The Physiological Function of Vitamin K

By Demi Sumler

The Activation of Osteocalcin for Bone Health

Osteocalcin is among the most abundant calcium ion protein hormones in the dentin and bone, activated by vitamin K2. It is produced by osteoblasts (specialized mesenchymal cells that play a vital role in the production and deposition of the mineralized, collagen-rich matrix that makes up bone tissue) which controls the metabolism of calcium and affects the control of the entire body’s metabolism, reproduction, and mental function. This protein includes 47–50 amino acid residues depending on the species. Osteocalcin is identified by its content of three GLA (gamma-carboxy glutamic) residues. The bone matrix osteocalcin is activated by vitamin k-related carboxylation, which results in calcium incorporation into bones. This process is hindered by a vitamin K deficit.

Effects of Vitamin K2 Intake

Calcium metabolism can be improved by increasing the body’s concentration of cOC (activated osteocalcin). The body produces more ucOC (undercarboxylated osteocalcin) when vitamin k levels are low, requiring the use of MK-7 (Menaquinone-7), a bioavailable natural form of vitamin K. Furthermore, the ratio of activated osteocalcin to deactivated osteocalcin, or cOC/ucOC, indicates how well the calcium is metabolized. As a result, increasing bone density through vitamin K2 intake, enhancing bone health, and assisting bone metabolism can help improve and prevent osteoporosis.

However, having more osteocalcin is not always a sign of strong bones. A widespread loss of bone may increase osteocalcin levels. This most certainly applies to elderly individuals since higher blood levels of osteocalcin indicate an increased risk of fractures, notably hip fractures, and a reduction in bone density (especially in the hip and spine).

Bone Development in Kids

When a young person experiences rapid growth, such as during puberty or the first year of life, osteocalcin levels rise. In the early years of life, bone formation is at its most vigorous, and by the age of twenty, most of the peak bone mass has been formed. For healthy and robust bone formation, kids and adolescents must receive adequate vitamin K2 during this time. The requirement for osteocalcin, a vitamin K2-dependent protein, is about ten times higher in kids than in adults, demonstrating the critical role that vitamin K2 plays in the development of children. Unfortunately, most kids suffer from vitamin K2 shortage as processed food and foods high in vitamin K2 content have drastically decreased. To avoid bone disease in children and promote bone health, vitamin K2 supplementation could be a good idea. Additionally, as new dentin forms on the teeth due to vitamin K2 activating osteocalcin, tooth decay is decreased. Vitamin K2 supplementation helps strengthen teeth and slow the rate of tooth loss associated with age, much like it can with bones.

Vitamin K2 Combined with D3

Vitamin D3 facilitates calcium absorption and efficacy, while K2 activates the protein osteocalcin, which helps calcium absorb into the bone. Calcium cannot function properly without the combination of D3 and K2. This optimal pair work together to promote bone strength and density, indicating that vitamin D3 and K2 supplementation may support the development of strong bones in kids.

Cardiovascular Health to Prevent Arterial Calcification

Vascular calcification illnesses like arteriosclerosis, vascular stiffness, heart disease, and myocardial infarction are caused by vascular calcification. One of the most reliable predictors of your future risk of heart attack is the amount of calcium in your arteries. Since calcium is a component of fatty plaque buildup, calcium levels are a good indicator of plaque in your arteries. Heart attacks are mostly brought on by plaque buildup in the heart’s arteries.

Vitamin K2 is linked to the prevention of arterial stiffening and calcification. Due to the activation of matrix GLA protein, which prevents calcium deposits on the walls of the vessels, a sufficient intake of vitamin K2 has been proven to reduce the risk of vascular damage.

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