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Posted on 04-03-2013

Is arthritis a right of passage of aging?  New light shed on a little known and often maligned vitamin may change the answer to that question.  In fact, evidence is mounting that Vitamin K, one of the 4 fat soluble vitamins, may be an important factor in a multitude of health problems.

With all the hype (not undeservedly) Vitamin D has gotten in the past few years, the synergists involved in proper vitamin D metabolism have been left in the dust.  This list includes Vitamin K, which in instrumental in calcium management in the body.   

Vitamin D is crucial for many processes in the body but can't function fully without adequate levels of other vitamins and co factors like vitamin K.  Vitamin K is especially crucial in directed the calcium mobilized by D into bones rather than joint and blood vessels.

For this reason, Vitamin K helps decrease hardening of the arteries, accumulation of plaque in the vessels, and calcium changes in joints related to osteoarthritis.

The value of Vitamin K has been recognized by some of the best minds in nutrition including Weston Price.  During Dr. Price's investigation into nutritional wisdom of traditional cultures he realized that many of people groups engaged in labor intensive processes to prepare fermented foods.  Dr. Price referred to what we now know is Vitamin K as "Factor X" and felt it was crucial to proper health.  The particular form of vitamin K found in fermented foods seems to be especially important.

 That's right, there is more than one form of vitamin K!  K1, given to infants at birth to aid in blood clotting, is found in many plant products and leafy greens. K2, the product of bacterial fermentation is produced by the gut bacteria in our own GI systems and is the form most people are deficient in.  However, if that healthy balance of GI flora is disturbed by antibiotics, diet and artificial sweeteners we are left with a vitamin K deficiency.  

For these reasons, whenever possible I supplement Vitamin D and K together.  I suspect we will be hearing more in the news about this amazing combination!  This may not be appropriate for some patients and should not be done without the involvement of your physician.   

No blog post is a substitute for a visit with a physician and should not be considered as individual health advice.  Use it a discussion point for your next healthcare visit. 

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