What is Vitamin K?

Originally identified as a fat-soluble nutrient required for normal blood coagulation, vitamin K is actually a family of similar compounds, which recent research reveals are also necessary for integrating calcium into bone and preventing its deposit within blood vessels. The latest research also indicates vitamin K possesses significant anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory actions.

In nature, vitamin K is found in the forms of vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and several different types of vitamin K2 (menaquinones):

K1, which is involved in photosynthesis, is produced by plants and algae, its highest concentrations found in green leafy vegetables. Primary dietary sources of K1 are leafy greens, such as broccoli, kale, and Swiss chard, and plant oils, such as canola and soybean oil.

K2 is produced by bacteria and also via the conversion of K1 to K2 by beneficial bacteria in the intestines of animals, including humans. Natto (fermented soybeans) is the richest dietary source of vitamin K2. Dairy products (milk, butter, cottage cheese, cheese) and egg yolk also provide small amounts.

K2 is more potent and has the widest range of activity. Far more active than K1 in both bone formation and reduction of bone loss, K2 is a 15-fold more powerful antioxidant than K1, and is also the form which has been found to protect against arterial calcification and the oxidation (free radical damage) of LDL cholesterol.

Protect Multi
Protect Multi with Vitamin K2

Finally, K2 occurs in numerous forms that vary in their activity. K2 can have a side chain between 4 and 9 units long. This side chain has a great effect on bioavailability. Shorter chain length results in shorter half-life within the body, thus limiting our body’s ability to utilize the vitamin. Both vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 in the form of menaquinone-4 have very short half-lives in the body, while longer chain forms of vitamin K2, such as menaquinone-7, have dramatically longer half-lives and much higher bioactivity. Because recent research has shown that vitamin K2, in the form of menaquinone-7, is the most potent and longest acting form of vitamin K2, many researchers now consider it to be the most important dietary form of vitamin K for protecting the cardiovascular system and promoting bone health.

In a massive European clinical trial following 4,807 subjects aged at least 55 over a 7-10 year period, researchers found that K2, but not K1, significantly reduced risk of cardiovascular disease by 57%, death from all causes by 26%, and severe aortic calcification by 52%. K1 provided no significant cardiovascular protection.

Read more about vitamin K in these following articles:


Vitamin K2—Keeps Calcium Out of Your Arteries and In Your Bones

The Heart Bone and Skin Health Benefits of Vitamin K

Vitamin K2 is More Important in the Fight Against Osteoporosis than Calcium

Live Longer with DHA

Researchers enrolled 34 volunteers, aged 39-66 years, half of whom consumed a half-teaspoon of DHA daily, while the other half received a daily half-teaspoon of olive oil for 90 days, in addition to regular meals. DHA reduced the number of small LDL particles by 22% and increased the number of large LDL particles by 127%. No changes were noted with olive oil. (Kelley DS, Siegel D, et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Aug;86(2):324-33.)

Please click here to read today’s article for more information on this health solution.

Are You Getting a Full Spectrum of Mixed Carotenoid in Your Diet?

Carotene Rich Foods

Unless you eat a wide variety of carotenoid-containing foods (tomatoes, kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, broccoli, etc.) you are probably not getting adequate amounts of the full range of carotenoid compounds— powerful antioxidants that protect our cells and tissues from the damaging effects of free radicals.

And even if you eat like a rabbit, because of natural factors like growing conditions, the carotenoid content of one piece of fruit or vegetable and another can vary by as much as three-fold!

Fact is, most carotenoids are much better absorbed from supplements than from food. But most multivitamin supplements don’t come close to supplying you with a full spectrum of mixed carotenoids, either.

Find out how you can make sure you’re getting a full spectrum of mixed carotenoids in the article, Caroteniods Are Better Absorbed From Supplements Than From Food!

To your health,

US Smart Publications

Take Alpha Carotene for a Longer, Healthier Life!

Carotene Rich Foods
A research team at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention followed more than 15,000 adults who participated in the Third Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, estimating the direct relationship between concentrations of serum carotene and death. The researchers compared the carotene concentration with death records and found that the individuals with the highest levels of alpha-carotene were more likely to be alive 14 years after they began the study, regardless of their lifestyle, demographics or other health risk factors. The team also linked higher blood alpha-carotene levels to a lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer, the two top killers in the U.S.

Click here to learn more

The Mystery of the Toxic Town!

Here’s a quick story…

In 2006, the residents of the beautiful coastal community of Esperance in Western Australia noticed that the local seabirds were inexplicably dying. This was not just a handful of dead birds, but thousands and thousands of birds. The local officials investigated and determined the birds were dying of acute lead poisoning. Needless to say, the community was concerned. Where was the lead coming from? Was the town’s population at risk?

Later, it became clear that the people were very much at risk. The dead birds saved thousands of human lives by alerting the people to a silent killer in their midst. You see, the birds functioned much like canaries in a coal mine, dying first so the people could see there was a problem.

Here’s what happened…

A few months before the birds began dying, the port of Esperance began receiving trainloads of lead ore from a mine about 500 miles to the north. At the port, the lead ore was transferred from rail cars to ships. Now, because Esperance is located on the coast and faces the Great Southern Ocean, it experiences strong winds for much of the year.

After months of investigation, including testing residents for lead contamination, it was determined that wind-blown lead particles had contaminated the town’s air, water, and food supplies. The entire town was slowly and unknowingly being poisoned to death with lead! Had it not been for the dying birds, and the discontinuation of the lead ore shipments, the ultimate affect on the people of the town would have been catastrophic.

And while this may be an extreme example, it still illustrates the point. Environmental toxins are everywhere and can infiltrate your body without your knowledge.

You don’t need to live near a lead mine or a windy seaport to be exposed to toxic heavy metals and other environmental toxins. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a more pristine and picturesque place to live than Esperance. But this story helps demonstrate the fact that no matter where you live, even if it seems pristine, environmental toxins abound. And if you do not remove them from your body, the affect on your health can be disastrous!

To learn more about environmental toxins and more importantly, how to remove them from your body, please read the article The Key to Surviving Toxic Heavy Metals!

To your health,

Us Smart Publications

Natural Solutions for Periodontal Diseases

CranberryAccording to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, about 80 percent of U.S. adults currently have some form of gum disease (periodontal diseases). It ranges from gingivitis, simple gum inflammation, to serious disease that results in damage to the bone.

Research has shown that there is an association between periodontal diseases and other chronic inflammatory conditions, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. For instance, the bacteria that cause periodontitis can travel through your bloodstream to the arteries in your heart, triggering a cycle of inflammation and arterial narrowing that contributes to heart attacks.

It’s not surprising that nutrition plays a key roll in oral health.  It is surprising how fast some nutritional supplements can benefit oral health.

Click here to read about a two-week study involving periodontal diseases and lycopene.

Cranberries also have a beneficial effect on oral health.  Click here to read about the many additional benefits of this wonder berry.