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A large amount of human clinical data shows that vitamin K plays a critical part in maintaining healthy bone density by facilitating the transport of calcium from the bloodstream into the bone. Vitamin K is also required by calcium-regulating proteins in the arteries. One of these proteins is Matrix Gla-protein (MGP), which depends on a sufficient supply of vitamin K for it to be carboxylated to function properly. If there are low levels of vitamin K (vitamin K deficiency), MGP remains uncarboxylated and accumulates at sites of arterial calcification. As MGP is a powerful inhibitor of arterial calcification, it plays a vital role in the health of the whole of the cardiovascular system. Without sufficient vitamin K, blood can adhere to the walls of the arteries leading to calcification. With age, even a subclinical vitamin K deficiency can present a risk to the vascular system.
Low levels of vitamin K, or vitamin K deficiency, leads to higher levels of circulating undercarboxylated osteocalcin, which has been shown to be linked to increased loss of bone density in postmenopausal women. Vitamin K supplements are therefore important.
The greatest source of vitamin K is green vegetables, which are rich in vitamin K1. However K1 is tightly bound to plant fibre, so that only very small amounts are absorbed into the bloodstream. It is therefore more beneficial to take vitamin K supplements to keep optimum vitamin K levels.
Vitamin K2 (menaquinones) can be found in meat, eggs, and dairy products and is also produced by bacteria in the gut, which provides a certain amount of the body´s vitamin requirements. Vitamin K2 is up to ten times more bioavailable than vitamin K1 and remains biologically active in the body much longer. Vitamin K1 is cleared by the liver within eight hours, whereas measurable levels of vitamin K2 supplements (MK-7) have been detected 72 hours after ingestion.
The Rotterdam Heart study, a clinical trial that followed 4,800 participants for seven years, showed that those who consumed the greatest quantities of vitamin K2 in their diet had a better cardiovascular condition than those who consumed the least. High vitamin K2 intake also corresponded to a lower build-up of calcium on the aorta, whereas those who consumed less vitamin K2 were more likely to have moderate or severe calcification. Animal studies suggest that vitamin K not only blocks further calcification, but also reduces existing arterial calcification by 37%.
In recent years a considerable amount of research has shown two forms of vitamin K2 supplements to have much better effects than vitamin K1. The MK-4 form of vitamin K2 is the most rapidly absorbed and is routinely used in Japan to maintain healthy bone density. However, it only remains active in the blood for a few hours. The MK-7 form, on the other hand, remains bioavailable over a period of 24 hours, and has even been detected after 48 hours. Consecutive intake has been shown to increase serum levels seven- to eightfold. Both MK-4 and MK-7 have demonstrated considerable health benefits in humans.
Since the discovery and substantiation of the long-lasting effects of MK-7, it is now possible to take fewer micrograms of vitamin K supplements and achieve higher sustained blood levels.
One softgel of the latest Super K with Advanced K2 Complex contains vitamin K1 supplements and the MK-4 and MK-7 forms of vitamin K2 supplements. This formula provides the precise amount of the long-acting MK-7 form which recent studies have shown to provide optimal K2 levels over a 24-hour period. The MK-4 is included to provide the rapid increase in vitamin K serum levels which may account for the beneficial effects of the vitamin documented in a number of studies.
If you are taking anti-coagulant or anti-platelet medication, or have a bleeding disorder, you should consult your doctor before taking this vitamin K supplement.
Super K with Advanced K2 Complex can be ordered online. Prompt delivery assured.