When you celebrate your birthday, you likely think of your age in chronological years.
However, some health care practitioners and research scientists view “age” differently. Instead of an often-meaningless number, they’re more interested in how old you are on the inside.
They consider your “vascular age.”
Adopted from the famous Framingham Heart Study, vascular age has emerged as a way to better understand the age of your body on the inside – specifically, the health of your cardiovascular system.
In fact, some researchers believe your vascular age may be a better indicator of your health and longevity than your chronological age.
What influences your vascular age? Everyday factors can either increase or decrease the normal aging of your vascular health. Here are just a few that promote healthy arterial aging and function:
Diet – eating healthy foods and avoiding seed oils help slow the normal aging of your vascular system
Exercise – daily exercise helps lower your vascular age
Stress – effectively managing your stress has a positive effect on your arterial health
Lifestyle – making healthy lifestyle choices, such as avoiding smoking and reducing exposure to toxins and pollutants, promote healthy arterial aging
Relationships – positive relationships and interactions with others promote cardiovascular health
All of these factors help keep your arteries youthful. In turn, supporting your arteries’ normal elasticity helps them transport life-nourishing blood and nutrients to your cells, tissues and organs.
Can This Vitamin Influence Your Arterial Age, Too?
There’s a vitamin that also can support the healthy aging and function of your arteries – and your entire cardiovascular system. However, unlike vitamins D or C, it’s not a nutrient you hear a lot about.
Vitamin K was first discovered in the 1930s by a Danish scientist, Henrik Dam, while trying to understand the metabolism of cholesterol in chickens.
That initial discovery revealed how crucial vitamin K is to proper blood flow. It wasn’t until later that scientists learned there were two different forms of vitamin K, one with additional benefits for arterial health, muscle and bone health, and more.*
Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone)
This type of vitamin K is important for proper blood clotting and is the form given to infants at birth. However, this type does little to nothing to support your arterial health.*
K1 goes directly to your liver and remains there. However, because it has a very short half-life, it’s gone within three to four hours.
You can get K1 in your diet, mainly from green vegetables, like spinach, kale, cabbage and broccoli. However, your body only absorbs about 10% of the vitamin K1 you consume.
Vitamin K2 (menaquinone or MK)
Unlike K1, nearly all of the K2 you consume is absorbed by your body. K2 also goes to your liver, but is then redistributed via LDL cholesterol to your bones and blood vessels to help support your bone and cardiovascular health.*
Vitamin K2 has a much longer half-life and stays in your body longer than vitamin K1.
This type of vitamin K comes from grass-fed dairy and animal products, and from fermented foods, like natto, miso and certain fermented vegetables. Vitamin K2 is produced by bacteria during the fermentation process.
The Discovery of MGP brings Vitamin K2 Center Stage
For over half a century, vitamin K was recognized only for its role in normal blood clotting and blood flow.
It wasn’t until the more recent discovery of a special protein called Matrix Gla Protein (MGP) that led researchers to realize the full potential of vitamin K2.
MGP is a protein made in your blood vessels that is involved in calcium metabolism. Vitally important for your cardiovascular system, MGP helps ensure normal levels of calcium are present in your arteries.
However, for MGP to function properly, it must have adequate supplies of vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 activates MGP, along with about 20 other proteins in your body.
The higher the levels of inactive MGP in your blood, the higher your risk of less-than-optimal heart health.
Not very long ago, researchers believed this process was inevitable – and irreversible – a normal function of aging. Now, they know that’s not true.
Observing that healthy arterial tissues can contain up to 100 times more vitamin K2 than calcified arteries, they’ve discovered that restoring supplies of vitamin K2 can help support normal arterial function and calcium metabolism.*
Landmark Study Confirms Vascular Benefits of K2*
The Rotterdam Study from 2004 was the first to show many of the important benefits of vitamin K2.
This monumental study followed 4,807 initially healthy people, age 55 and older, over a 10-year time span. The study looked at the effects on health from different levels of dietary vitamin K2, mostly from fermented foods.
Daily consumption of more than 32 mcg of dietary vitamin K2 resulted in a:
And those who received even more vitamin K2 from their diet – 45 mcg – lived seven years longer than those getting only 12 mcg per day.
Most importantly, these results were only seen in groups consuming high levels of vitamin K2, not vitamin K1.
In another study, the Prospect Study, 16,000 healthy women were followed for eight years.
The results from this study were similar to those from Rotterdam. High intake of natural vitamin K2, not vitamin K1, over an eight-year period promoted cardiovascular health.*
For every 10 mcg of vitamin K2 consumed, cardiovascular risk was reduced by 9%.*
7 Reasons Why You May Be Vitamin K2 Deficient
Unfortunately, you can’t accurately measure vitamin K2 in your blood because it is quickly shunted to your liver and other organs.
However, you can measure the amount of inactive MGP protein – the protein that is activated when your supplies of vitamin K2 are low. This test - ELISA for inactive MGP – is considered a reliable marker of your vitamin K2 status.
A recent study of 452 healthy adults measured their levels of inactive MGP. An astonishing 97% (438 out of 452 individuals) were found to be either vitamin K2 deficient or insufficient.
Why are so many people deficient in vitamin K2? There are a number of possible reasons…
The main source of vitamin K2 is fermented foods – foods largely avoided by people in the Western world.
Processed foods (the most popular diet in the U.S.) contain virtually no vitamin K. Even healthy foods like salmon and kale provide only very small amounts.
Vitamin K is fat-soluble and needs dietary fat for efficient absorption, so if you limit fat, you may not be absorbing much of the vitamin K2 you do receive.
Unlike vitamins A, D and E, vitamin K2 is not stored in your body as long as other fat-soluble vitamins.
Some individuals have a higher need for vitamin K2, including people with kidney issues, children and those over age 40.
Taking certain prescription medications without supplementing with a daily dose of vitamin K2 can deplete your body of both vitamins K1 and K2.
Health care providers often advise people to avoid vitamin K foods and supplements when taking an anticoagulant drug, leading to a deficiency.
Compared to a half decade ago, today’s diets look very different. Fifty years ago we consumed much more vitamin K.
Evidence also suggests that the incidence of vitamin K2 deficiency increases with age, starting at around age 40. Both children and adults over 40 are the two groups most likely to be deficient, but it can happen at any age.
Because of its effect on blood flow, never take any vitamin K supplement without your physician’s approval if you are taking an oral anticoagulant, such as Coumadin and Warfarin. For the same reason, I also recommend checking with your health care provider before adding additional vitamin K-rich foods to your diet.
Long-Lasting MK-7: Ideal for Your Heart and Bones
As we just learned, vitamin K2 tells your body what to do with the calcium in your bloodstream. With adequate vitamin K2 levels, calcium goes into your bones and teeth, where it belongs.
That makes vitamin K2 essential for supporting strong bones and teeth, as well as your cardiovascular system.*
Vitamin K2 can be broken down into four additional categories: MK-4, MK-7, MK-8 and MK-9. MK-8 and MK-9 come primarily from dairy products and aren’t considered valuable sources of vitamin K2.
MK-4 and MK-7 are the two most significant forms of K2 and act very differently in your body:
MK-4 is very similar to vitamin K1, as it remains mostly in your liver after reaching your intestines. It has a biological half-life of about one hour, which makes it a poor candidate for a vitamin K2 supplement.
MK-7 stays in your body much longer than either MK-4 or vitamin K1 with a half-life of about three days, which allows consistent blood levels to build. MK-7 is only produced by bacterial fermentation.
Many vitamin K2 supplements use MK-4, but it’s not the same wholesome MK-4 that you find in grass-fed dairy products.
Rather, the MK-4 in supplements is a synthetic form of MK-4, made from the extract of the tobacco plant. This synthetic form is much less costly to produce than the real thing from grass-fed sources, but that’s not its biggest problem…
MK-4 has a shorter chain length than MK-7. Because it only remains in the blood stream at useful levels for a short time, it offers limited effectiveness. For significant value, you would have to take MK-4 supplements repeatedly throughout the day.
MK-7 supplements only require once-daily dosing because this form stays at high amounts in your blood much longer than synthetic MK-4, allowing it to build up to healthy levels.
Introducing MenaQ7® – Research-backed MK-7 Vitamin K2 for Cardiovascular, Bone and Muscle Health*
Research confirms that the MK-7 form of vitamin K2 provides the optimal vitamin K status in your body to activate the vitamin K-dependent protein MGP.*
And because it’s all about supporting the health and elasticity of your blood vessels, you may also be providing potential benefits for your muscle and nerve health, as well as your brain’s vascular flow.*
Generally speaking, the greater the elasticity of your arteries, the better your cardiovascular health and the lower your vascular age.
Now, with our Vitamin K2, we’re able to offer you this exceptional form of vitamin K2 in the exact dosage level shown effective in studies and recommended by experts: 180 mcg of K2-MK7.
What makes MenaQ7® so superior? It is…
The first and only research-backed Vitamin K2 for cardiovascular, bone and muscle health.
A patented K2-MK7 produced from natto using chickpeas instead of soy.
The longest-lasting, most bioavailable and bioactive form of vitamin K.
Thoroughly researched to support healthy, normal arterial function.*
Shown in studies to improve bone strength and mass.*
Made through a stable fermentation process to ensure product quality.
Guaranteed to have a high level of purity for quality, safety and efficacy.
Free from soy, gluten, dairy and other known allergens.
Certified by The Non-GMO Project and contains no genetically engineered ingredients.*
How MenaQ7® Supports Bone Health*
Bone loss and loss of bone mineral density naturally occurs as we age. A living substance, bone “remodels” itself every 8 to 12 years through a process regulated by cells that build up bone (osteoblasts) and cells that break it down (osteoclasts).
Osteoblasts produce a protein called osteocalcin, which is dependent on adequate vitamin K2.
When activated by vitamin K2, osteocalcin binds calcium to the bone matrix to build healthy, strong bones. Without enough vitamin K2, studies show bones can become weak and brittle.*
A groundbreaking three-year study of 244 healthy, post-menopausal women looked at the effects of a daily dose of MenaQ7® on bone health.
Bone mineral density and bone mineral content of the lumbar spine and femoral neck of the hip were measured at the start of the study and after one, two and three years of treatment.
Compared to placebo, a daily dose of 180 mcg of MenaQ7® significantly…
Improved overall vitamin K status.*
Decreased the age-related decline in bone mineral density and bone mineral of the lumbar spine and hip.*
Increased bone strength.*
Equally important, blood tests showed a significant decrease in circulating inactive MGP, the well-established biomarker for bone and vitamin K status.*
MenaQ7®: Useful for Muscle Cramps, Too?
As you age, your muscle mass typically declines, much like what happens with your bone mass as you grow older.
This normal muscle wasting process often results in impaired muscle function as well – a frustrating reality for many seniors.
Along with declining muscle health sometimes comes muscle cramping, a common, yet not often-talked-about symptom of aging. This is when a painful contraction of a muscle group, especially the legs, occurs after stretching.
Studies show that 30% of people over 60, and 50% of seniors over 80 years of age have a history of muscle cramps.
A group of 19 elderly men and women experiencing occasional leg cramps was given a daily dose of 100 mcg per day of vitamin MK-7 for three months.
At the end of the study, the researchers found that this low dosage level of MK-7 resulted in “dramatic improvement of frequency, duration and severity of discomfort during cramping.”*
Further, when the subjects stopped taking the supplement, the cramping tended to return within days or weeks.
So, what explains the significant benefits on muscle health from MenaQ7® Vitamin K2 as MK-7?
Recent research has found two additional potential benefits that may explain its actions:
MK-7 may help promote energy production and inhibit harmful oxidative stress within vascular smooth muscle cells.*
Smooth muscle cells (SMCs) appear to take up MK-7 very efficiently.
Because vitamin K2-MK-7 is so safe for regular use, I consider it a “must-have” for all adults to help support your cardiovascular health and optimal muscle health and function.*
Taking Vitamin D? Don’t Make This Mistake
Many people today appreciate the important role vitamin D plays in health, making sure they get enough of the “sunshine vitamin.” However, most people stop there and make a big mistake.
Vitamin K and vitamin D work together to support your cardiovascular and bone health, among many other functions. Vitamin D can’t work properly without vitamin K, and vitamin K can’t perform its actions without enough vitamin D.
You need both, and in the proper amounts.
When you take high doses of oral vitamin D3, you must also get more vitamin K, either from good food sources or a high-quality supplement.
While vitamin D3 helps strengthen your bones by helping your body absorb calcium, we now know that it’s vitamin K2 that helps ensure the calcium ends up in the right place.
As we’ve learned, you want calcium in your skeleton and not in the linings of your arteries, heart valves and organs.
There’s one more additional player when it comes to your vitamin D status. In addition to getting enough Vitamin K2, I suggest you consider supplemental magnesium.
Without enough magnesium and vitamin K2, your need for vitamin D3 increases 2.5 times.
You have many choices in magnesium supplements, but I highly recommend Magnesium L-Threonate. Compared to other forms of magnesium, this patented Magtein® form:
Offers superior absorption.
Can cross your blood-brain barrier and penetrate cell membranes.*
Doesn’t act as a laxative and cause gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort and loose stools.*
Don’t Fall Into the 97% Crowd – Take Control of Your Cardiovascular Health Today*
Your arteries need to remain elastic to effectively transport blood and nutrients to all your cells, tissues and organs.
Eating healthy foods, getting enough regular exercise and daily movement, and enjoying fulfilling relationships with family and friends all help to keep your arteries youthful.
And so can Vitamin K2.*
Our Vitamin K2 180 mcg formula can help…
Support healthy arterial function and cardiovascular health.*
Maintain strong, dense bones.*
Ensure calcium ends up in your bones and teeth, where it belongs.*
Support your brain’s vascular flow for optimal brain health and cognition.*
Support your muscle and nerve health.*
Now, you can put this little-known nutrient to work for you. You can help control your vascular age…
Don’t be part of the 97% who may not be getting enough of this important vitamin, and order Vitamin K2 today.