Vitamin K2 and Diabetes

April 01, 2013

Vitamin K2 and Diabetes

Reference: AJCN Oct 12, 2012,(Ibarrola), Cardiovasc Diabet. , Clin Nutrition 2000 

 Ok, this wasn’t expected but may be just as big as our prior discussions. We have heard about K2 helping teeth, and being the key vitamin to helping build stronger bones. Now we have diabetes too? Well, yes. Turns out that the pancreas has as much K2 in it as virtually any other part of the body. Your saliva does too. In fact, K2 may help teeth to a great degree because it reduces the bacteria in your saliva by a huge percentage.  

But back to the pancreas. You will hear more about the role of K2 in the pancreas in the future. For now we are just coming up on epidemiological studies. In Ibarrola’s article, they followed 1925 men and women in Spain who didn’t have diabetes for 5.5 years. For every 100 mcg of K2 more in their diet, the likelihood of developing diabetes dropped 17%. The highest group of K2 consumption had 51% reduced risk of developing diabetes. That is a huge reduction.   

Considering that the development of diabetes is the cornerstone of our health journey in the prevention of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer, the consumption of K2 should be something all of us are considering. This article was from a year ago. Now this week, another report from Spain and the University of Navarra. Over the course of a year, the study looked at all the inflammatory cytokines associated with the development of diabetes. Names like ghrelin down -15.0%, glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide down -12.9%, glucagon-like peptide-1, down -17.6%, IL-6 (-27.9%), leptin (-10.3%), TNF (-26.9%) and visfatin (-24.9%). Get the drift? Before your eyes glaze over…. Virtually every signaling message in our bodies that push our body towards diabetes and create an environment of inflammation gets lowered with even modest increases in K2 consumption. I’m personally fond of the name “visfatin”. Down 24%! Our bodies are incredibly delicate, nuanced hormonal environments and this study demonstrates the core of the matter. Diabetes and insulin resistance is central to most of our diseases of modern society. And here we find K2 mediating a push in virtually every single last inflammation marker we know of in a beneficial direction. 

 So take 12 obese young men, and put them on a metabolic ward. Measure their insulin production and then put them on 90 mcg of MK-7. In one week, their insulin production drops some 50%. Insulin is your storage hormone. It pushes calories into storage. When it drops, you can use those calories for other things. Anyone on a diet, or diabetic, or pre-diabetic, - (this is now all of us), should be on MK-7, or Vitamin K2 

 WWW. What Will Work for Me? Vit K2 is Vitamin Ds’ partner in its metabolic effects. With diabetes we discover a picture even bigger and more pervasive than osteoporosis, cavities or heart disease. As if they weren’t enough. If you are trying to lose weight, improve your risks of heart disease….if you are taking Vit D….then you need to be taking MK-7. Or eating grass raised butter. We just found grass raised butter from Denmark at Trader Joes. I bought four packages quick before I wrote this email. We should all be there. 

Pop Quiz 

 1. If you have a diet in the top quartile of K2 your chance of developing diabetes compared to those with little K2 in their diet drops about 50%? T or F                     Answer: That's it. True 

2. If you take 90 mcg of K2 for a week, and you are overweight, your insulin use drops about 50% compared to those who didn't take any? T or F                         Answer: Again, true. Isn't this amazing? We have to diet on Atkins for a month to get that type of reduction. 

 3. Your inflammatory markers rise quite dramatically when you take K2 making you less inflamed. T or F                        Answer: When you take K2, you lower your inflammatory markers, many of them quite dramatically. 

 4. To blow the mind of your boring friends at a party, you can claim that your _______ dropped 24% because you are on K2.                        Answer:  Visfatin, One of 7 inflammatory markers the University of Nararro showed drop across the board when you take K2. (You could substitute TNF, leptin, IL-6 too)

This column was written by John E Whitcomb, MD, Brookfield Longevity, Brookfield, WI.