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IT TAKES A LOT OF GALL:
The Impudence of the Lowly Gall Bladder
Vitamin K2 - A Missing Link?
Written by Carol Petersen, RPh, CNP - Women's International Pharmacy
In 1925, an enterprising dentist, Dr. Weston Price, and his wife began traveling the world and documenting their observations of healthy, remote populations. They observed significant changes in tooth arrangement, and mouth and facial structure when people of various cultures strayed from their traditional diet and adopted the Western diet. Traditional diets varied greatly, but all consisted of animal protein and fat in the form of fish, fowl, land animals, eggs, milk and milk products, reptiles and/or insects. The Western diet introduced processed foods, sugar and grains. Narrowed mouths, crowded teeth, thin faces and smaller arches appeared in children whose parents adopted the Western diet. Dr. Price suspected that something specific was missing from the Western diet. He called this mysterious factor Activator X. He demonstrated that Activator X was prevalent in the meat and milk products of animals that grazed on green grasses. He even showed that these facial and dental abnormalities could be reversed in the next generation if Activator X was replaced in the diet. Finally, in 2006, Dr. Price's Activator X was identified to be vitamin K2.
Confusion with the K's
There are a number of types of vitamin K, but only two natural forms: vitamin K1 and vitamin K2. Vitamin K1 is present in leafy, green vegetables and is most identified with blood clotting. The drug, Coumadin™, works to prevent blood from clotting by inhibiting the action of vitamin K1. The effects of excessive Coumadin™ may be reversed by administering vitamin K1.
Vitamin K2 exists in a number of distinct active forms. The two most commonly seen are designated as MK-4 and MK-7. MK-4 is present in the organs, milk, eggs and cheese of grass-fed animals. MK-7 is most abundant in a bacterial ferment of soy beans called natto. It is also present in lesser amounts in other fermented foods. Vitamin K2 does not appear to share Vitamin K1's association with blood clotting.