What’s the #1 email I receive? From vegan nursing mothers. What to do about their cavities, or their infant’s crumbling teeth…
Mom Kai S. writes:
“Dear Val — I have been vegan for several years, maybe 10, and vegetarian for thirty. I am now 46.
My teeth started to decay pretty severely over the past couple of years after my second baby. … I don’t eat any refined sugars. We don’t eat any white flour products. We eat only organic whenever possible and I drink a green smoothie every day.
However, my teeth are a mess. … I have a cavity in almost every tooth. … I am confused, as is my dentist. He said normally someone with teeth like this is a soda drinker. … Any suggestions you have would be greatly appreciated!”
Sadly, back in the 1990’s I never knew what to reply! Now I do, with gratitude to naturopath Dr. Kate in Canada:
“I believe you and your child are suffering from vitamin K2 deficiency.”
Thank you to Dr. Kate Rhéaume-Bleue for publishing her book Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life in 2013.
The Calcium Paradox
Do you ever wonder why in the US, 55% of women and men aged 50 and older suffer from osteoporosis or low bone mass?
Yet at the same time, heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the US? 75–95% of men and women have some degree of coronary artery calcification on autopsy.
Actually that calcified plaque is often fully formed bone tissue!
Did you know, women who take calcium to prevent osteoporosis are at higher risk of atherosclerosis (calcium plaque in their arteries), heart attack, and stroke than those who don’t?
In fact, if you take a calcium supplement, the increased risk of death from heart disease outweighs any benefit to bone health.
How do we reverse that? Persuade the calcium to go into our bones and teeth, and out of our arteries?
In 1945 one dentist knew the answer. He was the founder of the American Dental Association’s research division.
But after his death, scientists bungled the research for decades.
History of Vitamin K2
The solution to the Calcium Paradox is a single vitamin — K2 or Menaquinone.
Vitamin K1 is Phylloquinone. K1 (and its clotting effect) was discovered in 1929. The K in vitamin K is derived from the German word koagulation.
For a long time scientists thought K1 and K2 were variants of a single molecule, and called them both vitamin K.
Only in the late 1990’s did a growing body of research show that K1 and K2 are two different vitamins performing totally different functions. Just like the B vitamins are different. If you confuse B12 with B3 (niacin) your brain will be at risk of B12 deficiency!
K1 is needed for blood clotting. K2 is needed to shuttle calcium to all the places where you want it, and away from where you don’t want it. It also protects your brain from early senility!
Back in the 1930’s, the late Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist famous for his cross-cultural studies, discovered a “vitamin-like activator” that protects us from tooth decay and heart disease, and promotes healthy bone growth, brain function, and reproduction.
He first describes it in the 2nd (1945) edition of his book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, just three years before his death.
Dr. Price called it “Activator X.” Today we know it to be vitamin K2 — thanks to the brilliant paper of Dr. Chris Masterjohn.
Yet it took another sixty years before the USDA calculated the vitamin K2 (Menaquinone) content of foods, in 2006.
How K2 Works: for the Scientist In You
Several proteins move calcium around in your body. The one most abundant in bone is osteocalcin (also called bone Gla protein or BGP). It fixes calcium into your bones and teeth.
Another calcium-mover, MGP (matrix Gla protein) sweeps calcium out of soft tissue like arteries, veins, and the million tiny filters in your kidneys.
A single enzyme activates both proteins. It’s called vitamin K–dependent carboxylase.
Each protein is born with a single claw sticking out, a carboxyl group. The enzyme carboxylase adds a second claw (another carboxyl group) to the protein. It “carboxylates” the protein.
That’s easy to remember, isn’t it? Carboxylase carboxylates a protein by adding a carboxyl group to it. So now your two proteins (osteocalcin and MGP) no longer have only one claw each, the way they were made by your cells. After they’re carboxylated they each have two claws looking like this:
Do you see how the protein goes from one claw on the left, to two claws on the right? When carboxylase (in the middle) acts on it.
The two claws are negatively charged. Calcium has two positive charges — do you see the Ca(+2) at the top? So naturally the claws grab the calcium! You would too, if you were a negative, and a positive came floating by.
Osteocalcin’s two claws snap up calcium and take it into your bones and teeth. Osteocalcin is the second most abundant protein in bone, after collagen.
Here’s the tricky part. You know that every enzyme has a helper molecule, a cofactor? Who’s our little helper for the enzyme carboxylase? You guessed it — Vitamin K2!
If there’s no K2 to switch carboxylase on, then that enzyme can’t add a claw to any K2-dependent protein.
—–Beware: here we swim deeper—–
- The claw is called a “side chain” by scientists. Each chain carries one carboxyl group.
- You’ve seen how a protein is a string of amino acids, like a string of pearls? Well, this side chain hangs from only one specific amino acid in a K2-dependent protein. That amino’s name is glutamate or glutamic acid, abbreviated Glu.
- It’s not just one claw on each protein. There could be up to 13 Glu’s in one protein molecule. Hence 13 single claws sticking out. But each claw must be carboxylated into a double claw before it can grab calcium.
- The full name (first and last) of the enzyme carboxylase that’s doing all the work here, is gamma-glutamyl carboxylase (γ-glutamyl carboxylase).
- By adding a carboxyl group (another claw) to glutamate, this enzyme transforms glutamate into gamma-carboxyglutamate (γ-carboxyglutamate) abbreviated Gla.
- In short, 1-claw-Glu becomes 2-claw-Gla.
- That’s why many vitamin K-dependent proteins have “Gla” in their name.
- And why vitamin K2’s chief known action in your body is called gamma-carboxylation.
Both vitamins K1 and K2 are good at switching on the enzyme carboxylase. They are “effective cofactors.”
However, your liver prefers to use K1 to activate the K-dependent blood-clotting proteins.
Your other tissues, such as bone, cartilage, blood vessels & arteries, prefer to use K2 to activate all the other K-dependent proteins like osteocalcin and MGP.
For us plebs who don’t aspire to be Einstein, we see it like this:
- An enzyme turns one claw (that’s sticking out of a protein)
- into two claws
- when K2 switches the enzyme on
- so the two claws can grab calcium
- and the protein is functional (does its job of moving calcium around).
If the claw is single, it’s called “under-carboxylated” or “inactive.” If it’s a double claw, it’s “carboxylated” or “activated.”
|State of Protein||Indicates||Results In||Add K2 to Diet or Supplement|
|MGP and Osteocalcin are Inactive (undercarboxylated||Vitamin K2 deficiency (low levels)||Calcium buildup in your arteries & kidney filters; porous fragile bones & hip fractures||Reduces the levels of Inactive MGP & Osteocalcin. Good response within days.|
|MGP and Osteocalcin are Activated (carboxylated)||Vitamin K2 sufficiency (good levels)||(with a healthy lifestyle) clean clear arteries & kidneys; strong bones & teeth||Protects you from heart disease and fractures.|
Japanese trials have proven that vitamin K2 completely reverses bone loss, and increases bone density even when you have osteoporosis.
Pooled evidence of seven Japanese trials show that supplementing with vitamin K2 results in a 60% reduction in vertebral fractures and an 80% reduction in non-vertebral fractures, such as hip. Wow! That’s my kind of vitamin!
In 2006 Knapen et al. clearly showed that vitamin K2 is essential for keeping bones strong in postmenopausal women. K2 improves bone mineral content and femoral neck width.
Dr. William Davis writes [I’m citing him & not the study he refers to because the abstract makes no mention of this] that vitamin K2:
“improves bone architecture, increases bone mass and mechanical strength, stimulates mineralization (deposition of calcium), and enhances collagen architecture–a cross-linking of fibrous tissue that yields tough but supple bone that is more resistant to fracture.”
One caveat: if you know anyone with osteoporosis, they can’t just pop a K2 pill to heal. It’s a lifestyle disease. It requires a lifestyle change.
Meanwhile, the 10-year Rotterdam study in 2004 of 4,807 men aged 55 or older, showed that those who eat the most vitamin K2 have a 52% reduced risk of arterial calcification.
Vitamin K2 Deficiency Is Universal
Either you’re eating K2. Then you have activated osteocalcin and MGP — both doing a good job of clawing onto calcium and moving it to where it belongs.
Or you lack K2. Then you see inactive osteocalcin and MGP floating around in your blood, their one little claw flailing helplessly by itself. Calcium is left free to settle in your soft flexible tissues first, such as your heart valve and arteries.
Measuring your level of inactive osteocalcin is a handy way to test for K2 deficiency. Your osteoblasts (bone cells) merrily make osteocalcin but there’s no K2 around to whip it into action.
Do you supplement with vitamin D? This vitamin triggers your bone cells to make even more osteocalcin, which in turn increases the demand for K2.
We’re all suffering from massive K2 deficiency. If we weren’t, we’d have clean arteries and strong bones. What happened to our K2?
In the early 1940’s, we invented the combine harvester. The price of grain plummeted. As a result, factory farming was born. Now we could keep animals caged inside and feed them grain, rather than let them out to pasture to feed on grass.
The cream and butter (churned-up cream) of grass-feeding animals is rich in vitamin K2. Mother cow converts the K1 in grass, into K2 for her milk, to build the rapidly-growing bones of her calf. The quicker the grass is growing, as in Spring, the more K1 it sports.
Have you ever kept chickens? Then you know how they love their leafy greens! Their egg yolks are rich in K2, to help their baby chick grow strong. You won’t find any K2 in an egg from a battery hen. Sadly, they’ve never known the pleasure of rushing to a cauliflower leaf.
Where do you find the vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) in grass and leafy greens? It’s in the chloroplast, that little organelle in green plant and algal cells which contains chlorophyll. K1 participates in photosynthesis.
K1 is abundant in green leafy vegetables. The “phyll” in its name, phylloquinone, comes from the Greek word for leaf. Actually K1 is ubiquitous in all fruit and vegetables, albeit in small amounts. Plus we recycle K1, whereas we don’t recycle K2. You’re almost guaranteed not to be K1 deficient, unless you have liver disease.
K1’s job is to activate a protein in the liver that’s responsible for blood clotting. Nature does not want you bleeding to death. So it makes sure the vitamin is always available when needed.
But you don’t get so lucky with K2! It was so abundant in our diet for so long. A 160,000 years ago, early Homo sapiens were eating eggs and the organs of small mammals like rats (both sources of K2) and shellfish, rich in Omega-3 for our human brain.
In the few years since the 1940’s Nature hasn’t had time to create an alternative for us. And well She should not! Factory farming is an abomination.
This is page 2 of an 8-page Article. Please begin at Page 1 here, to fully understand how vitamin K2 gives you strong bones & teeth.
Why Vegans Are K2 Deficient
Must you rush out and eat butter, cream, and egg yolks from grass-feeding species, to meet your vitamin K2 needs?
No! Some fermented plant foods have K2. In fact, natto, a slimy stinky fermented soya bean dish, is the highest source of vitamin K2 on earth. It has a whopping 1,103 mcg per 100g. You need about 200 mcg of K2 a day, that’s a mere 18g of natto (about 3/4 ounce).
But how many vegans can stomach natto? As for other fermented foods, like sauerkraut, you don’t know if it has K2. Only some bacteria (not all) make vitamin K2 which they use for anaerobic respiration.
You are eating fermented food, I hope? Health begins in your gut. A healthy gut needs healthy microbes from healthy home-fermented foods. See my sauerkraut recipes here.
Sadly, with the birth of the icehouse in Britain in 1660, and ice trading being a big part of the early New England economy in the 1830’s, we stopped fermenting our veggies so they’d last longer. We simply popped our fresh veg into a cold box.
So down the tubes went the only plant source of Vitamin K2. Vegans suffer the most. I’ve heard Shazzie report that she sees children at vegan festivals with bad teeth, and stature too small for their age.
Believe me, we don’t lack calcium. We already have too much of it in our water in US and Europe. Back in the 1970’s Paul Bragg warned us in his book Water: The Shocking Truth that the calcium in water is lining your arteries and veins, just like the hard calcium scale you see in a kettle.
We lack Vitamin K2 to utilize all that calcium!
K2 deficiency can go unnoticed for years. Often the first sign of heart disease is a fatal heart attack. Or with osteoporosis it’s a broken rib when your spouse hugs you.
Does Your Body Make K2?
Our own intestinal flora produce K2. But it may not be a good source. It’s made in the colon, whereas we absorb dietary K2 in our small intestine along with fat.
The K2 in your colon is stuck inside the bacterial membranes. Do we have enzymes to snip it out? And receptors in our colon wall to absorb the freed-up K2? Probably not.
It’s likely we never had the need to develop a way to absorb K2 from our colon. We enjoyed enough K1 from our greens (converting it to K2) — and K2 itself from eggs and animal organs.
Back in May 1994 James Lipsky critically reviewed the belief that intestinal bacteria are a source of vitamin K, and found it to be erroneous.
Do we have any other internal source of K2? Yes. Your body can synthesize K2 from K1, just as you can synthesize vitamin A from the carotenes.
We’ll look at that in depth a little further on, under Leafy Greens.
Vitamins K2, A & D Depend on Each Other
Vitamins A, D, and K2 are on the same team. A and D tell your cells to make a variety of proteins — especially those involved with calcium — and K2 gets those proteins to work, and not lie around idle.
Vitamins A (retinol) and D (cholecalciferol) don’t directly instruct your DNA. They’re vitamins, not hormones. Your body changes them into various metabolites, including retinoic acid and calcitriol. It’s these two that bind to cell receptors and tell your genes what to do.
Take, for example, the protein osteocalcin. It fixes calcium and phosphorus into your bones and teeth. Your bone-building cells (osteoblasts) will make osteocalcin only when both vitamins A and D are present.
Your bones sport a matrix of vitamin-K2 dependent proteins, not just osteocalcin.
All Known-to-date Health Benefits of Vitamin K2
Canadian naturopath Dr. Kate Rhéaume-Bleue is the author of the tell-all book on K2 — Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life.
In her book, she prints this chart of “What we know about vitamin K2 to date” (June 2013):
|Health condition||Vitamin K2 actions and benefits|
|Aging||Carboxylates osteocalcin and matrix gla protein (MGP) to prevent major diseases of agingDeficiency accelerates age-related conditions|
|Heart disease||High K2 intake lowers risk of coronary artery disease and all-cause mortalityK2 activated–MGP is strongest inhibitor of vascular calcification presently known and prevents atherosclerosis by several mechanisms|
|Osteoporosis||Activates osteocalcin, the major bone protein required for calcium deposition in boneDeficiency increases risk of hip fracture
Counteracts bone density loss at menopause
|Alzheimer’s||Protects against free radical damage and insulin resistance in the brain, two key mechanisms of brain deterioration in Alzheimer’s|
|Wrinkles||Lack of K2 promotes calcification of elastic tissues in skin|
|Varicose veins||K2-activated MGP required to keep vein walls clear of calcium, just as with arteries|
|Diabetes||The K2-dependent protein osteocalcin affects insulin production and sensitivitySupplementation improves insulin response
Higher K2 intake associated with improved insulin sensitivity
|Arthritis||Prevents joint damage in patients with rheumatoid arthritis|
|Brain and neurologic health||Shields brain cells from damage due to short-term oxygen deprivation, such as in stroke, mini-stroke or birth traumaRequired for production of myelin
Reduces severity of multiple sclerosis symptoms in animal models
|Cancer||Higher intake associated with lower rate of lung and prostate cancerPrevents prostate cancer progression
Kills lung cancer and leukemia cells in vitro
Encourages differentiation of cancer cells
|Kidney disease||K2 deficiency and associated blood vessel calcification increase progressively with advancing kidney disease|
|Fertility and pregnancy||K2-dependent osteocalcin affects testosterone production and sperm production and survivalDeficiency of fat-soluble vitamins associated with longer labor and higher rate of C-section|
|Prenatal development and children’s health||Critical for normal development of face and dental archesEssential for normal tooth structure
Necessary for optimal growth and bone development
K2 requirements increase during growth spurts such as puberty
|Dental health||Activates osteocalcin in tooth dentin to prevent and heal cavitiesDecreases cavity-causing bacterial count in saliva|
|From Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox © 2012 by Kate Rhéaume-Bleue. Published by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.|
To explore the K2 connection to any specific disease listed above, you need to read Dr. Kate’s book.
K2 research is so young! Expect this chart to grow in leaps and bounds. With one class of vitamin K-dependent proteins — transmembrane Gla (TMG) proteins — no one knows what they do!
Why does sperm possess a K2-dependent protein? Why does the nucleus of every cell have a receptor for K2? That’s where your genes are. Why is there so much K2 in your mitochondria, the little power plants in every cell that produce energy for you? We don’t know.
Let’s look at just two wonders of K2 (see cites to original studies in Dr. Kate’s book).
K2 Gives You Healthy Dental Arches
Have you noticed how many children need braces these days? In one documentary of a raw vegan family, I was struck by how all the children’s teeth stuck out abnormally. Their dental arches were too cramped to hold a full set of adult teeth.
How often do you see a set of “pearly whites” in a teenager — straight, healthy adult teeth in a normal dental arch?
It’s become so common to wear braces and extract our wisdom teeth. Nobody questions why our jaws are not wide enough to fit all our teeth.
Where does it begin? In pregnancy. The mother was vitamin K2-deficient.
You recall MGP is the K2-dependent protein that keeps calcium out of your soft tissues, like arteries? MGP also maintains growing cartilage in a normal, non-calcified state.
Most bones start out as flexible cartilage. As a child grows from foetus to baby to adult, the cartilage is slowly replaced by bone.
The bones of your dental arch depend on how your nose grows in the womb! In the fetus, the piece of cartilage that separates the two nasal cavities and forms your nostrils, is rich in MGP.
When the MGP is inactive — because there’s no K2 in mom’s diet to activate it — you get premature calcification of this nasal cartilage. This early hardening of the nose and jaw stunts the growth of the face.
This stunted development of the lower third of the face results in narrow dental arches that can’t accommodate a full set of adult teeth.
You don’t see the problem in toddlers. They have only 20 baby teeth. Only when the cuspids (eyeteeth or canine teeth) erupt at age 12 or 13, then you see them out of place.
When there’s no room for the eyeteeth to erupt normally, they will protrude behind or in front of the other teeth, or get pulled out.
Dental arch deformity increases with birth order. I’m the youngest of three children and I have by far the worst crowded teeth.
K2 Protects You from Senile Dementia
Vitamin K2 is essential for your nervous system. Your brain contains high concentrations of K2. Deficiency results in brain-fog and learning difficulties.
Interestingly, only in your brain, K2 protects you from free radicals. Hence its role in preventing multiple sclerosis (lesions in the myelin sheath) and Alzheimer’s. K2 actually helps synthesize the myelin sheath. As for Alzheimer’s, both heart disease and bone loss come along with it.
Vitamin K2 is not an antioxidant anywhere else in your body. That’s the job of the fourth fat-soluble vitamin — vitamin E — to sit inside your cell membranes and protect them from free radicals.
But in your brain, K2 actually prevents free radicals from developing! It doesn’t donate electrons, as vitamin E does. Somehow in lab studies it prevents brain cell death by blocking free radical formation.
K2 also helps brain cells to keep their glutathione, the major free radical scavenger in your brain. Once again there’s a connection here with vitamin D. Its metabolite, calcitriol, increases glutathione levels in the brain.
K2 protects your brain cells by an unknown mechanism that is independent of its known action of gamma-carboxylation. This means Vitamin K2 shields brain cells from free radicals even when you’re taking warfarin (a blood thinner).
Good news for victims of a stroke or recurring mini-strokes (TIA’s)! You can take K2 if your doctor agrees. Patients on anticoagulants like warfarin are normally advised not to take K1 (the coagulant vitamin).
Dr. Kate points out that research on vitamin K2 and brain health is in its infancy. Many of these early studies don’t differentiate between K1 and K2, or stupidly they look only at K1. Yet most (70-93%) of the vitamin K in your brain is K2.
Meanwhile, writes Dr. Kate, “I wouldn’t rely on the questionable conversion of K1 to K2 to meet our brain’s need for menaquinone. … Feed your brain with K2-rich grass-fed foods, fermented dairy products, natto or supplements.”
I would add to that, for my vegan readers, AND fermented plant foods such as kimchi, so long as you use a starter culture of bacteria that’s guaranteed to produce K2. Read the details further on, under Fermented Plants.
This is page 3 of an 8-page Article. Please begin at Page 1 here, to fully understand how vitamin K2 gives you strong bones & teeth.
How Much K1 & K2 Do You Need?
The RDI for vitamin K1 is set at 90 mcg for women and 120 mcg for men (RDI = Recommended Daily Intake).
No study to date has calculated the RDI for vitamin K2.
You need only a small amount of K1 for blood to clot — but far more K2 to activate all those K2-dependent proteins that keep at bay osteoporosis, arterial calcification, senility … see Dr. Kate’s chart for the wide variety of work these proteins do!
Dr. Mercola’s K2 supplement is 150 mcg. Uniquely it’s made from fermented organic chickpeas and not from soya.
In this article, I guesstimate that 200 mcg/day of K2 is the amount we need. That’s double the RDI for K1.
No known toxicity is linked to high doses of K1 or K2, so no tolerable upper intake level (UL) has been set. Unlike the other fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin K is not stored in any significant quantity in the liver.
However, you must remember that taking any supplement will upset the balance in your metabolic pathways.
The Different Forms of Vitamin K2
The two food sources of K2 — animal and bacterial — each supply a different form of menaquinone.
Animals, birds, and algal-eating fish synthesize K2 from K1. The K2 they produce — in grass-fed organ meat, butter, egg yolk, and in fish eggs — is MK-4 (menaquinone-4). It has a hydrocarbon tail with four double bonds.
Bacteria produce, via fermentation, a range of other menaquinones, MK-5 to MK-10, depending on which bacterium is fermenting the K2.
MK-7 (menaquinone-7) is the one you get in natto. It has a longer tail of seven double bonds.
To date no one knows if MK-4 or MK-7 is better for your health. Or if both are needed. Both forms are equally effective at activating K2-dependent proteins.
It’s claimed only 5-10% of the K1 you eat is absorbed and reaches your blood. With K2 the absorption rate of both forms — MK-7 in fermented food and MK-4 in animal tissue — is nearly 100%.
Fermented Plants: Vegan Source of Vitamin K2
You can’t jump to the conclusion that all fermented foods have vitamin K2. Sadly, they don’t.
Really you need a home K2-test kit to check how much K2 is in a fermented food. We don’t have that yet.
Four variables affect the fermenting process:
- the Starter Culture — the bacteria or yeast you use to do the actual fermenting;
- the Substrate — the food you’re fermenting, such as milk or cabbage;
- the Container — and the factory if it’s not home-made;
- the Environment — such as temperature and air-borne bacteria.
Let’s take a look at each variable as it affects K2.
1. The Starter Culture
You must begin with a starter culture of K2-producing bacteria. The most commonly available one is Bacillus subtilis (natto). It will ferment soya beans into a stinky slimy dish called natto.
We know that many Gram-positive bacteria — such as lactic acid bacteria and other anaerobic ones — can be K2-producing (MK-7 to MK-10).
But here’s the problem. Even when bacteria belong to the same species, one strain will produce K2 and another will not. Nagai reports that B. subtilis (natto) and B. subtilis are the same species. Yet only B. subtilis (natto) can make natto (and hence K2).
Similarly, a 1999 study found that of the 21 strains of lactic acid bacteria they tested, only five could produce vitamin K2.
Even those five aren’t so hot. They gave 29 to 123 mcg of K2 (as MK-7) per liter. Who drinks a liter of fermented soya milk a day? It’d be unhealthy. It’s a machine-made food. The goal is to eat food from Nature.
Bottom line, you can’t assume the bacteria you use to ferment soya milk into yogurt, are happily making K2. You simply don’t know if it’s a K2-producing strain or not.
By the way, when I lived in New York, I found that EdenSoy Organic Original Soymilk and Solgar’s Advanced Multi-Billion Dophilus with FOS made the best vegan soya yogurt. In South Africa where I live now, there’s no EdenSoy.
As for vegetables, you can NOT rely on the bacteria on the vegetables themselves, and in the air, to produce K2.This is clear from the low K2 content of sauerkraut — 4.8 mcg of K2 per 100g. That’s virtually none.
The good news is that Dr. Mercola offers a K2-producing starter culture, called Kinetic Culture.
You use one packet of his Kinetic Culture for each quart-sized jar of fermented veggies.
Dr. Mercola’s staff emailed me that, when his recipe is followed, there will be 4.85mcg of K2 per gram of fermented vegetables (mostly MK-7 form).
28 ounces or 800 grams of veggies fit a quart jar. So that gives you a whopping 3,880 mcg of K2 per jar! Since you need only about 200mcg/day, you could eat the quart jar of fermented veg over two weeks.
However, Dr. Mercola writes on his site:
“We found the levels of vitamin K2 slowly degraded over time. So it is best to consume your fermented vegetables sooner than later.”
I’d say one week is a good bet — say, 3.5 ounces or 100 grams a day. Do you recall that with natto (fermented soya beans) you need only 18g or 3/4 ounce a day? But natto is tough to swallow for most of us!
Dr. Mercola’s staff also emailed me:
“The Kinetic Culture Starter Packets are stable for up to 12 months when stored in a cool dry place. Refrigeration recommended, but not required.”
Do you live outside USA, like me? A friend, Terence, told me that he checked a written list of the strains in EM-1 (effective micro-organisms developed by Professor Teruo Higa in Japan) against a list of those in Dr. Mercola’s Kinetic Culture. He reports they’re the same.
Terence believes that if you use EM-1 to ferment your veggies, you’ll enjoy a good steady supply of vitamin K2. Sadly we can’t test it. I asked Dr. Mercola’s staff what K2 test kit he’s using (hoping to buy it myself) but his team replied:
“We are sorry, but Dr. Mercola’s research methods are proprietary and we are not able to ask him precisely how he is testing the Vitamin K2 levels … We do not have any information on how to test food for Vitamin K2.”
I now use EM-1 to ferment my cabbage and root vegetables. If I lived in the US, I’d use Dr. Mercola’s Kinetic Culture.
2. The Substrate
You can have the perfect K2-producing starter culture, yet it will produce K2 only with some foods, and not others.
The 1999 study of lactic acid bacteria found that, of the five strains they isolated as K2-producing, only two worked with reconstituted NDM (nonfat dry milk), while all five strains acidified the soymilk.
Even with the powerful K2-producing Bacillus subtilis (natto), it may work only on a specific type of soya bean! And not on any other bean.
All soya beans belong to the same species (Glycine max) but they vary in size and seed coat colors. One user of the starter culture “Mitoku Traditional Natto Spores” at Cultures for Health reports on 2/13/13 that:
“Large beans will not allow the natto spores to penetrate the bean enough … to make good natto … there is a family farm in Iowa that has started growing really honest to goodness natto soybeans… the tiny ones! Well we ordered them up right away and oh my what excellent natto!!”
Wikipedia reports that Bacillus subtilis can be used to ferment other beans, and even sesame seeds.
Cultures for Health reply in the Q&A on their Natto Spores, that you can use other beans like black beans, azuki beans, kidney beans and even sunflower seeds. “However,” they state, “Bacillus natto thrives best on soybeans. It appears that soybean’s protein helps to produce nattokinase more efficiently.”
In an email to me on 11/5/13, their team makes it clear that you don’t know if you’re getting vitamin K2 when you use anything other than soya. They write:
“Yes, our Mitoku Traditional Natto Spores are the Bacillus subtilis. You may be able to use the spores to ferment other beans, but not vegetables, as far as I know. With other beans, you may not get the slimy strands and consistency that you get when fermenting soy beans. I’m sorry, I do not have any information on possible K2 content in that case.”
Bottom line, even when you’re using a K2-producing starter culture, it (that tiny bacterium invisible to your naked eye) makes the decision whether to produce K2 for its energy needs or not, depending on the food it’s working on.
Other fermented soya products, like miso and tempeh, are not good K2 sources.
3. The Container
For natto and cheese — and hence for vitamin K2 — containers must be sterilized. That’s because you want only the specific starter culture to act on your food.
A 2012 study found that natto gets contaminated by bacteriophages if it’s not made in a highly sterilized stainless steel factory. The phages infect the bacillus. You see their teeny heads and tails under an electron microscope.
The old factories in Japan made of clay walls are the worst for contamination. The roughness of the clay makes it impossible to clean off the soya debris. The phages multiply on this debris.
I mention this because it means the nifty porous ceramic bowl you use for fermenting cabbage into sauerkraut will not work for fermenting soya beans into natto. If it’s glazed, then it may be okay.
You’ll see in this How To Make Natto recipe, that the very first step is:
“Be sure the entire process, including all utensils, pots, cheese cloth, etc. are as sterile as possible. Boil utensils for 5 minutes prior to using.”
Cheese making sites advise you to wipe all counters with a food grade sanitizer, and to boil all utensils for ten minutes.
4. The Environment
You know that fermenting is sensitive to temperature. But with K2, you also don’t want air-borne bacteria to get into your ferment.
You want only your K2-producing starter culture bacteria to do all the action.
If your natto has no slime (in scientific terms, no “viscous polymer PGA”) then you know it’s contaminated by bacteriophages, and unlikely to have vitamin K2.
Do Grains Carry a K2-producing Bacterium?
It’s my personal hypothesis that you’ll find K2-producing bacteria on all grains. And that when you ferment grains into grain milk, as the late Dr. Ann Wigmore taught us, you’re drinking vitamin K2 in good amounts.
Please don’t go write on your blog, “Val Archer of GreenSmoothie.com says you get vitamin K2 from fermented grain milks” ?
I don’t say that. I’m hypothesizing it! It needs to be tested empirically in a lab with a variety of grains.
What grounds do I have for my hypothesis? Both circumstantial and epidemiological evidence.
To begin, we know very few foods will naturally ferment. If you place lettuce in water, it’ll go rotten. Place cabbage in water and it ferments.
Go to the seed world. Place a seed in water and it will eventually rot. This is true of both sproutable seeds like sunflower, and non-sproutable like cashew.
Yet when you place grain seed in water, it begins to ferment, turning the water into a tangy lemony taste within two days. You can do it with both sprouted grains, like wheat, and ones that don’t sprout, like oats.
Most oat groats are steamed. Yet you can still soak and blend the oats, and leave the blend (with a little water on top) to ferment into a yogurt or sour cream.
This tells me that both cabbage and grains carry bacteria on them that will ferment their sugars into acids such as lactic acid.
In addition, the bacteria on grains are heat-stable, they survive the steaming that factories put oat groats through, to stop them from going rancid.
This is page 4 of an 8-page Article. Please begin at Page 1 here, to fully understand how vitamin K2 gives you strong bones & teeth.
Why I Think Grains Have K2 Bacteria
Are all bacteria on cabbage and grains producing vitamin K2 for their anaerobic energy needs?
In the case of cabbage, the answer is clearly No, with only 5 mcg of K2 per 100g. Research shows only a few strains of lactic acid bacteria produce K2.
Why do I believe that grains carry beneficial vitamin K2-producing bacteria? And therefore we should drink fermented grain milks.
First, the source of Bacillus subtilis (natto) is straw, which is dried stalks of grain. Originally the Japanese made natto by placing boiled soya beans in straw. Today factories just use the bacillus from the straw.
Second, Dr. Weston Price advised pregnant women to ferment their grains. Fermenting triggers the phytic acid in grains to release their hold on calcium. But I wonder if it wasn’t also because the women were getting K2 from the fermented grain? I can’t find any record that Dr. Price ever tested fermented grains for Activator-X.
Yet I find it significant that Dr. Price selected fermented grains for pregnant women, and not sprouted grains. Sprouting will also reduce the phytates and other anti-nutrients. Did he intuitively know that fermenting the grains gave the women Activator-X? And sprouting did not?
Pregnant women have a super-high need for vitamin K2, to build good facial structure and jaw bone in the foetus.
I’m sure Dr. Price would’ve heard about sprouting from his contemporary, Dr. Edmond Szekely. In 1928 Dr. Szekely founded the International Biogenic Society, to teach sprouting and living foods (biogenic foods). In 1937 he published The Essene Gospel of Peace, and founded his live-food healing clinic in Mexico.
At the very same time, Dr. Price was conducting his cross-cultural studies in the 1930’s. He published his findings on “Activator X” (vitamin K2) in 1945.
Third and most significant of all, comes my personal experience! My very own epidemiological evidence (okay, anecdotal). I may be the only person on the planet who’s had this experience!
In 1992 I came to raw foods with excruciating unbearable toothaches that kept me awake at night. In the fall of that year, my Russian dentist diagnosed yet another $1,200 root canal. I did not have $12 at the time, nor a job. I walked out of her office on Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn, and said:
“Okay Ann Wigmore, if your way cures cancer, let’s see it cure a hole in my tooth.”
I slowly began the Ann Wigmore program. I carried on eating my normal fare of pizza, chips, chocolate, soda, ice cream, and donuts — at that time, not today! But each day I’d also have either Energy Soup (today it’s morphed into Green Smoothie) or green juice, and lots of fresh sprouts & micro-greens, all grown by me.
On the days I drank her fermented grain milks, my tooth pain went down. On the days I left them out — because they tasted so gross — my teeth remained painful.
After reading Dr. Kate’s book, I believe that the grain ferments gave me K2 to deposit calcium into my teeth. The root that my dentist said needed a root canal, actually calcified itself up!
I never experienced anything with the other ferments, such as almond cream. Only the grain milks made a clear specific difference in my pain on the day I drank one. I’d drink a quart jar (1 liter) a day.
You could argue that it was all the vitamin K1 in my blended and juiced greens that my body was converting to K2.
But to me, it’s highly significant that I actually felt the calcium go into my tooth (pain went down) when I drank grain milks. I did NOT experience this with my blended or juiced greens.
Do grains carry a K2-producing bacterium? That’s my hypothesis. If you want K2 in a natural form (not a supplement) my advice is to make fermented grain milks and oat yogurt.
Remember, variety is the rule. Drink a different grain ferment each day. I recall counting up to nine different grains in my kitchen cupboard in Brooklyn.
Try amaranth, unhulled barley, hulled buckwheat, kamut, millet, oats (unhulled for milk, hulled for yogurt), quinoa, rice, rye, spelt, teff, wheat.
For me, the ones that work best are whole unhulled barley, sproutable kamut/rye/spelt/wheat, and oats. You can get raw sprouting oats from Canadian Jim Mumm at sprouting.com. He grows them on his farm.
The “bad” gluten in wheat, barley and rye stays in the grain when it’s soaked. It does not leach out into the fermented soak water that you drink.
Gluten proteins form a matrix that store starch in the dry grain. When you add water to wheat or wheat flour, this matrix becomes elastic (a “visco-elastic network”). It stretches to allow the water to ooze into the starch, between its chains of glucose molecules. Read my article on How We Digest Starch.
Feedback from Dr. Kate
I asked Kate Rhéaume-Bleue, B.Sc. N.D., author of Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox for her feedback. Her reply:
“I find your theory about fermented grains and K2 really interesting.
I didn’t expect your article to be so thorough. Well done! Excellent. Vegans and everyone will benefit from eating more greens and spouts and you make it clear that it takes a lot of greens to achieve those potential osteocalcin activation benefits, or else natto or a K2 supp is required. You didn’t misquote or mis-represent my work at any point.”
Leafy Greens: Vegan Source of K2’s Precursor, Vitamin K1
Do you see how high a springbok jumps? She never breaks a bone. What does she eat? Grass. Do you see the strong bones and teeth of a silverback gorilla? Munching on his leafy greens.
If grass and leafy greens are so powerful, why are some writers saying you must eat liver, fish, eggs, and butter for bones and teeth?
Because they’re not blending leafy greens and juicing wheatgrass! You need a LOT of the substrate, K1, to convert it into K2. Remember wild buck and gorillas are munching on greens all day!
All mammals, including humans, synthesize K2 (MK-4 form) from K1, which you find in rapidly growing green plants. The K1-to-K2 conversion takes place in your fatty tissues, such as your arterial walls, and in women the mammary glands.
Wikipedia reports on two rat studies: “Tissues that accumulate high amounts of MK4 have a remarkable capacity to convert up to 90% of the available K1 into MK4.”
The ability to convert K1 to K2 varies widely between species, and even between strains or breeds of the same species.
In humans, bile salts are needed to absorb both K1 and K2. So it’s good to eat a little fat at the same time as your leafy greens, to trigger release of bile. Add a tablespoon of ground seeds like chia, flax or hemp to your Green Smoothies.
Fat also helps you to convert K1 into K2. Trans fats inhibit your body’s utilization of K2.
How much K1 do you need to eat, to convert to K2? Let’s say the DRI for K2 will turn out to be double that for K1 — 200 mcg/day.
And let’s say the conversion rate is 10:1 for K1:K2 — you need to eat 10 units of K1 for every 1 unit of K2. I’m basing this on the conversion of 12:1 for betacarotene to vitamin A (some authors say it’s 6:1 but that’s assuming you have all co-factors in the right ratio needed for conversion).
That means you must eat 2,000 mcg of vitamin K1 a day to get 200 mcg of K2. One study found that you need a daily intake of 1,000 mcg of K1 for the protein osteocalcin to bind minerals into your bones.
If the DRI for K2 turns out to be 100 mcg, then that study is in line with my calculation here — 1,000 mcg K1 for 100 mcg K2.
But here’s the tricky part. A 2002 study concludes that humans can’t absorb more than 200 mcg of vitamin K1 a day from plants.
If you can’t absorb more than 200 mcg K1 a day, and the conversion of K1 to K2 is 10:1, then it means you’re unable to get more than 20 mcg a day of K2 from leafy greens — a fraction of your daily requirement.
Truth is, no one knows what’s really going on! And no one has yet studied LIVING greens in LARGE amounts. Dr. Cursio worked in rural upstate New York. I bet his patients grew the greens they blended.
First Anecdotal Study Questions the Research
I’m living proof that a woman over 60 (I was born in 1948) who’s been vegetarian for 40+ years (since 1972) CAN get enough K2 to actually reverse both porous bones (osteopenia) and a lifetime of cavities, by eating LARGE quantities of LIVING greens.
At age 23 I decided never to touch fish, animal, bird or eggs again (except egg in cake & cookies). For the next twenty years I lived on junk food and alcohol, and chain-smoked to boot.
Then in my early 40’s, I hit perimenopause with huge mineral deficiencies. I lost five teeth in five years from 1988 to 1993, either to extraction or root canal.
In 1992 I began to grow micro-greens and sprouts in my Brooklyn apartment. A year later, I read Dr Ann’s Energy Soup recipe in her book Rebuild Your Health: with High Energy Enzyme Nourishment. I began to blend the greens & sprouts I was growing. My teeth healed. After a lifetime of cavities and surgical interventions (fillings, root canals, extractions) it all stopped within a year!
It shows the power of blended greens! Even when you eat junk, so long as you eat blended or juiced greens every day, the leafy greens will vanquish the junk.
Since 1993 I’ve had only one self-inflicted cavity, in 2000. At the time I was still eating donuts, pizza, and chocolate, along with my Energy Soup. By 2007 the junk food had fallen away (I’m so happy to report).
Fifteen years later in 2015, an electric toothbrush gave me a cavity in a molar root. The entire tooth had to be removed. I’d used that brush for seven years because the oral hygienist told me to. Its harsh abrasive action brushed away the delicate gum, and then the cementum around the root, so bacteria had free entry into my root’s teeny dentinal tubules.
Stupidly I listened to that oral hygienist! You’d think I’d know by now not to listen to the medical profession, wouldn’t you? I said to my dentist:
“This was caused by the electric toothbrush, wasn’t it?”
“Yes, that was the triggering factor. I tell my own hygienist NOT to give electric toothbrushes to my patients.”
Today I use the softest of toothbrushes. It’s a special surgical one from my dentist, softer than any toothbrush you can buy in a store.
Nadine Artemis writes in Holistic Dental Care: The Complete Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums that your toothbrush should look new after six months. That’s how softly you must brush! If it’s worn down with flattened bristles, you’re brushing too hard.
Never use an electric toothbrush!
Healing Bones with Leafy Greens
My bones healed just as beautifully as my teeth — with my Energy Soup, Green Smoothies, and green juices.
I went through menopause in 1995-1996 (age 47-48). In the first five years afterwards — a 5-year period when women absorb very little calcium into their bones — I broke three bones in three years from 1998-2000.
My wrist (which is several bones not just one) fractured so badly that I needed surgery. The surgeon pointed out my porous bones to me on the x-ray. I clearly had osteopenia (mild bone loss). I spent two months in a cast from my hand to my shoulder, my arm locked in a rigid right angle.
Twelve years later in 2013, at age 65, I went for a bone density test. I’m in every single high-risk category for osteoporosis — skinny white female over-60 who’s never had a child and who drank and smoked heavily until her 40’s! Yet my bones passed top of the class for bone mineral density — absolutely no sign of osteopenia (which is the average for age 65) or osteoporosis (severe bone loss).
You really can reverse weak teeth and bones, with living greens. I’m living proof. I’ve never done weight-bearing exercise — I know I should! I walk my dog daily (about 2 miles, or 2.5-4 km). I also take a green powder supplement several days a week, such as freeze-dried alfalfa grass or barley grass, moringa leaf (Moringa oleifera), blue-green algae, spirulina, chlorella … I vary it.
I ate Dr. Ann’s fermented foods for only five years from 1992 to 1997. But since 1993 I’ve had blended greens about four days a week (or sometimes green juice). I blend my greens into Energy Soup or Green Smoothies.
I always eat LIVING greens every day — from a Sprouter, or my garden, or wild weeds. I love chickweed and lamb’s quarters (Chenopodium berlandieri, called goosefoot in South Africa).
Energy Soup is better for strong bones and teeth because it has seaweed for trace minerals, and bean sprouts for extra protein & minerals like phosphorus.
Do leafy greens work for me? I say YES. I’ve eaten cheese all my life. It never saved my teeth and bones. I don’t eat much, 2-3 thin slices and I’ll go days without it, sometimes months.
Yet the very first year I began to add Ann Wigmore’s living greens and fermented foods to my junk food diet, my teeth healed. Within a decade, on greens alone, my bones healed. Actually I could feel I had strong bones years earlier. But 2013 is when I went for the test.
This is page 5 of an 8-page Article. Please begin at Page 1 here, to fully understand how vitamin K2 gives you strong bones & teeth.
Clean & Feed with Green to Heal
It’s interesting that my other dairy addictions — like yogurt, ice cream, and chocolate — all fell away over the years.
Only hard cheese and cream — both sources of vitamin K2 — stayed with me. I personally believe that if you want a food, it must have some nutrient your body wants — excluding junk food, that’s addiction!
In my heart, I’m not happy eating cheese or cream. I don’t enjoy pushing a calf away so I can suckle on her mom. Mother cow certainly does not want me suckling on her!
I’ve seen all the cruelty it entails. Even with organic free range cows, where do the male calves go? As Joan Baez sang, “On a wagon bound for market, there’s a calf with a mournful eye.”
Off and on I may take a K2 supplement, about 600 mcg/week total. I’m not keen on supplements so it’s more off than on!
My experience — where I built strong bones and teeth *after* the age of 45 by eating living leafy greens — proves to me that any study which says we humans can’t absorb more than 200 mcg a day of vitamin K1, is NOT using blended and juiced LIVING greens, picked minutes before you eat them.
200 mcg of K1 will convert to, say, 20 mcg of K2. That’s 5-10% of our daily K2 requirement of 100-200mcg/day.
There’s obviously synergistic co-factors in eating LOTS of LIVING greens. These secret phytochemicals help with absorption of K1, and with converting K1 to K2. No one’s researched it yet. But I and Dr. Cursio in the 1930’s know it to be true. The great apes and bison are on our side! They feed their bones and teeth living greens.
If you buy your greens from the store — so they’re not growing in the moment you eat them — and if you eat salads, then I can’t say it will work. The leafy greens must be alive and they must be eaten in huge quantity that only juicing and blending give you.
Your juicer and blender break down the chloroplast membranes where K1 is locked in. They release it for absorption.
LARGE amounts & LIVE, that’s the secret of my slogan: Clean & Feed with Green to Heal ?
Second Anecdotal Study Questions the Research
It’s fascinating. As soon as blenders hit the US domestic market in the 1930’s, a natural hygiene (raw vegan) medical doctor, Dr. Christopher Gian-Cursio, discovered that vegans need blended leafy greens for their teeth and bones!
Dr. Cursio worked in upstate New York with the vegan Penepent family over several generations. He discovered in the children that, by giving them blended leafy greens, he reversed teeth and skeletal problems.
In a 1976 interview with Dr. Stanley Bass, Dr. Cursio reports:
“Then I made my shift into more green stuff, blended salads early. I saw the difference. The children were better. Instead of pigeon-chested or chicken-chested, they were fine-chested. … I don’t think there’s a dental carie in the whole group.
We have here problems that came up in the children when I followed the strict fruit program with nuts, and minimal amounts, compared to what I use now, of green stuff.
These children, the skeletal development wasn’t right, the dental arches were not well-formed, teeth came in crowded because of it.
It was only after adding green stuff that I started to see in the pregnancies that followed, and also in the children that were grown, that came from these pregnancies, the difference.”
Pigeon-chested means they had skeletal deformity, so long as they were vegan WITHOUT blended greens. When they ate blended leafy greens, their bones healed and grew normally.
The 2002 McKeown study says it’s impossible. They claim you absorb a maximum of 200 mcg a day of K1 from food, at which point blood levels plateau. So even if you eat blended salads, you don’t absorb more than 200 mcg of K1 from them. Therefore you can’t get enough K1 to convert to K2.
Dr. Masterjohn uses this study to conclude: “we cannot support our skeletal system with vitamin K1 regardless of how efficiently we may be able to convert it to vitamin K2.”
I DISAGREE. I say, swamp your body with K1 and ALL its cofactors that accompany it in a living green leaf. Carboxylase will use it in the absence of K2. Who knows, perhaps your body doesn’t even waste energy on converting K1 to K2? Since K1 is just as good as K2 at switching carboxylase on.
Your body is INTELLIGENT. If a metabolic pathway does not work, it will find another way to do the same thing. All biochemists know this. If you don’t eat enough unsaturated fat to fill all the positions in your cell membranes, your body will use saturated fat instead.
In 2003 Braam et al. gave K1 supplements of 1 mg/day (1,000 mcg) to women aged 50 to 60. It “retarded postmenopausal bone loss by 35-40% during the entire three-year study period.”
At 10% absorption, and a 10:1 conversion rate of K1 to K2, their 1 mg of K1 gives only 10 mcg of K2/day. Not enough to activate osteocalcin. Yet it’s obvious the osteocalcin WAS being activated!
Granted it was a supplement, and the other research refers to food. I still say it’s proof that K1 goes a lot further than the scientists say it can.
Dr. Cursio’s multi-generational vegan patients, and myself, prove that leafy greens (K1) build strong bones and teeth.We are living proof that the body converts K1 into enough K2 (or uses K1 itself) to whip osteocalcin into action — so that it deposits calcium into bones and teeth.
When researchers claim you can’t do it, I reply: “next time study LIVING greens.”
Animals prove to us you can do it. Most animals are thriving on a high leafy-green diet — unless you’re a polar bear, arctic fox, or tropical big cat.
I bet those lions chew on grass just like my cat Peaches!
Food Sources of Vitamin K1
The message is clear. Blend, juice, or steam a big quantity of leafy greens daily. You already know you must do that for vitamin A. Salads won’t work, you’d be chewing for hours!
Davis & Melina recommend you eat 600 grams of leafy greens a day. That’s 21 oz, say 1-1/3 lbs. Dr. Joel Fuhrman says a pound a day. And Victoria Boutenko advises on her DVD Greens Can Save Your Life to eat two big bunches a day, which weigh a lot more than a pound!
You can eat this much only when you blend, juice, or cook them.
I find it impossible to eat so many greens! My average is 300g a day. All my greens are ALIVE when I eat them, so I absorb a lot more. It’s not what you eat, it’s what you absorb.
Remember that K1 is tightly bound to the leaf’s chloroplast membrane. It’s not very bio-available. When you break the membrane — by juicing, blending, steaming, or fermenting — you set the K1 free.
You recall that fat helps with absorption? You absorb 5% of the K1 in cooked spinach. When you add fat to the spinach, it goes up to 13%. The K1 dissolves into the fat.
|Leafy Green||Vitamin K1 in mcg|
|Green powders (1 tsp)||95+|
|Lettuce, red leaf||39|
Dandelion greens contain 778.4 mcg per 100g (3.5 oz) — that’s 741% of the daily K1 you need.
This chart convinced me to eat a lot more amaranth leaves! Amaranth is so easy to grow as micro-greens in an indoor Sprouter, or outside in your garden into bigger leaves. They taste just like amaranth ? They don’t have the strong taste of parsley or mustard.
Amaranth grain sprouts are the most vile tasting sprouts on earth! Imho. I’ve yet to meet someone who enjoys them. But as leafy greens, they’re quite sweet, especially when young.
Do you see how the darker the green (that is, the more chlorophyll it has) the more K1 in it? Remember the K1 is in the chloroplast.
Leafy greens are a critical source of K1 and beta-carotene, to convert to K2 and vitamin A. It’s the reason why greens and sunshine (vitamin D) are the best way to heal a broken bone.
Are you good at converting K1 to K2? Only blood tests will tell. Remember the older you are (over 60) or the younger (under 7) the harder it is for you to convert plant nutrients into the animal form your body needs.
Focus on *Living* Greens
The more alive the green, the more K1 it has. The plant uses K1 for its energy production, in photosynthesis. When you pick it, it stops producing energy, so the K1 levels fall.
Dr. Price noticed that the more rapidly the grass is growing (that is, the greater its energy needs) the more K2 the cows will produce (that is, the more K1 in the grass).
You absorb more nutrients from a living plant than a dead one — because all co-factors are in synergistic balance in a living food. Lettuce loses 60% of its vitamin C within 24 hours of picking.
Is vitamin C needed to absorb K1, or to convert it to K2? We don’t know!
I dislike the way cooking destroys the energy in leafy greens. It’s dead food to me. My first choice is to blend or juice my greens, or munch on a raw salad.
In my experience, the best thing you can do for your health is to focus on living foods — food that is still growing when you eat it.
Bottom Line for Vegans
Are you vegan? In theory you can eat enough K2 in your diet daily, without turning to eggs, butter, and cheese.
You have four choices:
(1) Best & Easiest: Ferment your own veggies at home in a Fermentation Crock Pot — using a starter culture that the supplier guarantees will produce vitamin K2.
At this time, Dr. Mercola is the only one world-wide who guarantees that his Kinetic Culture will produce vitamin K2 in the quantity we need — 1.5 ounces (43g) of these fermented veggies will give you 209 mcg of vitamin K2 daily.
Body Ecology website told me in October 2013:
“We have not done any testing on vegetables made using our [Veggie Culture] Starter for K2 content. … We have no plans to conduct testing on cultured vegetables made using our starter for K2 at this time.”
This is page 6 of an 8-page Article. Please begin at Page 1 here, to fully understand how vitamin K2 gives you strong bones & teeth.
Food Sources of Vitamin K2
The next-best food sources of vitamin K2 for vegans and vegetarians [after (1) on the previous page]:
(2) Acquire a taste for a daily dose of slimy smelly natto — 3/4 ounce (20g) a day of natto will give you 200 mcg of K2 daily. You can make it yourself if you’re happy to boil soya beans for nine hours! A 2000 study found 1,103.4 mcg per 100g in natto. Absorption of K2 from natto is virtually 100%.
(3) Trust that a pound a day (600g) of blended, juiced, and lightly steamed greens will give you enough K1 for your body to convert to K2. It’s *very hard* to eat that many greens a day! I wonder if the people who advise it, actually do it themselves?
(4) Take a daily K2 supplement. Hopefully you already take vitamin B12 in a B-multi, and DHA/EPA algae oil. Now you can add K2. It goes well with the algae oil because K2 needs fat to be absorbed. See Which Supplement Is Best?
Women in Tokyo have stronger bones and fewer wrinkles (and higher blood levels of K2) compared with US women, and even compared to other Asian women in Shanghai and Bangkok. Research points to a single difference in their diet. In Tokyo they eat natto for breakfast., 
In regions of Japan where natto is not part of the daily diet, hip fractures are more common.
If you’re making your own natto, use small soya beans and a fresh batch of spores each time. Cultures for Healthmention it on their site.
Body Ecology website told me of their veggie starter culture (which has not been tested for K2): “We do not recommend reusing veggies from a previous batch to make a new batch as we do not find that the probiotic cultures transfer well.”
If you make natto, it’s best to give yourself a natto break for 2 days over the weekend. Never eat the same food or supplement every single day! Ann Wigmore advised, even with wheatgrass juice, to give yourself a break of two consecutive days a week.
When you limit your diet, that’s when problems arise. The more you limit your diet, the more likely you’ll suffer from deficiencies. That’s why raw vegans and fruitarians are at highest risk of deficiency.
Dr. Fuhrman now advises to give children an animal product once or twice a week, such as liver (for vitamin A) and fatty fish like sardines (for DHA/EPA & vitamin D) and eggs (for vitamins A, D, K2 & B12). He does not mention it in his book Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right, but I’ve heard him say it in a later interview.
Fermented Dairy: Vegetarian Source of Vitamin K2
Dairy food (100g) Vitamin K2 in mcg Hard Cheese (like Dutch Gouda) 76.3 (mostly MK-7) Soft Cheese (like French Brie) 56.5 (mostly MK-7) Curd Cheese 24.8 (mostly MK-7)
A 2007 study found that Norwegian Jarlsberg and Swiss Emmental are highest in K2, while Gruyère cheese has virtually none.
You see how you simply don’t know? Three hard cheeses, two with K2 and one with none. Actually their K2 isn’t that hot — 20-65 mcg per 100g (200-650 ng/g). Three and a half ounces (100g) is a LOT of cheese to eat just for 20 mcg of K2. That’s one-tenth your daily K2 need.
Rather stick to 1.5 ounces (43g) of fermented veggies made with Kinetic Culture, where you get 209 mcg of vitamin K2!
Since Dutch Gouda and Brie have K2, it follows that Brie’s close cousin, Camembert, may have K2 too. US cheddar has virtually none — 10.2 mcg per 100g.
Cheese really doesn’t have that much K2, compared to natto. Even at 76 mcg K2 per 100g, you’d need to eat 9 oz or half a pound (1/4 kg) of Emmental or Gouda a day to meet your K2 needs of 200 mcg a day!
That’s far too much animal protein. This is the problem with dairy products. Milk is made by Nature to rapidly grow a baby calf of 30 kg (66 lbs) into a 700 kg cow or steer (1,540 lbs) in 3-4 years. Is your goal to weigh 1,540 lbs in four years time?
The longer the milk is fermented, the more K2 it’s likely to have. Yogurt, like milk itself, has almost no K2 (1 mcg per 100g). That’s because it’s fermented for only 24 hours. I’m guessing it’s the same for kefir, it won’t have much K2 — though probiotically it’s a healthier choice than yogurt.
Hard cheese is fermented the longest, typically two months or more. I buy hard cheese locally that’s fermented for a year!
The cheese can be from free-range grass-fed cows or from confined grain-fed cows (hopefully you avoid confined). This is because the K2 is from the bacteria fermenting the cheese, not from the original milk.
Vitamins K1 and K2 are heat stable, though K2 may be sensitive to light. The K2 in butter, cream, and cheese is still present after it’s pasteurized. Ditto for K1 in steamed leafy greens.
Non-fermented Dairy: Vegetarian Source of Vitamin K2
The fat in butter, cream, and egg yolk is a source of K2 (MK-4 form) so long as the animal is grass fed.
They must be from free-range, grass-fed cows and chickens because the K2 is synthesized by the animal from the K1 in greens like grass and lucerne.
They store their K2 in fat-rich tissue such as organs (especially the brain) and milk. The K2 is in the fatty cream, very little is in the milk.
Dairy food (100g) Vitamin K2 in mcg,  Egg Yolk 32.1 (mostly MK-4) Butter 15.0 (100% MK-4) Whole Milk 1.0 (100% MK-4)
Do you see you’d need to eat six eggs a day? I heard Dr. Mercola say in an interview that he eats 7-8 raw egg yolks a day.
It’s best to eat egg yolks raw. The worst is scrambling them. This oxidizes their cholesterol. Susan Schenck advises to whip the raw yolk into freshly squeezed orange juice. I tried it but my body doesn’t enjoy egg. I stopped eating eggs in 1972, more than 40 years ago.
With pure undyed butter, the more richly yellow or orange it is, the more K2 it has.
The studies do not list cream. I calculate a half-pint (250 ml) of cream will give you just on 13 mcg of K2. Butter is churned-up cream. One gallon of cream gives 3 pounds of butter.
To avoid additives like coloring, flavoring & salt, you can easily whip up your own butter with an electric mixer, and freeze it for up to three months.
Dr. Kate mentions that the animal needs to be out in pasture for only a few hours a day for it to get enough K1 to convert to K2.
Problem is pasture-raised does not mean 100% grass fed. Most dairies milk their cows twice a day and at the same time may feed them a soya-corn-grain mix to produce more milk — just as free range chickens are given layer mash to produce more eggs.
Then the good dairies let their cows out to pasture. But the cow is already full of grains from breakfast so may not eat that much grass.
You really need to visit the farm, before you trust labels like free range, organic, pasture raised, and grass fed.
These are marketing labels to sell more product. Find out the truth behind the label.
Take a few moments to read John Robbins article: The Truth About Grassfed Beef, where he writes that organic is not grassfed, and:
“The sad reality is that almost all the organic beef and organic dairy products sold in the U.S. today comes from feedlots.
…Grass-fed does not mean organic. Pastured animals sometimes graze on land that has been treated with synthetic fertilizers and even doused with herbicides. … It also comes to you via the slaughterhouse. … their deaths are often just as terrifying and cruel.”
I’ll be honest with you. I go through stages when I crave cream. I’ll have it in my daily cup of chicory-coffee (half-chicory half-coffee, both organic).
Then I feel bad for the mother cow. I know I’d never crawl under her and suck on her breast. And I’d never steal her calf from her, to make room for me to suckle.
I go back to making cashew milk. That’s one cup of water blended with half a cup of soaked cashews. If it ferments before you drink it all, it’s even better!
Should You Supplement?
Dr. Kate believes every vegan or high-vegan person should either eat natto daily, or take a K2 supplement.
Since she wrote her book, we now also have the option of Dr. Mercola’s Kinetic Culture for fermented vegetables rich in K2.
Dr. Kate advises pregnant women to definitely supplement, to avoid teeth and dental arch problems in your child. At the other end, menopausal and post-menopausal women have a higher need for K2.
Children metabolize bone at a quicker rate than adults, so they need K2 in bigger quantities. Adequate intake of K2 during infancy may protect against mental retardation, seizures, and cerebral palsy.
The problem with supplements:
- You don’t know what dose to take for your unique biochemistry.
- You don’t know what ratio is needed in relation to other co-factors, both known (like A and D to K2) and unknown. Women with high vitamin D but low vitamin K intakes have a greater risk of hip fracture.
- Supplements cause excesses and deficiencies in your metabolic pathways — deficiency when co-factors are stolen from other pathways to help absorb & utilize the supplement you just took.
- They make your body lazy and hence weaker. If you take K2 your body may stop converting K1 to K2, or if you take DHA/EPA your body may stop converting ALA (in chia, flax and hemp) into DHA.
- The supplement is only part of the story. Scientists estimate there may be 10,000 undiscovered phytochemicals we need for our health (phyto=plant). Who knows? It could be ten million!
Does any supplement contain a whole living leafy green? No!
Dr. Cursio and I found that blended leafy greens heal and prevent cavities, and build strong bones, in young children and myself, a senior woman — the very categories who are not able to do conversions easily.
What’s going on with leafy greens? We don’t know. We just know they work! Countless species of animals know they work too.
What co-factor will we discover next? When you eat whole living plants, you know you’re getting every nutrient you need in perfect synergistic balance.
Let’s not forget, you’re also eating information when you eat a living plant. Energy carries information. The energy of a living plant carries information to your living cells. Dr. Gabriel Cousens discusses one way this could work in his 2005 book, Spiritual Nutrition: Six Foundations for Spiritual Life and the Awakening of Kundalini.
Phew, we know just a fraction of what’s going on in a single human cell, so tiny it’s invisible to your naked eye. Millions of metabolites are interacting with each other. What do we know of an entire human being?
Or what about the molecules swirling around every metabolite? Do you know, water constitutes 99% of the molecules in your body? Most of the water is in a structured crystalline form, H3O2, if your cells are in a healthy negatively-charged state. Raw living plants contain this same crystalline water. So does glacial melt.
No one has studied this water yet. I’m going to repeat that. Virtually no research has been done on 99% of the molecules in your body. Dr. Gerald Pollack believes these molecules are the very basis of health. Read my discussion with Dr. Pollack here.
Shall we bring a dead supplement into such a miraculous living complexity? Yes, I do. But understand it’s a nano-fraction of the story.
This is page 7 of an 8-page Article. Please begin at Page 1 here, to fully understand how vitamin K2 gives you strong bones & teeth.
* * * * * * * * * *
Occasionally I take a K2 supplement because I’m high-vegan and approaching 70. It gets tougher to convert nutrients as you age. I don’t want a broken hip or a calcified heart valve that can’t open properly. My late mom suffered from a weak heart valve muscle in her 80’s.
If I were younger, I’d continue to rely on blended & juiced leafy greens, fermented vegetables made with Kinetic Culture, and grain milks. I’d exercise more vigorously. I’d trust in body strength, and variety in diet, to do the conversions.
By the way, K2 reduces wrinkles ? Dr. Kate cites studies that lead her to state:
“When it comes to skin, it seems that a K2 deficiency might be written all over your face. … This new data about what causes skin to sag show that K2 plays a major role in maintaining a smooth, supple complexion.”
Perhaps that’s the reason why everyone who juices and blends leafy greens has such a soft smooth skin? Everyone remarks on how my skin is more like a teenager’s.
I’ve received feedback from my readers since 1998 — those who are sprouting their micro-greens — how soft their skin is.
Which Supplement Is Best?
Currently there’s no way to test whether you’re getting sufficient K2 or whether you should take a supplement.
Commercial labs don’t yet offer tests to measure K2 deficiency. Dr. Kate’s website is a good place to stay updated on testing.
Dr. Kate discusses several tests in her book. A likely test will be to compare the amount of undercarboxylated (inactive) osteocalcin in a blood sample, either to the total amount of osteocalcin or to the carboxylated (active) osteocalcin in that sample.
Dr. Kate writes in her book:
“Given that … vitamin K2 deficiency is common and there are no known side effects of taking vitamin K2, the average person needn’t bother with undercarboxylated osteocalcin testing. Just focus on a diet that includes grass-fed foods, fermented dairy products and natto, or take a K2 supplement if your daily diet is lacking menaquinone-rich foods.”
An optimal dose of K2 will depend on whether you’re taking A and D. If you are, then you’ll need more K2. Dr. Jack Kruse advises to take 200 mcg of K2 for every 1,000 IU of D3.
The main K2 supplements are MK-4 and MK-7. Both are usually vegan. The MK-4 is either synthetic (typically made from tobacco extract) or the one I take originates from yeast. It would be too expensive to extract it from grass fed butter or egg yolk.
Clinical trials show that synthetic MK-4 works. It’s the form used in most of the animal experiments and in the Japanese osteoporosis studies.
MK-4 has a short half-life of a few hours before blood levels drop. This could mean you must take it three times a day.
Or it just means that tissues take up MK-4 more rapidly. There’s no known benefit to having it stay in your blood longer.
MK-7 from natto has a longer half-life of a few days in the blood. Dr. Kate advises a single daily dose of 120 mcg for stable K2 protection, and 240 mcg for older women.
If you’re allergic to soya, you may want to stick to MK-4 or try Dr. Mercola’s chickpea MK-7.
Dr. Mercola sells a 150 mcg K2 supplement (MK-7) derived from fermented chick peas. They’re not genetically modified.
Personally I alternate between a 100 mcg capsule of MK-7 by Solgar made from GM-free natto and a 200 mcg capsule of MK-4 from Solal, a company in South Africa where I live (not on amazon). I prefer to play safe and get both forms. Solal confirmed their MK-4 source is the yeast, Yarrowia lipolytica.
Since 1995 the Ministry of Health in Japan has approved 45 mg (4,500 mcg) daily of MK-4 for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.
Although Drs. Kate and Mercola agree that 200 mcg a day should be adequate, Adams et al. recommend a daily dose of 1 mg (1,000 mcg) each of both K1 and K2. Life Extension Foundation recommends 1,000 mcg a day of K2, and 9,000 mcg of K1!
A caveat: “preliminary evidence indicates that doses of 1,000 mcg per day of supplemental K1 may contribute to periodontal disease,” Masterjohn warns. It could cause oxidative damage in the K1-to-K2 conversion.
At the other end of the scale, the Rotterdam study saw the lowest risk of heart attack and aortic calcification in subjects who included more than 32.7 mcg a day of vitamin K2 in their diet. Big difference between 33 mcg and 4,500!
K2 is more bioavailable when you take it with fat. Of course, taking any supplement with food will boost absorption.
Form gives rise to function. Your heart and liver serve different functions based on their unique form. It’s the same with cells and molecules. So we know MK-4 and MK-7 must serve different functions. But we don’t know what!
The only anecdotal evidence I can find is in an Amazon.com review of Dr. Kate’s book by Michael A. George on August 14, 2012. He writes:
“I have yet to hear from anyone that the MK-7 supplements will dissolve the calcified plaque that forms behind the lower front teeth. In 2 days, the Thorne MK-4 supplement completely removed the krud behind my teeth. I was amazed by this. Ever since, I don’t need a teeth cleaning at the dentist. I had been taking the Jarrow MK-7 for more than a year without this dramatic effect.”
However, Dr. Mercola writes on his site of the MK-7 in fermented vegetables:
“I started incorporating them [fermented veg] into my own diet and after a little over a month of daily use, was surprised to find that this minor change has dramatically decreased plaque formation on my teeth, which has been a chronic problem for me.”
So there we go, both MK-4 and Mk-7 inhibit calculus buildup on your teeth. Saliva is exceptionally high in vitamin K2, as well as phosphorus and calcium ions to remineralize your tooth enamel.
If you’re taking any medication, especially a blood thinner (anticoagulant) like warfarin (Coumadin) which blocks the body’s recycling of vitamin K1, causing a K1 deficiency, you must advise your doctor of the K2 supplement. Dr. Kate writes:
“patients on oral anticoagulant therapy who take up to 50 micrograms of MK-7 per day have more complete carboxylation [activation] of osteocalcin without interfering with the effect of the blood thinner.”
Taking more than 50 mcg of K2 may interfere with your anticoagulant prescription drug.
What about vegan children? If you ARE eating Energy Soup, green smoothies, green juices, cooked leafy greens, fermented foods made with a K2-culture, and taking a vegan K2 supplement if needed, and your child still has teeth or bone abnormalities, then you need to seriously consider a non-vegan supplement.
Reportedly the best is butter oil and fermented cod liver oil from Green Pastures. An older child is better able to convert K1 into K2, and beta-carotene into vitamin A, so may not need the supplement.
Ramiel Nagel writes in his book, Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition: — where he recommends a lot of animal fat:
“I have found summer grass-fed butter to be highly effective in making teeth very hard, and in securing loose teeth in their sockets by strengthening the periodontal ligament … Sources for local butter from grass-fed animals are available at www.realmilk.com … The store brands that seem to contain the highest activator X [K2] content are Kerrygold from Ireland and Anchor butter from New Zealand.”
Remember, you can’t reverse a cramped dental arch. That happened in pregnancy. But cavities, or abnormally small stature in children, you can. Their teeth and bones are still growing.
How Dr. Weston A. Price Healed Tooth Decay
Dr. Price reversed tooth decay using cod liver oil (high in vitamins A & D) and butter oil (rich in vitamin K2). This not only stopped teeth from decaying, it also reversed cavities without any need for a dentist.
One 14-year-old girl healed 42 open cavities in 24 teeth by taking capsules of the two oils (cod liver and butter) three times a day for seven months. Her dentine actually remineralized, sealing what were once active cavities with a glassy finish.
Wow, the oils actually helped the dentin to grow and remineralize! This is amazing. Seventy years later, current research is still focusing only on calcium-phosphate ions to remineralize dentin.
The two oils also dramatically reduced the bacterial count in the mouth of Dr. Price’s patients.
Who needs a dentist when you’ve got A, D, and K2? But must you eat liver, butter, and fish oil? I don’t.
Listen to your own body-mind. You are not me ? You intuitively know what’s right for you today.
We are a green-eating species. For 90% of our history, we were mostly gatherers, and lesser so, hunters. Leafy greens are the easiest food to gather all year round.
We are also a non-materialistic species! The last thing a nomadic hunter-gatherer needs is a load of possessions to pull her down. This passion for products and profit — whatever the cost to life on earth — is a recent aberration in human history.
We’re a loving species. We love the cuddle chemical oxytocin. We love our family and friends. And our animal companions. They love us unconditionally.
Do you feel Consciousness calling you to evolve out of the cruelty of animal slavery?
Yes, vegans are the guinea pigs. There’s never been a multi-generational vegan society.
Yet now we know about vitamin K2, we’re one step closer to freedom.
This is page 8 (References) of an 8-page Article. Please begin at Page 1 here, to fully understand how vitamin K2 gives you strong bones & teeth.
A. References: Research Studies
1. Adams J & Pepping J. Vitamin K in the Treatment and Prevention of Osteoporosis and Arterial Calcification. Am J Health Syst Pharm. 2005 Aug 1;62(15):1574-81.
2. Bertassoni LE, Habelitz S, et al. Mechanical Recovery of Dentin Following Remineralization In Vitro – an Indentation Study. J Biomech. 2011 January 4; 44(1):176-181.
3. Binkley NC, Krueger DC, Kawahara TN, et al. A high phylloquinone intake is required to achieve maximal osteocalcin gamma-carboxylation. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002; 76(5):1055-60.
4. Bolland MJ, Grey A, Avenell A, et al. Calcium supplements with or without vitamin D and risk of cardiovascular events: reanalysis of the Women’s Health Initiative limited access dataset and meta-analysis. BMJ 2011; 342:d2040.
5. Braam LA, Knapen MH, Geusens P, et al. Vitamin K1 supplementation retards bone loss in postmenopausal women between 50 and 60 years of age. Calcif Tissue Int. 2003 Jul; 73(1):21-6.
6. Bügel, S. Vitamin K and bone health. Proc Nutr Soc. 2003; 62:839-843. Excellent article, well worth a read.
7. Cockayne S, Adamson J, Lanham-New S, Shearer MJ, Gilbody S, Torgerson DJ. Vitamin K and the prevention of fractures: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Arch Intern Med. 2006 Jun 26; 166(12):1256-61.
8. Elder SJ, Haytowitz DB, Howe J, et al. Vitamin K content of meat, dairy and fast food in the U.S. diet. J Agric Food Chem. 2006; 54:463-67.
9. Feskanich D, Weber P, Willett WC, Rockett H, Booth SL, Colditz GA. Vitamin K intake and hip fractures in women: a prospective study. Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Jan; 69(1):74-9.
10. Geleijnse JM, Vermeer C, Grobbee DE, et al. Dietary Intake of Menaquinone Is Associated with a Reduced Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: The Rotterdam Study. J. Nutr 2004 Nov; 134:3100-3105.
11. Hojo K, Watanabe R, Mori T, Taketomo N. Quantitative measurement of tetrahydromenaquinone-9 in cheese fermented by propionibacteria. J Dairy Sci. 2007 Sep; 90(9):4078-83.
12. Kaneki M, et al. Japanese fermented soybean food as the major determinant of the large geographic difference in circulating levels of vitamin K2: possible implications for hip-fracture risk. Nutrition 2001; 17(4):315-21.
13. Knapen MH, Schurgers LJ, Vermeer C. Vitamin K2 supplementation improves hip bone geometry and bone strength indices in postmenopausal women. Osteoporos Int. 2007; 18(7):963-72.
14. Li J, Lin JC, et al. Novel Role of Vitamin K in Preventing Oxidative Injury to Developing Oligodendrocytes and Neurons. J Neurosci. 2003; 32(13):5816-5826.
15. Lipsky, JJ. Nutritional sources of vitamin K. Mayo Clin Proc. 1994; 69:462-466.
16. McKeown NM, Jacques PF, et al. Dietary and nondietary determinants of vitamin K biochemical measures in men and women. J Nutr. 2002; 132(6):1329-1334.
17. Morishita T, Natsuko T, Makino T, Kudo S. Production of Menaquinones by Lactic Acid Bacteria. J Dairy Sci. 1999; 82:1897-1903. The five strains that produced K2 were Lactococcus lactis ssp. cremoris YIT 2007, YIT 2011, and YIT 2012, Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis YIT 2027, andLeuconostoc lactis YIT 3001. Of these, the only two that acidified the reconstituted NDM were YIT 2011 and YIT 2012.
18. Nagai, T. Bacteriophages of Bacillus subtilis (natto) and Their Contamination in Natto Factories. Bacteriophages, Dr. Ipek Kurtboke (Ed.), ISBN: 978-953-51-0272-4.
19. Schurgers LJ, Vermeer C. Determination of phylloquinone and menaquinones in food. Effect of food matrix on circulating vitamin K concentrations. Haemostasis 2000 Nov-Dec; 30(6):298-307.
20. Schurgers LJ, Teunissen KJF, Hamulyák K, et al. Vitamin K-containing dietary supplements: comparison of synthetic vitamin K1 and natto-derived menaquinone-7. Blood 2007; 109:3279-83.
21. Shewry PR, Halford NG, et al. The structure and properties of gluten: an elastic protein from wheat grain. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2002 Feb 28; 357(1418):133–142.
B. References: Web Articles
22. Archer, Val, Raw Food Recipes. Gives you links to all recipes mentioned in this article, and to Ann Wigmore’s Chart for Raw & Living Foods, and Avoid Altogether Foods.
23. Archer, Val, Stop Toothache and Root Canals! How to Cure Tooth Ache & Bleeding Gums. Gives details of how I healed my own teeth from a lifetime of cavities & pain.
24. Bass, Dr. Stanley S., Vegan Diet Dangers. Dr. Bass’s 1976 interview of natural hygiene doctor Dr. Christopher Gian-Cursio re. Dr. Cursio’s multi-generational work with the vegetarian Penepent family in upstate New York in the 1930’s (extracted from the booklet “With Three Generations of Vegetarian Hygienists”). This is the only multi-generational study of vegans I’ve found to date. I emailed numerous vegan leaders, families & organizations asking if they know of any other.
25. Brown, Dr. Susan E., PhD, Vitamin K Benefits for Heart And Bone Health. Cites research showing the role vitamin K2 as MK-7 plays in keeping calcium in the bones and out of the arteries.
26. Davis, William, MD, Protecting Bone and Arterial Health with Vitamin K2. Article in Life Extension Magazine, March 2008. Cites 21 research studies.
27. Faloon, William, Protection Against Arterial Calcification, Bone Loss, Cancer, and Aging! Article in Life Extension Magazine, January 2009. Cites 69 studies. A must-read if you don’t read Dr. Kate’s book.
28. International Osteoporosis Foundation, Global Facts & Statistics.
29. Kruse, Jack, MD, Osteoporosis 2: The Vitamin K2 Story.
30. Masterjohn, Chris, PhD, On the Trail of the Elusive X-Factor: A Sixty-Two-Year-Old Mystery Finally Solved. Article in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, Spring 2007. One of the most brilliant science papers of our century (in my view). Dr. Masterjohn (website: http://www.cholesterol-and-health.com/) shows how vitamin K1 in rapidly growing, green grass is the precursor to Activator X (discovered by Dr. Weston Price in the 1930’s) while Activator X itself is vitamin K2. This paper triggered Dr. Kate to write the first book on K2, summarizing all K2 research to date.
31. Mercola, Joseph, DO, What You Need to Know About Vitamin K2, D and Calcium. Dr. Mercola’s interview with Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue, author of Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox.
32. Mercola, Joseph, DO, Why Your Gut Flora Powerfully Dictates Whether You’re Healthy or Sick.
33. Mercola, Joseph, DO, Why Cholesterol is Essential for Optimal Health, and the Six Most Important Risk Factors of Heart Disease. Dr. Mercola’s interview with Dr. Chris Masterjohn. Well worth a listen because Dr. Masterjohn is an expert on vitamin K2.
35. Wikipedia: Natto.
37. Wikipedia: Vitamin K.
C. References: Websites
39. www.betterbones.com – Dr. Susan Brown’s whole-body approach to bone health that reaches beyond the estrogen and calcium myths to truly support healthy bone growth and regeneration through nutrition and lifestyle. Osteoporosis is not inevitable, and it is never too late to support and rebuild bone naturally.
40. www.healingteethnaturally.com/sitemap.html. Vegetarian and naturopath Ulla Schmid’s info-rich website on healing teeth & gums naturally. More comprehensive than any book I’ve found, and it’s all free!
41. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. Produces the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. At time of writing, it’s Release 28 (2015).
* Wikipedia: Vitamin K2 claims that animal livers are a rich source of K2, but USDA do not mention liver in their MK-4 list. Elder et al. say chicken liver has 14 mcg per 100g.
42. www.vitamink2.org. An International Community founded to explore and understand the emerging role of Natural Vitamin K2 in human health. Resource for both medical professionals and non-experts.
D. References: Books
43. Cousens, Gabriel, MD (2005). Spiritual Nutrition: Six Foundations for Spiritual Life and the Awakening of Kundalini. North Atlantic Books. ISBN 1556434995. See chapter 10: “Bioenergetic Assimilation.” Website: www.treeoflifecenterus.com.
44. Davis, Brenda, RD & Melina, Vesanto, MS, RD (2010). Becoming Raw: The Essential Guide to Raw Vegan Diets. Book Publishing Company, Summertown, TN. ISBN 9781570672385. Websites: www.brendadavisrd.com/ and www.nutrispeak.com.
45. Fuhrman, Joel, MD (2010). Eat To Live: The Amazing Nutrient Rich Program for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss (Kindle edition with Video). Vook Inc. ISBN 9781936321292. Website: www.drfuhrman.com.
46. Nagel, Ramiel (2010). Cure Tooth Decay: Heal and Prevent Cavities with Nutrition, 2nd Edit. Golden Child Publishing, Ashland, OR. ISBN 978-0982021309. I don’t agree with Nagel’s diet of flesh & dairy, but his research is good. Website: www.curetoothdecay.com.
47. Pollack, Gerald H. (2013). The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor. Ebner & Sons, Seattle, WA. ISBN 978-0962689543. Website: www.faculty.washington.edu/ghp.
48. Rhéaume-Bleue, Kate, B.Sc., ND (2013). Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life. HarperCollins Canada. Kindle Edition. ISBN 978-1443427562. Website: www.doctorkatend.com.
49. Schenck, Susan, Lac (2011). Beyond Broccoli: Creating A Biologically Balanced Diet When a Vegetarian Diet Doesn’t Work. Awakenings Publications, Concrete, WA. ISBN 978-0977679522.
50. Wigmore, Ann (1986). The Sprouting Book: How to Grow and Use Sprouts to Maximize Your Health and Vitality. Avery Publishing, Wayne, NJ. ISBN 978-0895292469.
51. Wigmore, Ann (1985). The Wheatgrass Book: How to Grow and Use Wheatgrass to Maximize Your Health and Vitality. Avery Publishing, Wayne, NJ. ISBN 978-0895292346.