Vitamin K for Health
Vitamin K is an important fat-soluble vitamin for health. It consists of two main subfamilies: vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 (menaquinone). Naturally occurring forms of phylloquinone (K1) are found in green plants and vitamin K2 is synthesized from bacteria with the intestine. Vitamin K1 has an important function in blood clotting and vitamin K2 moves calcium from soft tissue into bone.
Vitamin K is:
- Essential calcium metabolism and maintenance of bone health
- Assists normal healthy blood coagulation
- Reduces bone mineral density loss in health post-menopausal women
Calcium, vitamin D & A, and estrogen are necessary to maintain bone health and even people with adequate calcium, sunlight and vitamins A & D can struggle to maintain bone health particularly in the latter years when estrogen is also lost. Vitamin D increases the need for vitamin K2 as well as increasing its benefits. Mega-dosing of vitamin D is not recommended as this can increase the risk of calcium deposits in soft tissues, another reason for more is not better! Quality of calcium and the correct nutrients is however important.
Evidence has emerged of the crucial role of vitamin K2 in maintaining health tissues. Vitamin K2 has been shown to assist calcium from blood vessels into bones and in doing so protects against cardiovascular disease whilst depositing calcium in bone and teeth. Vitamin K2 deficiency can occur within 7 days of a vitamin K2 deficient diet. Those that are considered at greater risk are those with:
- Impaired gastrointestinal absorption
- Chronically treated with antibiotics (minimising the ability of favourable gut bacteria to produce K2)
- Newborns with immature gastrointestinal systems
- Diets low in vitamin K
- Fat malabsorption disorders
- Intestinal bypass surgery
- Liver disease and pancreatitis
Vitamin K2 and Bone Health
Vitamin K2 activates certain proteins (i.e. osteocalcin) which then allows them to bind to calcium. Vitamin D is dependent on vitamin K2, and together with vitamin A stimulate the production of osteocalcin (bone forming protein) and inhibits the production of osteoclast cells which break down bone tissue. Estrogen assists vitamin D to form bone and when estrogen levels drop in menopause this activity potentially increases bone loss. It is important to supplement with K2 along with vitamin D in menopause, in the prevention of osteoporosis, although it is equally important to check vitamin D levels (vitamin D 1,25-OH2-D3) before supplementing. Although unclear osteocalcin appears to be involved in bone remodelling or calcium mobilization. Even though vitamin A assists the production of osteocalcin, more is not better. Vitamin A and E excess has been shown to antagonise vitamin K uptake (i.e. prevent absorption and metabolism). It is always about a balance with nutrients!
As vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin it is best absorbed with dietary fat. People who have difficulty absorbing fat generally have difficulty absorbing fat-soluble vitamins.
Menaquinones are classified according to their side chains. The longer the side chain the longer it potentially resides in the body (i.e. MK-7), which determines the uptake within the intestine and its distribution throughout the body.
The menaquinones produced by bacteria are predominantly found in animal products such as meat, egg yolk, butter, cheeses and legumes. The most well-known MK-4 is a short chain structure predominantly found in eggs, meat and liver whilst MK-7 is found in higher concentrations within fermented cheeses and in the traditional Japanese food natto (produced by Bacillus subtilis from fermented soy beans.
Cardiovascular Disease and vitamin K2
As calcium is one of the causes of hardening of the arteries, a high arterial calcium score can be measured as a potential risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that adding vitamin K2 to the diet can reduce the arterial content and increase flexibility of the arterial wall.
Interestingly in the northern hemisphere calcification is highest in the Winter months and lowest in August (Summer), due to the animal sources of vitamin K. Grass fed however not grain fed animals have higher K2 in the fat of the animal. Chickens must be fed inopen pasture to have K2 present int he yolk, conventional grain feed reduces vitamin K2 content. Processed (hydrogenated) margarine and other oils that contain cheaper versions of fats have synthetic forms of vitamin K (DHP) which studies have found contain lower amounts of K2.
Content of Vitamin K in selected Foods
Phylloquinone content ug/100g of food
|Eggs||Green beans||Brussel sprouts||Swiss chard|
|Red Meat||Kiwi fruit||Watercress|
|Tea (brewed)||Coffee (brewed)|
Cautions and Warnings
Pregnancy and lactation – all forms of vitamin K supplementation needs to be used with caution and under supervision only.
Using vitamin K in conjunction with anticoagulant medication ie. warfarin is not recommended and needs to be under supervision only.
See Karen Green your professional naturopath, nutritionist and herbalist for further support and guidance at gaininghealthnaturally.com and information here: Karen Green or information calcium read here
Gropper, S., Smith, J., and Groff, J. (2009). Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism, 5th ed. . CA, USA. : Cengage Learning.
K2 for Bone Health. (2016). Australia: www.bioceuticals.com.au
Magic Moon Energy Mists
The Blue Moon Mist – There are many definitions of a blue moon, with the most common one being – it is the second full moon that occurs in one calendrical month. Earlier this year the magic of the lunar eclipse presented with two full moons in one month. When this happens, it is known as a Blue Moon. On an average this occurs every 2.7 years which is not so uncommon to us. What was different about this blue moon, what made it SUPER special, was an ultra-rare phenomenon when a blue moon and a super moon coincide with the blood moon of a lunar eclipse. It was the first time this occurred in 150 years.
The Blue Moon Mist contains the awakening eclipsed energy of the blue moon (essence that occurred in Feb 2018) along with the healing powers of essential oils: Jasmine, Frankincense, Patchouli, Tangerine, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Lavender & Witch Hazel. Behind the lens this ‘’blue’’ moon awakens your spirit to what is the ‘’real’’ to you. Each of the essential oils have been blended to form part of your awakening spirit mist. It also contains Fish Pole Bamboo essence. Bamboo is extremely strong, flexible and used for building homes in many homes throughout Asia. This essence provides the strength to continue through life’s trails and tribulations. Fish Pole Bamboo essence which enables you to focus on the important things in your life, providing you with the ability to learn from your mistakes and to apply that learning to daily life.
As the feminine energy resides with full moons, the blue moon mist helps with clearing things out, doing away with the past and letting things go. This energy puts you where you need to be and beckons you to a higher state of consciousness.
The magical deep red blood moon occurred in July 2018 and was the longest lunar eclipse of this century. The reason this lunar eclipse was the longest of the 21st century is because it passed through the centre of the Earth’s shadow thereby increasing the time the moon was blocked from the sun.
The Blood Moon Mist creates an essence of embracing your ”true self”. The energy of embracing grace helps you stay calm and patient when turmoil occurs around you. It gives a caring, patience and responsible attitude. Mars was the strongest influence on this lunar eclipse and will make you feel strong, sexy and brave. Your quick instincts and fighting spirit can be used to defend your home and family. The Blood Moon Mist contains magical moon water essence along with essential oils: Ylang Ylang, Rose Geranium, Sandalwood, German Chamomile, Lavender, Geranium, Orange Oil & Witch Hazel. It also contains Pastel Flower (bush essence) that creates patience in self and in others. Pastel Flower creates an understanding that through patience you will open to the love that surrounds you and to open to self love. This process is often one that is slow and requires patience.
Purchase your gifts today at:
Summer – A time to be Jolly & Merry
As we enter into the season to be jolly and merry, it is also a time when we enter into long hot Summer days across Australia. In the Southern Hemisphere Summer heralds in the harvest. A time to celebrate and be merry. It’s not the time to set goals, make New Year resolutions (no wonder so many fall down), or to start major projects. Now this it doesn’t mean you can’t run your business or keep things chugging along at home. What it is about is letting your hair down a little and embracing the spirit of the sun – the great outdoors, hiking, bike riding, spending fun times, sharing breakfasts and dinners with those you love. Sometimes this can be difficult to do. When we truly stop we look to fill up with doing again as we are not used to being in one place or stopping completely to rest and rejuvenate.
Summer time reminds us to pack up shop for a while, wind down and enjoy good times! Put it this way, if we put all that effort into growing the crop and then we harvest it at the wrong time, or if it’s gone by and you haven’t harvested you could lose a significant amount of value of what you were hoping to do with the item or project you had started. All things come to a time of harvest, embracing and enjoying the wins of the day. It is almost time for that – Summer Solstice is officially that time.
In the Northern hemisphere it is a different matter – as darkness prevails it enters into a time of greater reflection, a time to think about and set what the year ahead will bring and part of that may be to set goals or to strategize about what may be.
I invite you in this holiday period coming to sit back and truly relax. So often we become busy and then when holiday time arrives we become busier. That is not resting, relaxing and rejuvenating. Potentially that is ‘’filling up’’.
This holiday season I am:
- Turning off the computer more and that means social media as well.
- Turning off the internet completely at night – Actually I already do that, this is just a reminder. Allow your nervous system to turn off completely at night so turn off your appliances, take your mobile out of your room and switch off – everything!
- Getting out my favourite books – I have a couple ready to go!
- Sleeping in as much as I can.
- Enjoy breakfasts in the sun in the early morning.
- Walk in nature and enjoy my beach yoga.
What is your commitment to self? I invite you to do this so you come back refreshed.
Merry Christmas to you and your family!