So what is this powerful nutrient you ask? It is potent against cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders and conditions that concern calcium build-up. An abundance of this nutrient can keep calcium build up from occurring, which is a key hallmark of disease progression. Back in the 1930’s when Dr. Weston Price reported the amazing effects of an unknown vitamin called “Activator-X” it was not until the next century when researchers finally caught up with his work and classified it as vitamin K2. Ever wonder why the French have a lower heart disease rates? In large part is has to do with the their high doses of vitamin K2, which they get in their organic butterfat.
New Implications for Parkinson’s Disease
Neuroscientist Patrik Verstreken and his team published new research that establishes findings with vitamin K2 and Parkinson’s disease, the latter being a neurological disease recognized to be associated with defective mitochondria, the power plants of your cells. In essence, the mitochondria in key nerve cells fail to transfer electrons, the basis of energy production. Energy depleted neurons begin dying off.
Dr. Verstreken’s research found several genetic defects in Parkinson’s patients, including PINK1 and Parkin mutations, both of which lead to reduced mitochondrial energy production. The scientists used fruit flies as their animal model. That’s because, with their short lifespan, the female will produce hundreds of offspring within two weeks of her birth, enabling efficient study of altered genes. These fruit flies have genetic defects in the PINK1 and Parkin similar to the ones associated with Parkinson’s. Those with these defects were not able to produce the energy to fly.
However, on close inspection, they found that the mitochondria in the insects were defective, similar to what’s found in Parkinson’s. Yet when the researchers gave them vitamin K2, their ability to fly improved and this improvement correlated with improved electron transport in mitochondria and sufficient energy production to allow these insects to fly.
This is by and large a mitochondrial energy production situation. Now in rodents, 98% of the vitamin K in brain tissue exists as K2. Considering how rare this nutrient is in the Western diet, it would behoove those to consider trying it. The brain, pancreas, salivary glands retain vitamin K2 even on a deficient diet, indicating the necessity of the nutrient. What these body systems have in common is that they are among the most energy dependent organs and glands in the body.
Sources of Vitamin K2 in the Diet
While green leafy and cruciferous vegetables are loaded in vitamin K1, plant K2 requires bacterial fermentation. The best source is Japanese natto. Natto is made from a special fermentation of soy. The bacteria produce both K2 (as MK-7) and nattokinase (the enzyme that naturally dissolves unwanted clots – safely). Just ½ ounce of natto will provide 200 mcg of K2. The problem however is that this is a taste that requires a bit of getting used to, as in a delicacy. The texture is a bit slimy and and comes with an odor that is not all that pleasant if you ask me.
In animal foods the best source is goose liver. After that vitamin K2 is found in hard and soft cheeses, egg yolk, goose leg, grass-fed butter, chicken liver, and cheddar cheese. Three and a half ounces of goose leg will net you at least 30 mcg of K2. You’ll need to double the others to match. Goose liver pate has 369 mcg of K2 per three ounces. Natto has 1,103 mcg of K2 per three ounces. The “Rotterdam study” suggests that if you eat foods rich in natural vitamin K2 (at least 32 mcg per day) you’ll net a 50% reduction of arterial calcification, a 50% reduction of cardiovascular death, and a 25% reduction of all-cause mortality.
If none of these foods sound that appetizing, one can always supplement. In a review article by Cees Vermeer, PhD reported one study that found that just 1 milligram (mg) of K1 prevented loss of arterial elasticity over three years, while the placebo group lost 12% elasticity (meaning arteries became stiffer). It takes only 45-90 micrograms (mcg) of K2 to accomplish the same. K2 is the preferred form, perhaps 20 times more powerful.
The most powerful vitamin K2 supplement can be found over at Hairevo. It is called Decalcify, check it out and always triple-check your facts.
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