View Full Version : Vitamin K2

Craig Loizides
12-11-2008, 09:22 AM
This is an interesting article on vitamin K2:

It discusses its role in health of bone, teeth, heart, and brain. One of the points I found interesting was that it prevents the calcification of soft tissue. I remember one of the nightshade articles discussing how arthritis is due to calcification of the soft tissue in the joints. I did a quick pubmed search and found a study showing vitamin K2 helping arthritis.

If I'm interpreting the studies in the nightshade article correctly it looks like the nightshade effect on arthritis is due to a vitamin D toxicity which the Weston Price article suggests is actually a relative vitamin K2 deficiency.

So, is arthritis related to a vitamin K2 deficiency? Would vitamin K2 offset some of the effects of nightshades? Do nightshades lead to heart disease through calcification of arteries?

One last observation. Natto (fermented soy) is high in vitamin K2. I wonder if this explains why fermented soy seems to be good for people even though soy is bad. If vitamin K2 levels were sufficient would fermented soy no longer be beneficial?

Garrett Smith
12-11-2008, 11:01 AM
Wow, Craig. Lots of good questions.

As far as I've been able to figure so far is that the nightshades have a "sort-of" vitamin D-like activity, but they screw up the calcium - phosphorus ratio in the process. This problem is compounded by a relative magnesium deficiency.

The biggest relationship that I could scrounge up between Vit. D and K and osteoarthritis was this quote from a research review abstract:
Hyperlipidemia, vitamin D, nicotine, and warfarin, alone or in various combinations, produce arterial calcification in animal models.

Since vitamin D-like activity and nicotine can be found in all the nightshades, that may be a connection. This would be further exacerbated by a relative K deficiency and a magnesium deficiency.
So, is arthritis related to a vitamin K2 deficiency? Would vitamin K2 offset some of the effects of nightshades? Do nightshades lead to heart disease through calcification of arteries?
1) Yes, it is a factor.
2) It is likely. However, it may be analagous to adding more oil to an engine that really needs the correct grade of gasoline to be used.
3) I believe that it is a major factor.

Scott made a great series of posts on his Modern Forager blog about the relationships of the fat-soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K) to each other. You might want to check those out if you haven't already.

On the last part, I have heard many people advise against consuming or heavily reducing consumption of unfermented soy and soy products. I have yet to hear any good arguments against consuming fermented soy products--this is the traditional way of preparing soy foods--this is typically the approach that WAP recommends. I think there are more benefits to natto than simply K2.

Craig Loizides
12-12-2008, 08:43 AM
Thanks, Dr. G. As usual the answer seems to be more organ meat, although this is a good reminder that there are other organs besides liver.

The magnesium link is interesting. When you say relative deficiency do you mean relative to calcium and phosphorus? Do you have any more info on this? It seems like leafy greens with some nuts is the best way to get magnesium. Unless I'm missing something most meats seem pretty low in magnesium. Is a mostly meat based paleo diet magnesium deficient or is it the ratio that's more important than the total amount?

Garrett Smith
12-12-2008, 09:09 AM
Most times, the magnesium deficiency is in relation to calcium.

Here's a whole book on the relationship of magnesium deficiency to disease:

Like in the other thread where the absorbed caloric "value" of eating whole nuts is often compromised due to poor chewing, I believe that the available magnesium is likely compromised in the same way (as in, bound up in fiber). I'd go with the leafy greens and other veggies for magnesium.

The ratio of calcium to magnesium is more important that the absolute amounts.

Right ratio = proper chemical reactions can occur
Wrong ratio = chemical reactions dependent upon concentration are either inhibited or cannot occur due to rate limitations

That's how I see it at this point.