Vitamin K2 is not a core component of the Wheat Belly or Undoctored programs. But there are clinical studies demonstrating that adequate K2 intake can contribute to bone and heart health. So should you add it to your program?
Vitamin K2 is indeed worth considering, but you should know about the issue of bowel flora and K2 for future reference.
(The photograph shown in the blog post title is natto, fermented soybean. If you can eat natto, you are tougher than I am.)
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Another frequently asked question is “Is vitamin K2 something I should take?” Well, K2 is very interesting. In the last eight or so years since I’ve been dealing with vitamin K2, I have advised many people to take vitamin K2, but let me tell you about some of my reservations about vitamin K2.
So we do know that K2, administered to people with osteoporosis, osteopenia and bone thinning, that it helps reverse that, and reduce osteoporotic hip fractures, and other fractures. We also know that people with lower intakes of vitamin K2 have more risk of cardiovascular events, as much as much as 57% more risk. So what’s the problem?
Well, let me tell you my one reservation. Vitamin K2 comes largely from fermented foods, as well as foods that come from ruminants (they graze on grass, like dairy products), but largely from fermented foods like cheese and natto (which is fermented soybean). Recall that every strategy in the Undoctored Wild-Naked-Unwashed program, our menu of strategies, all serve intrinsic human need. In other words, if a nutritional supplement or other strategy serves an intrinsic human need, we can expect huge, very big benefits, by correcting or replacing it. Now there seems to be an apparent benefit, an apparent need, for vitamin K2 — but wait a minute — if K2 only comes from, or largely comes from fermented foods, and we only added fermented foods relatively recently, why would there be an apparent need for some byproduct of fermentation, fermented foods?
Well, the science is heading in this direction: that vitamin K2 is meant to come from the conversion of the vitamin K1 (which is related, but different), K1 from green vegetables, converted by bowel flora microbes in your colon, to K2. And now we’re beginning to see the catalogue of species that can accomplish that. But that science is just getting underway in the last few years. I think what’s going to happen in the next few years is that we’ll be able to say, for instance, when you start the effort to recolonize your bowel flora, be sure to get this probiotic that has two, three, or four or whatever species that we know convert K1 to K2. And that’s how you correct your need for K2.
I think that’s what we’ll say in future. Right now we can’t say that. That science is still being sorted out. So in the meantime, it is harmless to take K2 as a supplement. It has no side effects, no downside, aside from cost. So if you want to do that, stack your odds in favor of dealing with bone thinning, and reducing cardiovascular risk, I would take the MK-7 form of vitamin K2. That’s the long-acting form; lasts several days at a time. And the dose is 180 micrograms per day. A common preparation that is very popular is the Life Extension Super-K brand.
Now some people have a hard time locating that and they take the MK-4 or menatetrenone form, which is very short-lived, lasting only a couple of hours in the body. And the dose for that is between 1000 and 5000 micrograms, a much higher dose. You can take it more than once a day also, it lasts so briefly. That’s probably a second choice, though. The MK-7 being the first choice. So that’s okay to do that and you stack the odds in favor of those benefits.
But don’t be surprised if sometime in future, I come back and say: hey it’s time to change course. But that’s the nature of the Undoctored message, isn’t it, adapting to the newest information to do with science and then collaborating and sharing that information so that you get the best results possible.