Vitamin K2 Might be the Holy Grail for Your HeartJanuary 22, 2023
Vitamin K2 Might Just be the Holy Grail for Your Heart
The two scourges of modern civilization, osteoporosis, and coronary artery disease. They seem to have skyrocketed together over the last 100 years, concurrently with our remarkable extension of life span. Are we getting more of these two wicked demons just because we are living longer, or has something changed in our environment? Maybe a little bit of both?
Or maybe our world changed. After World War II, virtually every meat producer in America moved their animals off of pastures onto feedlots. Animals that eat grass make Vitamin K2 in their gut from the K1 found in green leaves. There is no K1 in corn and beans. We don't have any measurements from before, but the resultant change is likely hugely significant, probably in part because even with grass-raised animals in our food chain, our prior K2 intake was just barely sufficient, and not enough to be "therapeutic". There is a vast difference between recommended minimum daily requirement and optimal therapeutic requirement.
One of the most common questions I get is "How can I reverse my coronary artery calcium score?" or "How can I fix my osteoporosis?" So, when I come across a story in which an inventive engineer with severe left main calcification completely reversed his calcification with Vitamin K2, I have to pay attention.
Pat Theut, a paper engineer from Up-North, Wisconsin, found severe coronary calcium on an executive physical at the Mayo Clinic. He tried the traditional role of statins and AHA-type advice to no avail. So, he struck out on his own and started reading. Over the next few years, he came up with his own program, centered around much higher doses of K2 (and including regular K1 as well) and reversed his coronary artery disease. Reversed. Gone. Nada. Fixed. And in the process, gave the high dose of Vitamin K2 to his aunt only to see her osteoporosis go away.
K2 activates matrix GLA protein in your arteries. It also activates osteocalcin, the key calcium binder in your bones. Matrix GLA protein binds calcium and pulls it out of your arteries. In fact, there are now emerging studies from Europe showing the more K vitamins you consume, the lower your rate of coronary calcium and coronary artery disease.
The literature is extensive. Even the obverse now seems clear. Take warfarin to prevent blood clots, (a Vitamin K2 antagonist) and observe your arteries turning into rigid, calcified stone.
The implied effect is that the amount of calcium in your arteries predicts the risk of coronary artery disease. And that is true. You don't need an expensive catheterization and its potential risks. You just need a 64-slice CT scanner and 5 minutes. A score of 0 has "0" risk for heart attacks. A score of 400 is dangerous. Getting rid of the calcium starts with Vitamin K2, at least 5 times what is currently available by standard supplement providers. With that in hand, Pat Theut started a company called Koncentrated K at www.k-vitamins.com and will sell you just that: 500 mcg of MK7 and 25 mg of MK4 in addition of 5000 mcg of K1. You can't take warfarin with that as the K1 will promptly reverse the blood thinning effect. Read his "Story" and his "Cardiac Manifesto". It's more than just K2. Weight loss, exercise, stress management, and sleep all matter too.
www.What will Work for me? I have been touting the benefit of K2 for 10 years now and feel vindicated by this remarkable anecdote. He is just one person but he emboldens me to push this harder. We have not been successful at reliably reversing osteoporosis or coronary calcium with Super K. It has just 100 mcg of MK7. Not enough. I've even made my own natto so that I can get the benefit of K2 from natural sources (natto is the highest food source of K2) but its flavor is tough to enjoy unless you are born and bred Japanese. But I'm now officially changing my advice for anyone on K2. You are not getting enough with 100 mcg a day. That may meet RDA-type standards, but it is not therapeutic. We are all in a deep, physiologic mess and need MORE. Thank you, Pat Theut.
References: Japanese Natto Association, AJCN, Eur Jr Nutrition, K-Vitamins.com, Cells, J Am Coll Card. ,
1. Vitamin K1 and K2 are really, just the same. T or F? Answer: Related to some degree but with a completely different side chain, have completely different physiological targets. That is how nature works. Once it finds a working vitamin or hormone, it builds on that base and branches out over time with different effects.
2. If you block K1 with warfarin, what is your chest X-ray likely to look like after about 5 years? Answer: That's easy. You can see every artery in your entire chest outlined in calcium. I've been in the ER for 25 years and have seen it 100s of times.
3. Where is our food source of K2? Answer: It is made in the gut of animals that eat grass.
4. How much of the normal American diet is based on grass-raised meat? Answer: It must be in the low single digits.
5. This column suggests we need more K2. How much? Answer: Probably 500% more. 5 times. Right. You read it here. Give Pat Theut a high-five after you have read every word of his personal story. Consider that your informed consent.