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Health & Families

Is K2 missing in your diet?

It is a challenge to get your daily intake of all the good stuff and researchers have noted that vitamin K2 is essential for warding off cancer, cardiovascular disease and promoting healthy bones, brain, and skin.

On July 15, a "who's who" of the cheese world, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), the National Dairy Council (NDC) and the Organic Trade Association (OTA), congregated in Washington, DC to discuss the nutritional benefits of cheese and the importance of increasing dairy product dietary requirements.

During the meeting, Sally Fallon Morell, president of nutrition education nonprofit the Weston A. Price Foundation, raised concerns about the proposed US 2010 Dietary Guidelines and stated, "We should be giving children more cheese" because "low intakes of vitamin K2, which is found primarily in egg yolks and full-fat cheese, are associated with increased risk of heart disease and cancer."

K2 (menaquinone) is far superior to K1 (phylloquinone) for health outcomes, concluded Dutch researchers in a study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2004.

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, "water-soluble chlorophyll is the most common form of vitamin K found over the counter. It is available in tablet, capsule, and liquid forms."

However you can also eat your K2 (keep in mind that freezing these foods could affect the vitamin K but cooking them does not): Natto (Japanese fermented soybeans), sauerkraut, dairy (hard and soft cheeses, raw egg yolks and potentially depending on the green production curd cheeses, butter and whole and low-fat milk), liver (foie gras, chicken, calf), salami, chicken breast and leg, ground beef, bacon, salmon and mackerel.  

Also, eating your K1-rich greens (kale, spinach, peas, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage or swiss chard) seems to be a good option for vegetarians as it is believed that your body can convert them to K2.

The blogger TheHealthySkeptic, explained,  "New research which expands our understanding of the many important roles of vitamin K2 is being published at a rapid pace. Yet it is already clear that vitamin K2 is an important nutrient for human health - and one of the most poorly understood by medical authorities and the general public."