InViteⓇ Health Podcast, Episode hosted by Amanda Williams, MPH
When thinking about Vitamin K, we oftentimes think about our green, leafy vegetables. This is a good place to start because we know this is where a majority of our Vitamin K1 is sourced from. But did you know that there is another type of Vitamin K? It is called Vitamin K2.†
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What are the benefits of Vitamin K2?
Vitamin K2 is found in things like egg yolks, certain cheeses and certain meats. We know that it does some really unique things in the body that are slightly different from the way that Vitamin K1 works. Today, we’re going to look at the role of Vitamin K2 in the circulatory system and brain health.†
The way that Vitamin K2 works in the body is really impressive. The way it works in the bones, for example, is that it goes through and finds calcium to help drive it into the bone. It does this by activating a specific protein known as osteocalcin. When osteocalcin is activated by Vitamin K2, it’s binding that calcium tightly to the bone minerals, thus helping to create stronger bones.†
We also know that it does something else that is really quite unique, which is that it activates a protein called Matrix Gla. When Matrix Gla is activated from Vitamin K2, this actually prevents calcium from being deposited into arteries. By activating these two proteins, Vitamin K2 makes sure that calcium is delivered into the bones and not lingering in the bloodstream.†
How this impacts the brain
I want to talk about how both Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2 have both been shown to be very beneficial to cognition.†
A study done by researchers at the University of Montreal looked at an association of Vitamin K levels in the blood and better memory in older adults. This is a really interesting way to understand how Vitamin K is actually working. They had a group of over 300 people between the ages of 70 and 85 years old. The researchers assessed cognitive function, but they were also looking at all these different things in the blood. One of the things they found was that there was a strong correlation between higher levels of Vitamin K in the blood and better scores on different measures they were doing to test cognitive ability, including the ability to learn new things and remember.†
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I think that this shows how Vitamin K plays such a critical role when it comes to the aging of our brain. We can think about how this helps to support proper blood flow, correct usage of calcium within the body and more.†
In this episode, Amanda Williams, MPH explains the important role that Vitamin K2 plays in the body. She discusses how it functions and shares a study that details how important this nutrient can be.†
- The differences between the different types of Vitamin K
- Why Amanda calls this vitamin a “taxi driver”
- How Vitamin K2 functions within the body
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