So you follow a strict Paleo diet? Does this mean you’re in optimum health? Perhaps not. It’s still possible to become deficient in certain vitamins and minerals, even with a healthy Paleo diet. By being aware of some of the common deficiencies you can monitor your nutrition to ensure you avoid these. This week, we move from Magnesium, to Vitamin K2.
Vitamin K2 is one of those vitamins that a lot of people have never heard of, so it’s hard to know if you’re deficient in something you didn’t even know about!
What are some of the deficiencies linked to Vitamin K2?
Vitamin K2 deficiency has associations with many issues, such as osteoporosis, calcification of the arteries that may lead to heart disease and tartar build-up on the teeth – which if left on the teeth leads to tooth decay.
How do you become Vitamin K deficient?
Vitamin K2 is present in select foods, but of course when people don’t know about it, they don’t go out of their way to ensure they eat sufficient levels of foods that provide it. Also there is often a lack of the Vitamin K containing foods in the diets of the animals we actually eat, leaving the animals with nothing to convert Vitamin K via stomach fermentation. For example cows raised in paddocks are able to convert the Vitamin K1 found in grass into Vitamin K2. Those cows who have no access to grass will have very little Vitamin K1 to convert. Another reason to hunt out that grass-fed (and crucially grass-finished) beef.
What are some of the best sources or ways we can add Vitamin K2 to our diets?
Foods such as goose liver, grass fed butter, eggs, fish eggs and aged cheese (if you’re following more of a Primal diet, rather than a Paleo Diet) are good sources of Vitamin K2. Of course, if the animal didn’t eat well, it’s meat, eggs and dairy won’t be as rich in vitamins and minerals. This is why it really is so crucial to know where your food comes from – and make sure it is good quality.
On Dentist Weston A Price’s pioneering research trip, studying the teeth of various indigenous and native populations, he found that many tribes and natives had great jaw structure and teeth. Most of these groups had diets that were rich in fish oils and butter oil. The two ingredients provide all the necessities for strong bones and good teeth. At that time Vitamin A was a crucial factor that helped build strong teeth. The other, Ghee – or butter oil, was an unknown and Dr Price named it Activator X. In 1993 Vitamin K2 was discovered – and it is believed to be Dr Price’s Activator X.
Vitamin K comes in 2 forms – K1 and K2, which overlap when it comes to functionality – K2 seems to have a greater effect on forming teeth and bones while K1 actually reduces the requirement of K2, so it is better to concentrate on both vitamins together rather than just on one.
We create Vitamin K1 in our stomach from the bacteria in green vegetables, with some people also being able to create K2 as well. Unfortunately this creation occurs in the colon where it can’t be absorbed, which also happens with Vitamin B12, but, it is still beneficial to eat plenty of green vegetables, aged cheeses and Ghee to obtain the full range of Vitamin K vitamins.
Have you given much thought to Vitamin K? Do you think your levels are sufficient?