Review: “Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox” by Kate Rhéaume-Bleue

Thumbs up for Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life by Kate Rhéaume-Bleue. Health.

A fascinating book, if you’re into this sort of thing. In short, it explains the newest research on why taking calcium supplements for bone health (i.e. to avoid osteoporosis) increases your risk of heart attack and stroke. I won’t hide the answer from you; it’s because of a now-pervasive dietary deficiency of vitamin K2, which is necessary to activate the proteins responsible for distributing calcium out of the arteries into the bones. The science is fairly simple, the data is well-presented in this book, and the conclusion is convincing. Eat the butter, people. Eat the butter.

Even without any of these [previously discussed] health concerns, another very compelling factor points to the strong probability that you are K2 deficient: according to recent research, most people are. A 2007 study revealed that the majority of “apparently healthy” individuals have substantial levels under-carboxylated osteocalcin and matrix gla protein (MGP), caused by vitamin K2 deficiency. In other words, most people do not have adequate vitamin K2 levels to fully activate the proteins needed for optimal bone and heart health. If you can be K2 deficient and apparently healthy, then what’s the big deal? Based on the most current understanding of how and why we grow old, the triage theory of aging, undetected vitamin K2 deficiency now will take its toll later in life. Poor vitamin K2 status must be regarded as a serious risk factor for increased postmenopausal bone loss, artery calcification, diabetes, end-stage kidney disease and aging itself.

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