Part 2F: Vitamin K2 for Youthful Skin, Fertility and Preventing Cancer
As we’ve discussed in this series, the benefits of Vitamin K2 begin from inside your teeth, right through to your gums, heart and bones.
What’s good for our teeth is good for our whole body (that’s why our teeth are a great barometer for whole body health), so it’s not surprising that Vitamin K2 has benefits all over the body.
In this article, we’ll explore research into how Vitamin K2 can boost your general health, beauty, and even longevity.
Maxtrix GLA Protein (MGP) and Osteocalcin
Vitamin K2 activates two key proteins in the body.
- Osteocalcin: once activated, it carries calcium and minerals into bones and teeth. It’s mostly responsible for the dental health and osteoporosis prevention-based benefits of vitamin
- Matrix-GLA: The non-bone and teeth benefits of Vitamin K2 are mainly tied to the action of the matrix-GLA protein. This protein is activated only in the presence of Vitamin K2.
The process is called carboxylation. Non-carboxylated matrix GLA protein, which is known to form as a result of Vitamin K deficiency, is associated with cardiovascular disease. It’s known to have actions in the kidney, and lungs too.
Let’s look at the health benefits of Vitamin K2 across the body.
1. Vitamin K2 may prevent wrinkles and reverse aging
Collagen and elastin are two of the components of skin that give it firmness and elasticity. As skin ages, it loses both collagen and elastin, and its youthful appearance along with them.
Skin cells appear to release matrix-GLA protein to prevent calcification of elastin in the skin.
One study looked at a genetic disorder where premature aging occurs.
It found that elastin is calcified due to the lack of Vitamin K2 activated matrix-GLA protein. Vitamin K2 could help maintain youthful skin activating Matrix-GLA and in turn preventing calcification of elastin.
2. Vitamin K2 to prevent varicose veins
Vitamin K2 activates matrix-Gla protein to mop up calcium in vessels, cardiovascular benefits. Calcification of veins has been shown to be a contributor to varicose veins, so Vitamin K2 may also prevent varicose veins. Varicose veins are not always detrimental to our health but can be unsightly and uncomfortable.
3. Vitamin K2 for blood sugar regulation and type-II diabetes
The second Vitamin K-dependent protein, osteocalcin, may help the body to use insulin. Activated proteins may increase insulin sensitivity, the core problem in type-II diabetes. It should be noted that evidence in this area is conflicting, though; one meta-analysis on this topic showed no effect.
4. Vitamin K2 to increase exercise performance
Bones release osteocalcin during exercise, seemingly sending out messages to help muscles cope with increased energy demands. The Vitamin K2 protein allows skeletal muscle to use energy during exercise, increasing the efficiency of the work out and potential performance.
5. Vitamin K2 and polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – female fertility
Polycystic ovary syndrome is characterized by an overproduction of certain steroids such as testosterone and DHEA sulfate (DHEAS).
One randomized control trial showed that Vitamin D-K-calcium co-supplementation for 8 weeks among Vitamin D-deficient women with PCOS decreased DHEAS levels and testosterone levels.
Vitamin K2 and its role in hormone production could both prevent and help treat polycystic ovary syndrome.
6. Vitamin K2 for low testosterone and male fertility
Vitamin K2 MK-4 is used for steroid production in the male testis. Studies in rats have showed that a diet providing MK-4 75 mg/kg enhanced testosterone levels compared to the control.
7. Vitamin K2 for preventing kidney stones
People with chronic kidney disease and those receiving dialysis are at risk of Vitamin K deficiency.
One risk factor for kidney stones is excess Vitamin D, as demonstrated in lifeguards. But the real problem is that Vitamin D creates a need for Vitamin K2.
Patients with kidney stones secrete matrix-GLA protein in its inactive form. Vitamin K2 deficiency is a major cause of kidney stones. People with polymorphisms for matrix-GLA protein also have higher risk of kidney stones.
8. Vitamin K2 to prevent cancer
Prostate calcification appears to be a significant factor in the development of prostate cancer.
One study on Vitamin K2 indicated that it can reduce the risk of prostate cancer by 63 percent.
9. Vitamin K2 and the brain
The most obvious role of Vitamin K2 on the brain may be prevention of cardiac embolism or stroke. Matrix-GLA protein has a role in preventing stroke due to its cardiovascular benefits.
However, recently, Vitamin K2-dependent proteins have been shown to play a key role in the brain and central and peripheral nervous systems. They may even have an antioxidant role in the brain itself.
Specifically, Vitamin K2 – alongside K1 – seems to act with glutathione to prevent death of nerve cells and brain damage.
Its role could be key in the neuro-degenerative process. Overall, it seems to prevent oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain.
Early studies are also showing that lower intake of Vitamin K relates to Alzheimer’s disease.
Overall, it seems a good dietary intake of Vitamin K2 is vital for optimal brain function and preventing degenerative disease.
Dental nutrition for life-changing health
This brings us to the end of the Vitamin K2 series.
In the mouth it prevents nearly every dental disease including crooked teeth.
The Dental Diet is your 40-day meal plan to get enough Vitamin K2 in your diet.
Now I’d like to hear from you.
Have you suffered from any condition related to Vitamin K2?
Want to know more? Dr Steven Lin’s book, The Dental Diet, is available to order today. An exploration of ancestral medicine, the human microbiome and epigenetics it’s a complete guide to the mouth-body connection. Take the journey and the 40-day delicious food program for life-changing oral and whole health.
Click below to order your copy now: