It all started with Dr. Weston A. Price…
He was like a true, living and breathing, Indiana Jones.
Dr. Price traveled the world studying various cultures, searching for connections between nutrition and health.
Along the way, he discovered a previously unrecognized, fat-soluble substance that played a fundamental role in the body’s ability to utilize minerals.
He called it “Activator X”.
It wasn’t until 27 years later, in 1972, that “Activator X” was given it’s proper scientific name, menatetrenone, which we know as Vitamin K2.
Dr. Price discovered that the absence of Vitamin K2 from modern nutrition was involved in the proliferation of major degenerative diseases that we see today, including heart disease, diabetes, and even osteoporosis.
And it has so much to do with your thyroid health.
Vitamin K2 and Your Thyroid
Before we talk about all the other diseases that are related to a Vitamin K2 deficiency, let’s start with the thyroid.
If you’ve read other articles of ours on this website, then you probably already know that there are several things that can interfere with thyroid function.
You can add calcium deficiency to the list.
(NOTE: Want to know how supplementing calcium can lower inflammation, boost metabolism and thyroid, and protect yourself from cancer? I show you in this “5-Step DIY Thyroid-Boosting Supplement Recipe” article.)
You see, consuming calcium is important, but absorbing calcium and using it properly is just as important, if not more.
If you’re consuming calcium but your body isn’t able to use it, then you’ll always be calcium deficient.
Here’s the good news…
Vitamin K2 improves calcium absorption in the digestive tract.
Effects of vitamin K2 administration on calcium balance and bone mass in young rats fed normal or low calcium diet.
“Vitamin K2 administration in rats fed a low calcium diet stimulated renal calcium reabsorption, retarded the abnormal elevation of serum PTH level, increased cancellous bone mass, and retarded cortical bone loss, while vitamin K2 administration in rats fed a normal calcium diet stimulated intestinal calcium absorption by increasing serum 1,25(OH)2D level, and increased cortical bone mass.”
That’s not all…
Vitamin K2 also decreases the level of thyroid-suppressive parathyroid hormone (PTH).
And it activates and amplifies the effectiveness of Vitamins A and D, both of which are essential to proper thyroid health.
(NOTE: Want to learn how Vitamin A can drastically boost your thyroid? Be sure to check out this post on “How to Naturally Boost Your Thyroid By 61% with One Vitamin and 10 Seconds per Day”.)
But that’s still just scratching the surface of the benefits of Vitamin K2…
Vitamin K2 and Detoxifying Thyroid-Suppressive Estrogen
In the hypothyroid state, estrogen cannot be readily detoxified, so it tends to build up in the blood stream and in tissues of your body.
When estrogen builds up without your body being able to detoxify it puts you in state called estrogen dominance, and it traps you in a perpetual state of hypothyroidism.
That’s because the more estrogen you accumulate, the more is suppresses your thyroid…
…And the more your thyroid becomes suppressed, the more estrogen accumulates in your body.
(NOTE: Want to learn how to learn how we correct estrogen dominance? Get the details in this post on “3-Step Plan Can Lower Estrogen by More than 55% In 10 Weeks”.)
Low calcium levels (or poor calcium absorption) has been shown to increase estrogen levels in the body.
This is where Vitamin K2 can be very helpful in reducing estrogen levels, and help give your thyroid a fighting chance.
The following study shows that the use of Vitamin K2 (menatetrenone) was able to reduce estrogen levels by 400%.
A calcium-deficient diet caused decreased bone mineral density and secondary elevation of estrogen in aged male rats-effect of menatetrenone [Vitamin K2] and elcatonin.
“The Ca-deficient diet reduced bone mineral density (BMD) by approximately 12%. Administration of menatetrenone or elcatonin was able to reverse the reduction in BMD induced by Ca deficiency. The mean estradiol level in sera of rats fed the Ca-deficient diet was significantly increased to 4.3 times that in the regular diet group. However, the increased estradiol concentration was reduced after the administration of menatetrenone or elcatonin.”
Vitamin K2 and Diabetes, Insulin Sensitivity
Most people don’t know this, but diabetes and hypothyroidism go hand in hand.
(NOTE: Want to know what really causes diabetes? Check out this article on “Hypothyroidism and Diabetes: How to Reverse It and Why Sugar Is NOT the Problem”.)
According to research, Vitamin K2 improves insulin sensitivity, which is key to treating diabetes.
Vitamin K2 Supplementation Improves Insulin Sensitivity via Osteocalcin Metabolism: A Placebo-Controlled Trial
“To summarize, we have demonstrated for the first time that vitamin K2 supplementation for 4 weeks increased insulin sensitivity”
Vitamin K2 and Heart Health
Thyroid doctor, Dr. Broda Barnes, was the first to prove that hypothyroidism directly causes heart disease.
(NOTE: Discover the link between hypothyroidism, high cholesterol, and heart disease in this article on “Why ‘Bad Cholesterol’ Is Essential to Your Thyroid”.)
Vitamin K2 prevents and even reverses the calcification of tissue, including heart muscle tissue.
Regression of warfarin-induced medial elastocalcinosis by high intake of vitamin K in rats.
“Both the VK-rich diets decreased the arterial calcium content by some 50%. In addition, arterial distensibility was restored by the VK-rich diet… This is the first study in rats demonstrating that AC and the resulting decreased arterial distensibility are reversible by high-VK intake.”
With heart disease, you commonly hear about ‘hardening of the heart’.
What is actually happening is the calcification and/or fibrosis of the heart muscle tissue, because calcium is not being regulated properly, allowing calcium to enter your cells.
Think about it like this…
It’s kind of like how hard water clogs and ruins your pipes over time by leaving calcium buildup and deposits on the inside inside. Except that this is happening inside your heart tissue.
Obviously, this is a very serious problem if calcium is building up in your heart tissue.
Since your heart has to pump constantly to keep blood flowing through your body, the tissue needs to be extremely flexible and resilient.
When calcium starts to build up in the tissue, it literally hardens the tissue, making it less flexible and resilient, which can lead to heart attack and death.
And heart disease is the #1 cause of death today.
Supplementing Vitamin K2 has been shown to control and even reverse calcification of tissues. It also helps restore the body’s natural ability to regulate and healthily absorb calcium.
This means that calcium can be properly absorbed by the body, and delivered where it is needed: to the bones, teeth, and kept outside of the cells, instead of accumulating inside tissue and causing serious health problems.
Vitamin K2 and Bone Health
As you might have noticed, several of the studies mentioned above have shown that Vitamin K2 helps to restore bone mass, making it effective for fighting osteoporosis.
Vitamin K2 Therapy for Postmenopausal Osteoporosis
“The present review revealed positive evidence for the effects of menatetrenone monotherapy on fracture incidence in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis.”
In fact, it’s possible that Vitamin K2, administered at high doses, can even reverse osteoporosis.
Human studies using Vitamin K2 doses of 45 mg and more have demonstrated its effectiveness with treating osteoporosis.
Not All Vitamin K Is Created Equal (K1 vs. K2 / MK4 vs. MK7)
There are several different forms of Vitamin K, and they are quite different.
For example, Vitamin K1 is the most commonly available form of Vitamin K. We get it from foods and it’s the form of Vitamin K that is most associated with blood clotting. It’s also the least important form of Vitamin K as our requirements for it are minimal.
Unlike Vitamin K2, using large amounts of Vitamin K1 has been shown to increase the risk of a number of unwanted side effects, including blood clotting and stroke.
Some animals can easily convert Vitamin K1 into Vitamin K2.
Unfortunately, humans aren’t one of them.
What we need is Vitamin K2.
Yet, to make things more confusing, there are even different types of Vitamin K2: MK7 and MK4.
Vitamin K2-MK7 is derived from fermented soy beans (natto).
While many are being misled into thinking that MK7 is superior, simply because it remains in circulation longer. However, that would only be true if both forms were equal, which is far from the truth.
- MK4 has been shown to be effective at restoring bone health, while MK7 has not.
- MK4 has been proven to be safe at high doses, while MK7 has not.
- But most importantly, MK-4 is also the only form of Vitamin K that controls gene expression. So, it plays a bigger role in overall health as it helps to turn on the genes that keep cells healthy. This is why MK4 has been proven to provide therapeutic benefits in human trials with a variety of health conditions, including cancer. Unfortunately, MK7 can’t provide these essential health benefits.
Keep in mind that MK-7 does get converted into MK-4, however in humans studies show that the conversion isn’t adequate, which is why supplementing with MK-4 is superior.
So, it’s important to understand that each form of the vitamin are actually different in their effects and how they work in the body. So, it’s not as simple as which one lasts longer in circulation.
That’s why we recommend the use of Vitamin K2-MK4 with our clients, and we use it ourselves as well.
We’ve shown how Vitamin K2 is crucial to:
- Promoting thyroid health.
- Improving calcium absorption so that calcium goes where it needs to in the body.
- Lowering parathyroid hormone, which suppresses normal thyroid function.
- Activating and amplifying the effectiveness of thyroid-supportive Vitamins A and D.
- Helping the body to detoxify and balance estrogen levels.
- Improving insulin sensitivity.
- Improving heart and bone health.
Using a properly balanced Vitamin K2 source, formulated for optimal thyroid function is often the best approach to take and the one I use with my clients.
In fact, we use it in our Thyroid-Boosting Vitamin ADK Thyroid Formula, for all the reasons mentioned above.
If you’re looking for one thyroid supplement that has more than a dozen thyroid-boosting benefits, then this is it.