In our previous blog 'Cod Liver Oil or Fish Oil'? we discussed briefly the benefits of vitamin K in our diet but today we want to go a little deeper to give you a greater understanding of this incredibly important nutrient!
The reason that we bought it up in this previous blog, is because concentrated butter oil (in the FCLO + Concentrated Butter Oil Supplement) contains vitamin K2 - a crucial form of vitamin K that we only find in animal sources.
Let's Talk About "Activator X"
Vitamin K is also known as menaquinone and "Activator X".
"Activator X" was discovered by Weston A Price
What this means simply, is that vitamin K2 acts in a synergistic way to help activate other nutrients and help them to be utilised by the body (in other words, vitamin K2 helps to aid the proper absorption or key vitamins and minerals).
Benefits of Vitamin K2/"Activator X"
- Absorption & Utilisation of Key Nutrients
- Jaw & Face Development
- Bone Density & Bone Health
- Helping to Prevent Tooth Decay (dental caries)
- Heart Disease Protection
- Brain Function
- Liver, Kidneys, Pancreas Health
- Nervous System Health
- Anti-inflammatory Properties
- Calcium Metabolism
- May Help to Prevent Bone Thinning and Fractures
- As K2 has both antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties, it may help to prevent cancer from metastasising by inhibiting growth and spread of cancer cells.
What If You Don't Get Enough Vitamin K?
If you don't get enough vitamin K in your diet, you may experience excessive bleeding, as vitamin K is necessary in blood clotting (coagulation). You may also put yourself at a greater risk for high blood pressure or even artherosclerosis.
Both vitamin K1 and K2 help with blood clotting but they are sourced very differently...
Where Do We Find Vitamin K?
Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is found in plant foods such as leafy greens and vegetables such as cabbage, Brussel's Sprouts, broccoli, turnips and fruits such as kiwi, grapes and blueberries.
For many people, plant matter can be difficult to break down and digest so they may not always get the desired amount of nutrition as form these foods as the cellular walls of plants can be difficult (the nutrition of the plant is behind the cell wall). We are not saying you cannot get nutrition from plants, its just not as bioavailable as getting it from animal sources.
Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) is found in animal sources only (you will never find K2 in plant foods) and instead you'll find it in things like organ meats like liver or liver supplements, butter, ghee, cheese, egg yolks and supplements that contain concentrated butter oil such as this one.
Who Might Be at Risk of Developing K2 Deficiency
- People on a vegan "diet" (I say diet like this because it actually us not sustaining for true health but it's rather more of a fast and it has become scarily trendy)
- People on a low-fat diet
- People with Crohn's Disease
- People with Ulcerative Colitis/Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Folks who've had gastric By-pass surgery or colon removal
More Benefits of Vitamin K
- Important for heart health as vitamin K activates a protein that prevents blood vessel calcification
- It is also known to help reduce stiffening in the arteries, but also help improve blood vessel elasticity (that is what helps prevent artherosclerosis)
- Patients with diabetes have shown an improvement in their metabolism of fats, a higher tolerance to glucose and improvement in insulin sensitivity when taking vitamin K
- Vitamin K has been shown to help with vision and reduce the risk of eye complications
- Adequate levels of vitamin K in the body helps to support liver regeneration and may assist in liver issues such as alcoholic and non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver
- Vitamin K plays a substantial role in the immune system and CNS (central nervous system)
- Deficiency is known to be linked to a variety of neurological diseases.
How to Get More Vitamin K into Your Diet
As mentioned, there are 2 forms of vitamin K and vitamin K2 seems to be the more important one of the two, though some of the research is conflicting?
If you don't do animal foods at all, that is unfortunate but if you can, at least try to eat some organic sauerkraut and this is fermented cabbage and the fermentation process helps to unlock the nutrition and is much more digestible than raw cabbage or many other veggies. You may also wish to consider taking a supplement?
Keep in mind that to get proper K2 that this only comes form animal sources and if you cannot stand the thought to eat some organ meat, what about the FCLO and Butter Oil supplement? This contains so much important nutrition that a vegan diet just cannot sustain.
This is not a judgement here, we honestly just want people to have the best health and we know people come form a good and well-intentioned place with going vegan (I know I did many years ago but then my health suffered because of it).
If you are a vegetarian, you can eat egg yolks, butter, ghee and cheese for your K2.
If you are open or happy to eating a range of animal foods, we will leave a summary of the above recommendations here:
- Organ meats like liver or liver supplements,
- Butter, ghee, cheese
- Egg yolks
- Supplements that contain concentrated butter oil
Disclaimer: This article is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as health advice. Statements made have not been evaluated by the TGA and are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent and one should always consult with their trusted health professional before adding a new supplement to their diet.