Researchers have discovered that vitamin K2 works with calcium and vitamin D, and is essential in the fight against osteoporosis and coronary heart disease. However, due to changes in our agriculture and food manufacturing, K2 is rarely available through our diet and so taking a daily supplement is essential.
In Australia, two in three women, and one in three men over the age of 60 will suffer an osteoporotic fracture in their remaining lifetime. Currently over 2.2 million Australians are affected by the disease osteoporosis.
Coronary heart disease (CHD) or heart disease claimed the lives of 20,046 Australians (13% of all deaths) in 2012. CHD kills 55 Australians each day, or one Australian every 26 minutes.
Due to the enormous changes we’ve seen in farming practices – from grass feed to grain feed and pasture raised to feedlots – K2 is no longer available in common foods such as butter, eggs, cheese and meat from animals that are grain fed. The significance of these changes to our diets is only now being understood. The human body can only convert a very small amount of K1 to K2 through gut bacteria, not enough to reap the health benefits.
Although vitamin K2 has been recognised as an essential vitamin for many years, it has only been recently that the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has made it available as a supplement for Australian consumers.
In response, major manufacturers of health supplements in Australia have been quick to launch a range of vitamin K2 supplements which are now available in supermarkets and pharmacies nation wide.
One example is Osteo-K by Nature’s Way, which was recently launched in Australia and is available from Woolworths, Coles, Chemist Warehouse, Priceline and pharmacies nationally. Osteo-K contains therapeutic doses of Calcium, Vitamin D and Vitamin K2.
Calcium is essential for bone and teeth health as it supports their structure and hardness. Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption from the intestines and allows for proper function of the parathyroid hormone to maintain blood calcium levels. Vitamin K2 activates certain proteins that guide calcium into bones and teeth where it belongs; and activates other proteins that escort calcium out of soft tissues such as arteries.