Supplements for a Healthy Heart, Vitamin K2
I’ve been taking several vitamins and supplements for the past 8 years or so. Some of these I take in hopes of keeping my heart healthy: CoEnzyme Q10, Fish Oil, Vitamin D, Beta Carotene, and lately, Vitamin K2 MK-7, Curcumin, and Cayenne.
Vitamin K2 + Vitamin D + Vitamin A, The Missing Link?
There has been research lately that shows the importance of a vitamin many have never heard of: Vitamin K2. Typically when you think of Vitamin K, you think of Vitamin K1. Vitamin K1 is found in green leafy vegetables and aids in blood clotting.
The thought is, that Vitamin K2 aids the body in effective use of calcium. Basically, the calcium in the bloodstream goes where it’s supposed to go, allowing proper calcium absorption in the bones to keep them strong instead of clogging arteries with arterial calcification. There’s some suggestion it may even reverse existing arterial calcification.
Vitamin D and Vitamin A may also be part of the mechanism that allows Vitamin K2 to be effective, the three nutrients having a synergistic effect.
While we may get some Vitamin D from our diets and sun exposure, many people aren’t getting enough Vitamin D to maintain healthy blood levels. Check out the Vitamin D Council’s “Am I Vitamin D Deficient?” article. They recommend taking enough Vitamin D to maintain 25(OH)D blood levels at 50-80 ng/ml. A few months ago I increased my Vitamin D dosage from 2,000 IU to 7,000 IU daily.
I also take Beta Carotene to insure I get enough Vitamin A. Vitamin A in Retinyl Palmitate form can be dangerous if too much is taken. Beta Carotene is generally safer. The body will use it to make as much Vitamin A as it needs.
Vitamin K2 MK-4 vs. MK-7
There are two commonly available forms of Vitamin K2: MK-4 and MK-7. The MK-4 form is found in butter from grass fed cows. The MK-7 form is found in a fermented soy product called Natto. Both of these are also available in supplement form.
Some research studies have been done with MK-4 whereas others have been done with MK-7. The MK-4 form is cleared from the blood stream faster. Significant amounts of Vitamin K2 MK-7 remain in the blood stream for 3 days.
It’s not clear which is best. It might not be a bad idea to take both. For the time being, I’ve been taking 90 mcg of Vitamin K2 MK-7.
Many people have heard of CoQ10. I take it to improve my energy levels and strengthen my heart. A nice side effect I noticed was that it improved the health of my gums. I got a nice complement from my dentist. I take around 100mg twice a day (with breakfast and dinner).
Curcumin and Cayenne
I also take Curcumin/Tumeric and Cayenne to help prevent clogged arteries. The Cayenne burns my stomach a little bit, but it helps to take it just before eating instead of after. I take 500mg of each daily.
One more thing I take to help keep my heart healthy is Fish Oil. I used to take fish oil capsules, but I think the liquid fish oil is a better value. The particular brand I use has an orange flavor and doesn’t have much fishy taste. I usually take 1-2 tsp a day.
What sorts of things do you do to keep your heart healthy? And if you take Vitamin K2, what has been your experience with it?
VitaminK2.org (There’s a good series of videos under “Scientific Presentation.”)
Food sources of vitamin K2 at The Heart Scan Blog
Vitamin K2: MK-4 versus MK-7 on ImmInst.org Forums
Vitamin K2, menatetrenone (MK-4) at the Whole Health Source Blog
Can Vitamin K2 Reverse Arterial Calcification? at the Whole Health Source Blog
Are the MK-4 and MK-7 Forms of Vitamin K2 Equivalent? at the Whole Health Source Blog
Vitamin D Council
Getting vitamin D right at The Heart Scan Blog
Vitamin D: It’s Not Just Another Vitamin at the Whole Health Source Blog
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