Find out the importance of Vitamin K2 to your thyroid and overall health by reading this article.
In this article:
- What Is Vitamin K2?
- What’s the Difference Between Vitamin K1 and K2?
- Where Can You Get Vitamin K2?
- What Can It Do For Your Thyroid Health?
- Why Do You Need This Vitamin?
- How to Determine If You Have Vitamin K2 Deficiency?
What You Need To Know About Vitamin K2
What Is Vitamin K2?
Vitamin K2 is a type of Vitamin K that is essential to improve bone, skin, and cardiovascular health. This fat-soluble vitamin also promotes brain function and fights chronic diseases.
For your body to absorb the health benefits of Vitamin K2, you need fat-soluble Vitamin A and Vitamin D. It also activates the body’s two key proteins:
- Osteocalcin: This benefit mostly applies to your bones and teeth — dental health and reduced risk of osteoporosis. This type of key protein carries minerals and calcium into bones and teeth once activated.
- Matrix-GLA (MGP): On the other hand, this type of key protein is activated solely in the presence of Vitamin K2. You can get non-bone and non-tooth oriented benefits from this protein.
What’s the Difference Between Vitamin K1 and K2?
While they are both types of Vitamin K in nutrition labels, Vitamins K1 and K2 function differently in our body. The two have the same chemical ring structure but they have different carbon groups.
To understand more about their differences, see details below.
- the main type of Vitamin K in the human diet
- commonly found in leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, collards, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts
- makes up 75-90% of Vitamin K consumed by humans
- mainly used by the liver
- has no effect on people’s cardiovascular health
- the rare type of Vitamin K
- found in fermented vegetables and animals products
- stays in the blood longer than Vitamin K1
- better absorbed by the body because it has more fat
- better used in tissues throughout the body
- reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases
- has subtypes called menaquinones, MK-4 through MK-11
Where Can You Get Vitamin K2?
The two common subtypes of Vitamin K2 sources are MK-4 and MK-7. You can get your dose of Vitamin K2 mostly from animal sources (MK-4) and fermented veggies(MK-7).
What are the Vitamin K2 foods you can try? Below’s a list you can refer to.
- goose liver
- chicken liver
- duck liver
- lamb liver
- egg yolks (eggs from pasture-raised chickens has a higher content of Vitamin K2)
- emu oil
- pork sausage
- dark chicken meat (leg and thigh parts)
- pork chop with bone
- beef (grass-fed cows)
- Natto, Japanese fermented soybeans
- hard cheeses
- soft cheeses (brie)
- other probiotic foods
Tip: A serving of Natto can alter the measures of blood clotting for up to 4 days. This has a larger impact than any food rich in Vitamin K1.
What Can It Do For Your Thyroid Health?
Aside from iodine, selenium, and zinc, your body needs fat-soluble vitamins to improve your thyroid health.
Vitamin K2 is the best type you can try. It supports bone and cardiovascular health by promoting Vitamin D in the body.
It lets your body direct calcium straight to your bones rather than to the blood vessels, promoting bone density.
Why Do You Need This Vitamin?
For one, it increases your thyroid levels, promoting thyroid health. People who have Vitamin K deficiency also benefit from this vitamin.
Find out why you need to improve your Vitamin K2 intake today by reading its benefits below.
Vitamin K2 Benefits:
- Improves bone health by binding calcium to deposit in the bones
- Prevents dental diseases
- Decreases the risk of heart disease by preventing the inflammation and calcification of the arteries
- Prevents the development of kidney stones
- Prevents varicose veins by cleaning calcium in blood vessels
- Promotes brain functions by correlating with lipids in the brain called sulfatides. It also prevents age-related neurological degeneration that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
- Reduces the risk of cancer in the prostate and lungs
- Improves insulin sensitivity and normalizes blood glucose by activating the key proteins in the body
- Fights anxiety and depression
- Ensures healthy skin by preventing the calcification of elastin in the skin
- Supports growth and development
- Improves female fertility as it prevents and helps treat polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) through hormone production
- Improves male fertility by enhancing testosterone levels
How to Determine If You Have Vitamin K2 Deficiency?
Infants are the ones who are prone to this type of vitamin deficiency. This is why Vitamin K shots are sometimes given to newborns.
For adults, this one’s a rare condition.
But, you can also experience Vitamin K2 deficiency and not know it right away. So, find out below some of the causes and symptoms of Vitamin K2 deficiency so you can check with your doctor immediately.
Common Causes of Vitamin K2 Deficiency in Newborn Babies:
- consuming breast milk low in Vitamin K2
- a complication in newborn baby’s liver
- newborn baby’s failure to produce Vitamin K2 after birth
Main Symptoms of Vitamin K2 Deficiency in Newborn Babies:
- bleeding where the umbilical cord was removed
- skin bleeding
- gastrointestinal tract bleeding
Common Causes of Vitamin K2 Deficiency in Adults:
- lack of Vitamin K2 nutrients from the foods you eat
- anticoagulants that inhibit Vitamin K2 activation
- high dosage of Vitamin A and Vitamin E
- malabsorption of fat because of celiac disease or cystic fibrosis
- intestinal or biliary tract disorders
Main Symptoms of Vitamin K2 Deficiency in Adults:
- excessive bleeding
- bruises easily
- the appearance of blood clots under the nails
- stool that contains blood or is black in color
Start adding Vitamin K2 foods to your diet and experience the benefits, especially to your thyroid health. Also, prevent chronic diseases at all costs by living healthy and consulting with your doctor regularly.
Don’t turn a blind eye to the symptoms of Vitamin K2 deficiency and start your journey to a healthy lifestyle today.
Do you have any other questions regarding Vitamin K2 and/or its benefits on your thyroid and overall health? Feel free to ask us in the comments section below!