Vitamin K plays a key role in helping the blood clot, preventing excessive bleeding. Unlike many other vitamins, vitamin K is not typically used as a dietary supplement.
Vitamin K is actually a group of compounds. The most important of these compounds appears to be vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. Vitamin K1 is obtained from leafy greens and some other vegetables. Vitamin K2 is a group of compounds largely obtained from meats, cheeses, and eggs, and synthesized by bacteria.
Vitamin K1 is the main form of vitamin K supplement available in the U.S.
Recently, some people have looked to vitamin K2 to treat osteoporosis and steroid-induced bone loss, but the research is conflicting. At this point there is not enough data to recommend using vitamin K2 for osteoporosis.
Most readers here appreciate the importance of vitamin D, as do many physicians. However, theres another vitamin that is virtually equivalent in terms of benefit that is still sorely underappreciated, and that is vitamin K2.
Very little is known about it, and it doesnt get much media attention. Dr. Leon Schurgers is a senior scientist who did his PhD work on vitamin K, and I recently had the pleasure of interviewing him on this important topic.
He began his research on vitamin K some 20 years ago at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, and hes currently one of the leading researchers in the world on this vitamin.
The Blood Clotting Functions of Vitamins K
Vitamin K1 is well known for being crucial for proper blood clotting. But Dr. Schurgers clarifies this by saying that both vitamins K1 and K2 activate certain coagulation factors. Specifically, there are four coagulation factors (Factor 2, 7, …
Therefore, vitamin K2 levels will not be high in butter from grain-fed cows raised in confinement feedlots. Since the overwhelming majority of butter sold in the U.S. comes from such feedlots, butter is not a significant source of K2 in the diet for most people. This is yet another argument for obtaining raw butter from cows raised on green pasture.
New research which expands our understanding of the many important roles of vitamin K2 is being published at a rapid pace. Yet it is already clear that vitamin K2 is an important nutrient for human health – and one of the most poorly understood by medical authorities and the general public.
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