What is Vitamin K?

Vitamin K?  “I didn’t even know there was a Vitamin K?” This is usually the answer I get when I start talking about this amazing Vitamin.  Who knew there was a Vitamin K?  Well, to be honest…you should know.   Vitamin K, although discovered back in 1929, has gained new press these days because of its association with increased bone density and decreased artery calcification.  In fact, Vitamin K could be the missing link scientists have been looking for, in solving the Calcium Paradox.  (The Calcium Paradox is the simultaneous excess of calcium in one part of the body, arteries, and lack in another, bones, which may occur regardless of calcium supplementation.)  So are you eating enough foods with Vitamin K?  Do you even know what foods contain Vitamin K?  No?  Well, good thing you are reading this blog… First:  what is Vitamin K? Vitamin K is a group of fat-soluble Vitamins needed for blood coagulation (blood clotting) increasing metabolic pathways of bone generation and decreasing arterial calcification.  There are two main natural forms of Vitamin K; K1 and K2. We will discuss both since they have significantly different functions. Vitamin K1. Vitamin K1 (also known as Phylloquinone or phytomenadione) was discovered in 1929 by Danish scientist Henrick Dam, and was referred to as Koagulationsvitamin.  As its name implies, Vitamin K1 is involved in blood coagulation.  Without K1 we could bleed to death from a simple paper cut.  Unlike your other fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamin A, D, and E) your body does not store high levels of Vitamin K1 in your tissue.  Luckily your body has a special mechanism that recycles...

Calcium Supplements…Do you need them?

Calcium supplements… Do you need them? I think this is a very important question to ask since it seems everyone I encounter these days — primarily women — are on some sort of Calcium supplement. Whether it was their doctor, last nutritionist, trainer, or the latest magazine article that told them to take it, most believe their Calcium supplements are necessary. And yes, for some this may be true. Especially since so many people these days are scared of dairy (the best source of Calcium) for one reason or another. Still the question stands, “do you really need it?” And if you do, is the supplement you are taking really working? Most of us know we need Calcium for bone health. Many of us know we need it for proper cell and nerve function. Yet, few of us really understand how Calcium works in the body and what other cofactors are needed for proper absorption and utilization. To really understand if we need to supplement our diets with Calcium and to understand if it is working in our body, we need understand so much more… only then can we make an educated decision on if we actually need a supplement. First, what is the role of Calcium in the body? *Bone and teeth structure *Blood clotting *Nerve and cell function *Muscular contraction *Regulates the heart beat *Lowers blood pressure by down-regulating parathyroid hormone (PTH) 99% of Calcium is stored in the skeletal system (the bones are referred to as Calcium banks). The other 1% is located in the soft tissue and blood. Every day there is a transfer of...