It found vitamin K2 reduced the risk of coronary heart disease mortality by 50%!19 Aortic calcification was also reduced by 30-40% in this famous Rotterdam study.
Vitamin K2 Safety
If you take Coumadin, Heparin, or another anti-coagulant you should consult your physician before taking vitamin K2 supplements. Vitamin K2 helps normal coagulation of blood. High levels of K2 do not cause abnormal blood clotting. You should not be concerned about taking levels of 45 mg/day or less, as numerous Japanese studies have shown even this high level is safe for adults. Most vitamin K2 supplements offer 45 – 150 micrograms per day.
Is Vitamin K2 safe for Pregnant Women?
Pregnant women should be especially conscious of their vitamin K intake because the following birth defects have been linked to vitamin K deficiency:
Flat nasal bridge
Neural tube defects
For further information on this article see: http://www.algaecal.com/vitamin-k2.html
Vitamin K2 – Putting Calcium Where It Belongs
Vitamin K2: Putting Calcium Where It Belongs
Vitamin K’s job is to put calcium in the right places and keep it from being deposited in the wrong places. The right places are bones and blood, and the wrong places include calcification of the vessels, bone spurs and calcification of soft tissues.
Vitamin K Supplementation Retards Postmenopausal Bone Loss
Low Vitamin K Intake as a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease
Vitamin K Supplementation Prevents Age Related Vascular Stiffening
Other Benefits of Vitamin K
Further research has demonstrated vitamin K’s anti-inflammatory action. As the body ages, levels of the inflammation-promoting cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6) increase. Once IL-6 becomes out of balance with the other cytokines, inflammation accelerates. It has been observed that people with arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and atherosclerosis have higher levels of IL-6. In a study done by the National Research Institute in Italy, it was shown that subjects with the highest levels of IL-6 were almost twice as likely to develop mobility-related disabilities.
The second highest concentration of vitamin K in the body is in the pancreas, which plays a major role in blood sugar and insulin regulation. In animal studies, Japanese researchers found that when they induced vitamin K deficiency, the test animals developed Type II diabetes. 31
Research has indicated that vitamin K has antioxidant activity comparable to vitamin E and CoQ10. 32,33 Animal studies have demonstrated complete hepatic (liver) protection from induced oxidative stress using vitamin K, and was found to be 80% as effective as vitamin E in preventing oxidation.
About 25% of the population have a genetic predisposition for developing Alzheimer’s disease – they carry the E4 form of the lipoprotein apoE. Interestingly, people who carry this gene have been found to have low levels of vitamin K. Calcification and the development of lesions in blood vessels that feed the brain tissues are believed to be a component of Alzheimer’s development. Further research may reveal high-dose vitamin K therapy to be preventive.
Japanese Study on Vitamin K2 & Viral Cirrhosis-Related Liver Cancer
Vitamin K2 References:
1. Schurgers LJ, Vermeer C. Differential lipoprotein transport pathways of K-vitamins in healthy subjects. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2002 Feb 15;1570(1):27-32.
2. Kelleys Textbook of Internal Medicine, Fourth Edition, 2000, Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia, PA.
3. Knapen MH, Jie KS, Hamulyak K, Vermeer C. Vitamin K-induced changes in markers for osteoblast activity and urinary calcium loss. Calcif Tissue Int. 1993 Aug;53(2):81-5.
4. Booth SL, Sokoll LJ, O’Brien ME, Tucker K, Dawson-Hughes B, Sadowski JA. Assessment of dietary phylloquinone intake and vitamin K status in postmenopausal women. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1995 Nov;49(11):832-41.
5. Vermeer C, Braam L, Schurgers L, Brouns F. Agro-Food Industry Hi-Tech 2002, 13:11-15.
6. Hart JP, Catterall A, Dodds RA, Klenerman L, Shearer MJ, Bitensky L, Chayen J. Lancet ii 283 (1984).
7. Hart JP, Shearer MJ, Klenerman L, Catterall A, Reeve J, Sambrook PN, Dodds RA, Bitensky L, Chayen J. Electrochemical detection of depressed circulating levels of vitamin K1 in osteoporosis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1985 Jun;60(6):1268-9.
8. Hodges SJ, Pilkington MJ, Stamp TC, Catterall A, Shearer MJ, Bitensky L, Chayen J. Depressed levels of circulating menaquinones in patients with osteoporotic fractures of the spine and femoral neck. Bone. 1991;12(6):387-9.
9. Hodges SJ, Akesson K, Vergnaud P, Obrant K, Delmas PD. Circulating levels of vitamins K1 and K2 decreased in elderly women with hip fracture. J Bone Miner Res. 1993 Oct;8(10):1241-5.
10. Booth SL, Pennington JA, Sadowski JA. Food sources and dietary intakes of vitamin K-1 (phylloquinone) in the American diet: data from the FDA Total Diet Study. J Am Diet Assoc. 1996 Feb;96(2):149-54.
11. Booth SL, Suttie JW. Dietary intake and adequacy of vitamin K. J Nutr. 1998 May;128(5):785-8.
12. Thane CW, Paul AA, Bates CJ, Bolton-Smith C, Prentice A, Shearer MJ. Intake and sources of phylloquinone (vitamin K1): variation with socio-demographic and lifestyle factors in a national sample of British elderly people. Br J Nutr. 2002 Jun;87(6):605-13.
13. Feskanich D, Weber P, Willett WC, Rockett H, Booth SL, Colditz GA. Vitamin K intake and hip fractures in women: a prospective study. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Jan;69(1):74-9.
14. Booth SL, Broe KE, Gagnon DR, Tucker KL, Hannan MT, McLean RR, Dawson-Hughes B, Wilson PW, Cupples LA, Kiel DP. Vitamin K intake and bone mineral density in women and men. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Feb;77(2):512-6.
15. Booth SL, Tucker KL, Chen H, Hannan MT, Gagnon DR, Cupples LA, Wilson PW, Ordovas J, Schaefer EJ, Dawson-Hughes B, Kiel DP. Dietary vitamin K intakes are associated with hip fracture but not with bone mineral density in elderly men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000 May;71(5):1201-8.
16. Braam LAJLM, Knapen MHJ, Geusens P, Brouns F, Hamulyak K, Gerichhausen MJW, Vermeer C. Vitamin K1 supplementation retards bone loss in postmenopausal women between 50 and 60 years of age. Calcif. Tissue Int. 72, epub (2003).
17. Bolton-Smith C, Mole PA, McMurdo MET, Paterson CR, Shearer MJ. Ann. Nutr. Metab. 45 Suppl. 1 246 (2001).
18. Orimo H, Shiraki M, Tomita A, Morii H, Fujita T, Ohata M. J. Bone Miner. Metab. 16:106-112, 1998.
19. Shiraki M, Shiraki Y, Aoki C, Miura M. Vitamin K2 (menatetrenone) effectively prevents fractures and sustains lumbar bone mineral density in osteoporosis. J Bone Miner Res. 2000 Mar;15(3):515-21.
20. Iwamoto J, Takeda T, Ichimura S. Effect of menatetrenone on bone mineral density and incidence of vertebral fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis: a comparison with the effect of etidronate. J Orthop Sci. 2001;6(6):487-92.
21. Jie KS, Bots ML, Vermeer C, Witteman JC, Grobbee DE. Vitamin K intake and osteocalcin levels in women with and without aortic atherosclerosis: a population-based study. Atherosclerosis. 1995 Jul;116(1):117-23.
22. Geleijnse JM, Vermeer C, Schurgers LJ, Grobbee DE, Pols HAP, Witteman JCM. Thromb. Haemostas. (Suppl July) P473, 2001.
23. Kawashima H, Nakajima Y, Matubara Y, Nakanowatari J, Fukuta T, Mizuno S, Takahashi S, Tajima T, Nakamura T. Effects of vitamin K2 (menatetrenone) on atherosclerosis and blood coagulation in hypercholesterolemic rabbits. Jpn J Pharmacol. 1997 Oct;75(2):135-43.
24. Spronk HM, Soute BA, Schurgers LJ, Thijssen HH, De Mey JG, Vermeer C. Tissue-specific utilization of menaquinone-4 results in the prevention of arterial calcification in warfarin-treated rats. J Vasc Res. 2003 Nov-Dec;40(6):531-7. Epub 2003 Dec 3.
25. Braam LAJLM. Thesis, Maastricht ISBN 90-5681-145-2, 2002.
26. Schurgers LJ, Vermeer C. Determination of phylloquinone and menaquinones in food. Effect of food matrix on circulating vitamin K concentrations. Haemostasis. 2000 Nov-Dec;30(6):298-307.
27. Ronden JE, Drittij-Reijnders MJ, Vermeer C, Thijssen HH. Intestinal flora is not an intermediate in the phylloquinone-menaquinone-4 conversion in the rat. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1998 Jan 8;1379(1):69-75.
28. Vermeer C, Braam L, Knapen M and Schurgers L; Vitamin K supplementation: a simple way to improve vascular health. Agr Food Industry hi Tech Nov 2003.
29. Vermeer C, Shearer MJ, Zittermann A, Bolton-Smith C, Szulc P, Hodges S, Walter P, Rambeck W, Stocklin E, Weber P. Beyond deficiency: potential benefits of increased intakes of vitamin K for bone and vascular health. Eur J Nutr. 2004 Dec;43(6):325-35. Epub 2004 Feb 5.
30. Schurgers LJ. Thesis, Maastricht ISBN 90-5681-138-X, 2002.
31. Sakamoto N, Wakabayashi I, Sakamoto K. Low vitamin K intake effects on glucose tolerance in rats. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1999 Jan;69(1):27-31.
32. Mukai K, Itoh S, Morimoto H. Stopped-flow kinetic study of vitamin E regeneration reaction with biological hydroquinones (reduced forms of ubiquinone, vitamin K, and tocopherolquinone) in solution. J Biol Chem. 1992 Nov 5;267(31):22277-81.
33. Mukai K, Morimoto H, Kikuchi S, Nagaoka S. Kinetic study of free-radical-scavenging action of biological hydroquinones (reduced forms of ubiquinone, vitamin K and tocopherol quinone) in solution. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1993 Jul 11;1157(3):313-7.
34. Habu D, Shiomi S, Tamori A, Takeda T, Tanaka T, Kubo S, Nishiguchi S. Role of vitamin K2 in the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in women with viral cirrhosis of the liver. JAMA, 2004 Jul 21;292(3):358-61.
Entire Article at: http://www.springboard4health.com/notebook/v_k2.html
Osteoporosis and Vitamin K2 Intervention—the Evidence
Since it was first discovered in 1929, vitamin K has been best been known for its crucial role in the blood-clotting process. Since that time, scientists have uncovered compelling evidence that vitamin K plays an equally important role in bone health.
The majority of vitamin K research to date has focused on vitamin K1, the dominant dietary form of vitamin K that occurs in green, leafy vegetables. Yet it appears that vitamin K2, which occurs in organ meats, egg yolks, and dairy products, is a more important inducer of bone mineralization in human osteoblasts (bone-building cells) than vitamin K1.4
The Japanese long ago recognized the power of vitamin K2 to maintain or restore bone health. In certain regions of Japan, a staple dish called natto or fermented soybean, frequently eaten several times a week, is uniquely rich in vitamin K2. Recent scientific examination has pinpointed vitamin K2, and in particular vitamin K2 as menaquinone-7 (MK-7), as the active ingredient in this popular eastern Japanese dish, as having a supportive effect on bone quality during osteoporosis treatment.5
People living in the Japanese regions where this dish is eaten have several-fold greater blood levels of vitamin K2 (MK-7), accompanied by less osteoporosis and bone fractures.6
These findings are supported by clinical trials, in which vitamin K2 has been shown to successfully reduce the incidence of bone fractures. A two-year Japanese study found that vitamin K2 (MK-4) reduced the incidence of vertebral (spine) fractures by 52% in 120 patients with osteoporosis, compared with patients who did not receive this nutrient.7 The high dose used in this trial—as with most studies examining vitamin K2’s effect on bone density—was 45 mg/day, a prescription dose used in Japan to treat osteo-porosis that is unavailable in the US. As you will read later, lower doses of K2 found in dietary supplements appear to also provide significant benefits.
CASE HISTORY: HEART DISEASE LINKED WITH OSTEOPOROSIS
Fit and trim at age 67, Walter had no reason to believe that he had any hidden health conditions.
He’d had annual physicals for the past seven years, passing them all. According to his doctor, his cholesterol numbers had been fine for years. But Walter’s brother-in-law, a physician whose own brush with heart disease prompted him to warn everyone else in the family about the possibility, suggested that he undergo a computed tomography heart scan. Walter’s heart scan score was 3,367, a high score that signaled a dangerous content of calcified atherosclerotic plaque in his coronary arteries linked to a high risk for heart attack. In fact, Walter’s score put him in the 99th percentile, meaning that his calcium score was in the worst 1% of all men in his age group (and carried an annual risk for heart attack of 25% without preventive efforts).
At about the same time, Walter enrolled for a screening service that came to his church offering ultrasound screening for abdominal aneurysm, carotid disease, and osteoporosis. While Walter proved to have no aneurysm or carotid issues, he did show the bone density of someone 20 years older, revealing an advanced state of osteoporosis.
While seemingly unrelated, Walter’s arterial calci-fication and osteoporosis were likely connected through the common mechanism of inadequate levels of vitamin K.
Vitamin K2 has also proven to be as effective as prescription drugs in reducing the incidence of bone fractures. In one Japanese study in post-menopausal women that compared the effect of K2 (MK-4) with the drug etidronate (Didronel®) on the incidence of vertebral (spine) fracture, women taking K2 at a dose of 45 mg per day experienced a fracture rate of 8.0% compared with 8.7% for those taking the drug therapy. Furthermore, women taking both MK-4 and the drug experienced a 3.8% fracture rate—a dramatic combined effect. In comparison, in a placebo group who received neither K2 nor drug therapy, nearly 21% of women experienced bone fractures.8
Experimental animal models of osteoporosis have also revealed that MK-4 improves bone architecture, increases bone mass and mechanical strength, stimulates mineralization (deposition of calcium), and enhances collagen architecture—a cross-linking of fibrous tissue that yields tough but supple bone that is more resistant to fracture.9
On the other hand, osteoporosis—the excessive loss of bone mineral density—results in fractures and leads to devastating events common in those over 65 years, even with minor injuries like a fall. Unfortunately, the drug industry focuses on prescribing drugs late in life when the risk for fracture is high. Strategies that involve nutritional supplements are different. Firstly, they lack the high cost and side effects of prescription drugs. Secondly, they can potentially be started at an earlier age and taken over 20, 30, or more years in order to yield possibly greater benefit than drug therapy started at the age of 60 to bail out a process that has developed over decades. Although there are no clinical trials for such an extended period, this is an area worthy of future investigation.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: VITAMIN K2
While calcium is essential for good health, aberrant calcium metabolism can lead to disorders such as osteoporosis and cardio-vascular disease. Vitamin K2 is emerging as a key factor in regulating calcium in the body.
Insufficient vitamin K2 leads to decreased bone mineral density, a key factor in osteoporosis, and an excess of calcium in the arterial wall, which increases the risk of heart disease.
In Japan, vitamin K2 has been shown to substantially improve osteoporosis when given either as a high-dose prescription agent or in the staple Japanese dish called natto, which is particularly rich in K2.
Studies have also shown that even modest amounts of vitamin K2 fight heart disease by controlling calcium-regulating proteins in vascular tissue, which keeps calcium out of the arteries and prevents the formation of dangerous calcified plaques.
Vitamin K2 occurs in much smaller quantities in the diet than vitamin K1. Most of us, therefore, get little of these K2-rich foods.
Current dietary guidelines for vitamin K focus on how much is needed to regulate blood clotting and have largely ignored the much higher amount needed to maintain healthy bones and arteries.
For further information on this article go to: http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2008/mar2008_Protecting-Bone-And-Arterial-Health-With-Vitamin-K2_01.htm
I am currently using IHerb.com for the purchase of larger quantities of Vitamin D3:
Gail J. Dahl
Award Winning – National Bestselling Author and Childbirth Researcher
National Bestselling “Pregnancy & Childbirth Secrets”
National Bestselling “Pregnancy & Childbirth Tips”
Executive Director, Innovative Publishing Inc.
Executive Director, Canadian Childbirth Association
Gail J. Dahl is a childbirth researcher, award winning and national bestselling author. She is the founder and Executive Director of the Canadian Childbirth Association. Dahl has received many awards, including “The YWCA Woman of Distinction Award”, “The Woman of Vision Award” and “The Great Women of the 21st Century Award” for her contributions toward women’s health and education.
Copyright 2010, Copyright released with references if the article is to be used for the purpose of childbirth education. “Pregnancy & Childbirth Secrets” by National Bestselling Author Gail J. Dahl. Now available across North America at Barnes & Noble, Borders, Chapters and Indigo Books & Music. For more great secrets see the website at: http://web.mac.com/pregnancysecrets. The information contained in or provided through this publication is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be, and is not provided as, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your midwife, physician, or other qualified health care provider before you undergo any treatment or for answers to any questions you may have regarding any medical condition.
20 thoughts on “Secrets- Vitamin K2 and Pregnancy”
need some latest information about vitamin k2 7 can i give my wife she on family way
She can get what she needs directly from sun exposure. Minimum of 20 minutes per day. Skin exposed as possible. Congrats! G
Hi – I know this is an old article, but I wanted to ask about safe dosing levels of K2-MK4 for my wife. After reading Nourishing Traditions and about the work of Dr W.A. Price, I decided that it would be much easier to get a K2 supplement than try to source it from foods. I bought the Carlson brand K2-MK4, in 5mg doses, and then saw on the pack that it shouldn’t be taken by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. The whole point of buying it was to ensure the proper skeletal development as you’ve mentioned above, but now my wife is quite dubious as to its safety. Now I’m trying to find out something definitive on how much K2 pregnant women should take – some sources say only 100mcg per day (RDA guidelines), and of course the Japanese studies cited above say 45mg (although no mention of pregnancy). Could you please provide me with some guidance (happy to do further reading) on safe/beneficial dosing levels? We currently also take 5000IU of D3 daily.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Yes, it is good to take Vitamin D3 with it’s co-factor Vitamin K and/or to increase the green leafy intake in the diet. There is much evidence that both are critical to the health of your baby and wife, both during and after pregnancy. For every 1,000 units of Vitamin D3 when you purchase both together, you will also receive 125 mcg of Vitamin K. It is a very small amount that is required to synthesize the Vitamin D, but crucial nonetheless. Nothing, no drug or vitamin, is recommended for pregnancy as we are unable to double blind test pregnant women. Here is an excellent article on the critical impact of vitamins and the importance of many of the vitamins for a health pregnancy. This field and this information is changing daily. The longer I study it the more I realize how important these two ingredients are to a healthy life. Here is a scholarly article that includes the recommendation for Vitamin K with Vitamin D3 for pregnancy. http://www.natuurlijkerwijs.com/english/vitamins.htm#vitamin_k_1
Best wishes to you both,
Gail J. Dahl
Hi Gail – thanks for the reply! I unfortunately didn’t see anything in that article about levels of Vitamin K to take during pregnancy. In your opinion then (and I know this certainly wouldn’t constitute medical advice), would be be desirable to take 5000IU of D3 and 625mcg of K2 daily?
Could I also ask how K2 is absorbed? Is it possible to perhaps take one 5mg dose per week (or per fortnight), or does the body need a steady stream of lower doses?
Thanks so much again!
Hello Adrian, You can now buy Vitamin D3 supplements that contain the correct amount of Vitamin K2.
I would periodically blood test my Vitamin D levels before, during and after pregnancy. The amount of Vitamin D required is highly personalized. Some need a small amount of supplement, others need vast amounts. This could be related to the amount of the co-factor Vitamin K that the body can absorb from the diet, environment or status of the gut. Vitamin D is safe and can be taken in amount of 50,000 IU’s per day for months without any adverse or toxic reactions, it is a very safe and necessary vitamin for pregnancy. Vitamin K is a fat soluable vitamin and is a co-factor to Vitamin D. It will be important to increase Vitamin K through food first, most beneficial in adding the Japanese staple natto, or through supplements. The most natural way to obtain Vitamin D is from direct sun exposure and daily time in the sun when pregnant is important even with supplementation when it can be obtained.
If I were pregnant, I would greatly increase my intake of Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K, and also take a methylated Vitamin B12 combined with methylated Folic Acid. We are having babies being born with an inability to access these two critically important vitamins, even though they are in your prenatal vitamin, some babies will require a different format. I also personally would remove all dairy, soy and grain products along with removing the foods that have been genetically modified like peanuts, almonds, etc.
I recently had my daughter go through metabolic testing and we found large deficiencies in Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid. So much for those very expensive prenatal vitamins I was taking. Just these three deficiencies can cause allergies, asthma, and many other critical illnesses in our babies and children. She was also recently tested for food allergies and she is allergic to all of the above foods, as it turns out I am as well. My own health changed dramatically when I removed the wheat and dairy as this change leaves more room for healthier foods and requires less effort on the part of the body to absorb the required nutrients.
My suggestion is that you contact the Vitamin D Council and the Vitamin D Society to find the newest research on Vitamin K2. You will also see a grass roots study for pregnant women and the results of increased Vitamin D3 throughout pregnancy that anyone can join at a small cost. This new study involves Vitamin D testing throughout pregnancy and after and will detail the great benefits that are happening for women who are aware of the importance of increasing their levels of Vitamin D3 during pregnancy.
Your wife is lucky to have you and baby too. I am sure you are doing everything possible to provide the greatest health for your new family. Please do contact either of these two groups and you will be talking to some of the top Vitamin D researchers in the world. Although it is frustrating to be at the beginning of a wave of new knowledge, just with what you know now about Vitamin D3 supplementation during pregnancy will make a great difference in the health of your wife and baby.
Make sure your physician is testing her levels of Vitamin D3 throughout the pregnancy. This will let you know if you need to increase or decrease the amount for optimal health for both as the amount will vary depending on weight, skin, proximity to the equator, etc, etc.
Best wishes, Gail Gail J. Dahl National Bestselling Author – “Pregnancy & Childbirth Secrets” Founder and Executive Director of the Canadian Childbirth Association YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/pregnancysecrets?feature=mhum WordPress Blog: https://gaildahl.wordpress.com
And sorry for the double post, but I just read something about different dosing levels for MK4 vs MK7 versions of K2. It seems the recommendations are quite different depending on which form of K2 you are taking – any advice for finding some more definitive answers would be greatly appreciated!
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