Taking a number of vitamin-rich foods, that include vitamin K2, B, A, C, etc is important to keep you healthy.
Vitamin K2 is an essential vitamin that you most often get overlooked.
However, it is important to note that it plays a crucial role in maintaining your oral health.
With increasing research on the positive effects of different vitamins on your teeth, there is an increase in evidence that suggests that vitamin K2 is not only important for your health, but also for your teeth,
Though often overshadowed by calcium and D3, vitamin K2 is a critical nutrient for oral and dental health.
It is found in different food items including fruits and vegetables.
Moreover, it helps to keep the oral microbiome in balance, prevents cavities, and supports demineralization.
Keep on reading to learn more about Vitamin K2 and its effects on your oral health in detail.
Vitamin K is one of the most important nutrients for blood coagulation or blood clotting.
It was discovered in 1929 and was reported in a German scientific journal, where it was called Koagulationsvitamin.
Moreover, it was also discovered by a dentist Westion Prince studying the relationship between diet and disease in different populations.
He found that the non-industrial tests are high in some unidentified nutrients which provides protection against tooth decay and chronic diseases.
He referred it to as “activator X” which is now termed vitamin K2.
It is important to note that there are 2 main forms of vitamin K:
Vitamin K1 or Phylloquinone: This one is found in plant foods like leafy greens.
Vitamin K2 or Menaquinone: Found in animal foods and fermented foods.
Furthermore, vitamin K2 can be divided into several different subtypes.
The most important ones are MK-4 and Mk-7.
Working of Vitamin K1 and K2
Vitamin K is responsible for activating proteins that play an important role in blood clotting, calcium metabolism, and heart health.
Moreover, one of the most important functions of this vitamin is to regulate calcium deposition.
In other words, it promotes the calcification of bones and prevents the calcification of blood vessels and kidneys, according to studies.
According to some scientists, the roles of vitamin K2 and K1 are different, and also feel that they should be separate nutrients altogether.
Controlled studies suggest that individuals who take vitamin K2 supplements observe significant health benefits.
These are like improvements in bone health and heart health, etc.
On the other hand, vitamin K1 has no significant benefits.
Vitamin K2 and Oral Health
For many years dentists and researchers have focused on the importance of calcium and vitamin D3.
On the other hand, vitamin D3 is a fat-soluble vitamin that functions as a hormone.
Your body needs D3 to balance minerlas and absorb the calcium you consume.
It is important to note that about 90% of the population is deficient in vitamin D.
This leads to a belief that in order to reverse vitamin D deficiency, you need to increase the intake of these nutrients to protect your bones and teeth.
However, it is important to note that supplementation with calcium on its own can cause an increase in heart disease-causing plaque.
So what exactly is wrong here?
The issue is that focusing alone on calcium cannot help to achieve the desired results.
Yes! You need vitamin D3 for balance and absorption.
However, even those two nutrients cannot help provide a complete balance.
Without vitamin K2, the calcium in your body may not end up in the bones and teeth, where it is actually needed.
Instead, it may travel to your arteries where it calcified and leads to heart diseases.
Moreover, vitamin D2 and K2 work together to carry and deposit calcium to your teeth and bones where it helps in absorption.
However, if this does not happen, then it can lead to poor dental health, even when you brush and floss your teeth.
In case you have less calcium, it will lead to demineralization which in turn leads to cavities.
It can also increase your risk of developing gum disease which is closely linked to the development of type 2 diabetes.
Benefits of Vitamin K2 for your Oral Health
The following are the benefits of vitamin K2 for your oral health:
1# Slows Tooth Degradation
Just like it has effects on your bones, vitamin K2 helps to slow the rate of tooth loss that happens with age.
In fact, when it comes to bones, K2 helps to increase bone mass.
2# Build New Dentin
As osteocalcin is a K2-dependent protein, increasing its intake causes it to work more efficiently.
When this protein activates by K2, it leads to the growth of dentin that is present under the enamel.
As it grows, cavities are less likely to develop.
3# Normal Facial Structure
One of the most striking features found by Prine for vitamin K2 is that there is a striking difference in face and jaw structure from those who take a traditional diet.
According to Pheaume-Bleue, vitamin K2 is important during fetal development.
Thus when mothers do not consume enough amount of it, the nasal cartilage of the fetus calcifies.
This leads to the undergrowth of the bottom third of the face.
If you have ever seen a child with teeth that do not fit in their oral cavity that is probably due to a vitamin K2 deficiency.
4# Kills Cavity-causing Bacteria
Another key factor that plays a role in the formation of cavities is the disruption of the oral microbiome.
Your mouth is full of bacteria and it is the healthy one that helps to prevent bad breath and stop cavities from forming.
However, if the bad bacteria proliferate and crowd the good ones, it can lead to cavities, gum disease, and other issues.
According to the studies Prince, when people consume butter oil rich in vitamin K2, there is a decrease in cavity-promoting bacteria by up to 95%.
Vitamin K2 and Overall Health
Vitamin K2 is important not only for your teeth but your overall health as well.
Let’s discuss its effect on your overall health as follows:
Heart Diseases: Vitamin K2 is the only nutrients that not only protect from but also reverse plaque buildup in your arteries.
Thus, it is an important part of a heart-healthy diet and supplement plan, if you get vitamin D and calcium as well.
Osteoporosis: K2 is an important nutrient that plays a role in preventing osteoporosis.
It allows the transport of calcium out of the bloodstream and into the bones.
More specifically, MK-7 counteracts the loss of bone density that is common in menopause.
Alzheimer’s: Even though K2 is not a traditional antioxidant, it has a unique ability to reduce or even prevent oxidative stress in your brain.
This is one of the causes of Alzheimer’s.
Moreover, this disease is closed related to bone loss in osteoporosis and insulin resistance in diabetes.
Diabetes: One of the greatest discoveries was the effect of vitamin K2 on insulin resistance.
Activation of osteocalcin in the bones can improve glucose tolerance and can even help prevent type 2 diabetes.
Healthy Veins: Though vitamin K1 plays a crucial role in blood flow, K2 helps to activate MGP.
This collects in varicose veins most often. Thus, by activating this protein, K2 can support the reduction or prevent varicose veins and thrombosis problems.
Cancer; If you consume enough vitamin K2 in your diet, then there is a significant decrease in the risk of developing cancer.
These include leukemia, prostate, lung, and liver cancers.
Fertility: Studies indicate that vitamin K2 affects fertility in both men and women and subsequent labor.
Recommendation for the Intake of Vitamin K2
According to the National Institute of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements, you can get the recommended amount of vitamin K by eating a well-balanced diet.
Moreover, the recommendations depend on age, gender, and whether or not you are a woman who is breastfeeding.
The levels of Vitamin K are as follows:
- 0-6 months 2 micrograms
- 7–12 months 2.5 micrograms
- 1–3 years 30 micrograms
- 4–8 years 55 micrograms
- 9–13 years 60 micrograms
- 14–18 years 75 micrograms
- Adult men 19 years+ 120 micrograms
- Adult women 19 years+ 90 micrograms
- Pregnant/breastfeeding teens 75 micrograms
- Pregnant/breastfeeding women 90 micrograms
Consuming Vitamin K2
Different food items are rich in vitamin K1, however, vitamin K2 is less common.
Moreover, your body can partly convert K1 to K2, which is useful as K1 is 10 times that of vitamin K2.
However, evidence suggests that this conversion process is inefficient.
As a result, you can benefit more from consuming a diet rich in vitamin K2 directly than relying on this process.
It is produced by gut bacteria in your large intestines, according to studies.
Evidence suggests that broad-spectrum antibiotics can contribute to a vitamin K2 deficiency.
Vitamin K2 is present in certain animal and fermented foods.
Animal-rich sources are high-fat dairy products from grass-feeding cows, egg yolks, as well as liver and other organ meats.
As K2 is fat-soluble, this means that low-fat and lean meats contain less quantity of it.
Fermented foods like sauerkraut, natto, and miso contain more of the longer subtypes, MK-5 to MK-14.
However, you can also take supplements of this vitamin.
Supplementing with vitamin D can even further enhance the effect of supplements as these two have synergistic effects, according to studies.
Thus, it may also have life-saving implications for many individuals.
Vitamin K is a group of nutrients that has 2 subcategories K1 and K2.
Vitamin K1 helps in blood coagulation and K2 benefits bone and heart health. However, more studies on the roles of Vitamin K subtypes are needed.
Some scientists are of the view that using its supplements regularly, reduces the risk of heart diseases. Others point that more studies can help to provide recommendations. However, it is unclear whether vitamin K plays an essential role in the functions of the body.