New research offers hope that a specific vitamin may be able to limit – and even reverse – heart disease.
These findings come from Dr. Leon Schurgers, who leads the heart research program at the world-renowned Cardiovascular Research Institute in the Netherlands.
His research shows that this vitamin – which most Western diets are seriously lacking – can slash your risk of heart disease by 57 percent.
Dr. Richard A. Passwater, Ph.D., is championing this research. Dr. Passwater was the first man to show that antioxidants could combat cancer. He was also the first to show that vitamin E may reduce heart disease.
“I read the research reports of Dr. Leon Schurgers,” says Dr. Passwater. “I knew this was indeed an important breakthrough in treating cardiovascular disease.”
Dr. Schurgers’s breakthrough offers a new understanding of the role of calcium in heart disease and how it may be a big factor in most heart attacks.
His study shows that this little-known vitamin can redirect that calcium to where it needs to go in the body and help to keep your arteries clear of plaque.
“We have shown that cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis have common pathways,” says Dr. Schurgers. “Studies show that calcium is linked to both diseases.”
Prior studies revealed the link between the two diseases.
“Lack of [calcium] in the bones makes them weak,” says Dr. Schurger. “But excessive amounts in the blood leads to cardiovascular disease.”
His latest research shows that Vitamin K2 can combat both diseases.
57 Percent Fewer Heart Attacks with K2
A diet rich in Vitamin K helps to get calcium into your bones while removing it from your arteries. If your diet is low in vitamin K, you get calcium deposits in your arteries. That leads to plaque and calcification and ends in heart disease and heart attack.
Headed up by Dr. Schurgers, the Rotterdam Heart Study followed 4,800 participants for seven years. The study showed that people who got plenty of K2 in their diet had 57 percent fewer heart attacks than those who didn’t.
The study also showed that plaque results when calcium leaves your bones and ends up in your arteries. This puts heart disease in a whole new light.
Vitamin K2 controls an enzyme called matrix GLA protein (MGP). MGP is a calcium-binding protein found in your bones. Research shows that lab mice that lack this protein die as a result of ruptured blood vessels – the result of calcium leaching from the bones and accumulating in the blood until the arteries become calcified.
Studies of people show that MGP is found near calcium in the arteries. And the Rotterdam study showed that people low in K2 are 57 percent more likely to have advanced atherosclerotic plaque.
The Wrong Kind of Vitamin K
If there’s a K2 there’s got to be a K1, right? There is. Vitamin K1 is found in leafy green vegetables like spinach.
Researchers at University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands studied 16,057 women for eight years. The women had no coronary heart disease at the start of the study. The study followed their intake of K1 and K2. The women getting K1 had 480 incidents of heart attack over the eight years. But the women getting K2 had nearly a 60 percent lower rate.
Researchers concluded that K1 had little effect on cardiovascular health. But K2 dramatically reduced it.
“K1 has little influence on cardiovascular health,” says Dr. Schurgers. “Natural K2 prevents arterial calcium accumulation.”
Five Delicious Dietary Sources of K2
Increasing your intake of vitamin K2 keeps your calcium where it should be: in your bones and out of your blood stream. Not only does that keep your bones strong, it also stops plaque from building up and leading to heart disease.
“Keeping calcium out of our arteries and in our bones is a great take-home message,” says Dr. Passwater. “The need for K2 seems straight-forward.”
So how do you get K2 into your diet?
Several reputable manufacturers produce vitamin K2 supplements at a very reasonable price. You can find these online. But as Hippocrates stated many centuries ago, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine by thy food.”
The best food sources of vitamin K2 include cheese, eggs, butter, chicken and beef. But, as always, be sure to choose organic, naturally raised animal products, like cage-free eggs, grass fed beef and pastured pork and poultry.[Ed. Note: If you’re relying on conventional advice to keep your heart healthy, you could be putting your life in danger. To discover the scary misconception that could be putting your heart health at risk… and how you can learn safe, effective methods for combating health disease… simply click here now.]