Calcium controversy explained - Vitamin K2 keeps calcium in your bones and out of your arteries
by: Elizabeth Walling
Popping calcium pills has become the norm in our culture where osteoporosis has become pervasive, but in recent years research points to calcium supplements posing a danger to our heart health. We're left to wonder: is calcium beneficial or dangerous? There is little doubt that calcium plays many key roles in our health, but the latest research clarifies that calcium alone is not the answer. Many leading experts say vitamin K2 is the missing link in the calcium puzzle.
Calcium belongs in our bones, not in our blood. When our vitamin K2 levels are low, calcium collects in our blood and can lead to calcification in our arteries. The Rotterdam Study, which followed about 4,800 individuals for a 10-year period, showed that individuals who consume the most dietary vitamin K2 experience 50 percent less arterial calcification and cardiovascular death.
This happens because vitamin K2 prevents calcium build-up in the arteries by activating the vascular protein MGP, which inhibits arterial calcification. Vitamin K2 also activates proteins that work to mineralize bones. These two important qualities help combat two diseases which pose serious risk for millions: heart disease and osteoporosis.
Experts emphasize that vitamin K2 is better absorbed and provides more benefits to bone and heart health compared to vitamin K1. Specifically, the MK-7 form of vitamin K2 (like that found in the fermented Japanese soy food natto) is especially potent and stable in the body.Rule of thumb: Nutrients belong together
The problem with calcium is thinking in isolation. In nature, nutrients do not come in isolated packages. Even foods which are particularly high in one nutrient, also contain a spectrum of additional nutrients that enhance absorption and combat possible negative side effects.
Calcium is not meant to be consumed alone. In whole foods, calcium always comes packaged with nutrients like vitamin K, vitamin D and vitamin A. This is no coincidence. Research has shown all of these nutrients work together to promote better health.
Science may just be catching up to the idea that nutrients belong together, but it's something nature has known all along. A well-rounded diet that contains plenty of calcium with vitamin K2 and a balance of other important nutrients will be your best bet for saving your heart and your bones.Sources for this article include:http://www.wholefoodsmagazine.com/columns/vitamin-connection/vitamin-k2-puts-calcium-bones-and-removes-calcium-arteries-part-1http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/healthcare/studies/story/2011-12-21/Study-Vitamin-D-helps-bone-health-only-with-calcium/52136618/1http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11706280About the author:
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more:http://www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/10/welcome.html