Vitamin K2, Vit D, Calcium, and Magnesium

sources_of_vitamin_kDoctor Rheaume-Bleue, has written extensively on Vitamin K2 and the link below provides an informative video interview by Dr Mercola.

As a pediatrician, my traditional knowledge of this vitamin had to do with it’s importance in clotting and the vitamin K shot we give to all newborns for as long as I have been in practice.  This is phylloquinone or Vitamin K1.  It seems most newborns are deficient and thus the importance of that shot to prevent possible hemorrhagic disease of the newborn.  Vitamin K1 is found naturally in plants, especially green vegetables,  and in the liver it helps maintain healthy clotting.

It’s Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) that is made by bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract that goes to the blood vessel walls, bones, and tissues other than the liver where it keeps the bones strong and the vessel walls clean.  It is involved with proteins moving calcium out of the vessel walls (reducing arteriosclerosis) and into bones (building strong bones).  Vitamin K2 actually has two types, MK-4 (menaquinone-4) found in butter, egg yolks and animal-based foods, and MK-7 (menaquinone-7) found in fermented foods.  MK-7 from fermentation, stays in the body longer and if taken in a supplement is the type you’ll want to look for. 

There is a vital role of K2 with your vitamin D and calcium.  Taking vitamin D or getting lots of sunshine, without calcium and vitamin K2 doesn’t help much. K2 needs to be there to activate the proteins that carry the calcium, and vitamin D is vital for calcium absorption.  Dr Rheaume-Bleue, recommends adults take about 300 micrograms of K2 a day, and if taking 5000 IU of vitamin D, I suspect twice the amount of K2 might be needed.  Because of the close interplay between calcium and magnesium, it is recommended that you take magnesium if supplementing calcium, along with the K2 and vitamin D.

So how do you know if you need extra vitamin K2?  We can do a Spectracell Nutrient Deficiency test to find out. If you have osteoporosis, heart disease, or diabetes, you likely need more and my guess is we all do, as few of us eat richly of the foods high in Vitamin K2: grass fed eggs, butter and dairy, fermented natto, vegetables from a culture with K2-producing bacteria, goose liver, brie, and gouda cheeses.

At Natura Integrative Medicine and Integrative Pediatrics, we can test for your K-2 status inside your cells using Spectracell Micronutrient Testing.

 Watch the interview with Dr Mercola here…

Dr. Paul

 

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