Supports healthy bones
Vitamin K dependent proteins in our bones have revealed this vitamin’s most important function is aiding bone development by acting as a regulator and director of calcium in the tissues. Vitamin K helps guide calcium towards the areas of the body where it is needed, such as the skeleton and away from areas where it could have a negative effect, such as the cardiovascular system.
Putting Calcium In Its Place
Are you taking calcium or vitamin D to keep your bones strong? If so, I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you. Let’s dispense with the bad news right away. In April 2011 nutrition researchers showed – for the third time – that women who take calcium supplements, with or without vitamin D, experience about 20% more heart attacks and strokes than women who don’t take calcium. Ugh. Millions of women take these supplements because they are proven to increase bone mineral density and lower osteoporosis and hip fracture risk. However, it seems that a portion of the added calcium that doesn’t reach our bones winds up clogging arteries, leading to heart disease. 
The good news is that other research has recently identified a nutrient that can safely guide calcium into bones and teeth, where we need it, while keeping the mineral out of arteries, and even clear away pre-existing arterial calcium deposits. This is the action of vitamin K2, a long misunderstood fat-soluble vitamin that works with vitamin D to put calcium in its place. If you are concerned about bone health, vascular health or just being healthy in general, understanding vitamin K2 provides a key piece to the nutritional puzzle of many health concerns.
Vitamin K2 was once abundant on our diets. Back when animals grazed on pasture foods like eggs and butter were brimming with vitamin K2. As factory farming took over and animals were gradually removed from the pasture, vitamin K2 levels plummeted and deficiency crept in. So how can you get vitamin K2 back into your diet? In addition to grass fed foods, certain cheeses, like Gouda and Brie, are very high in vitamin K2, as well as goose liver and a Japanese fermented soybean food called natto. If you don’t eat these foods on a regular basis, Natural Factors Vitamin K & D provides 120 mcg of vitamin K2 (as natural MK-7) and 1000 IU vitamin D in each softgel capsule. One a day is a good health maintenance dose for adults. Check with your doctor before taking vitamin K2 supplement if you are on warfarin-type blood thinning medications. 
Naturopathic Doctor Kate Rhéaume-Bleue is a natural health expert, speaker and frequent media guest. Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (Wiley & Sons, 2012) is her first book.