There has always been a suspected link between bone and heart health. To find links between heart disease and osteoporosis, researchers have looked at as biochemical processes, genetics, and common risk factors. Researchers have also studied how certain vitamins and minerals affect the human body and what their impact is on the heart.
Probiotics Influence Bone Mineral Density
A study that looked at the impact of probiotics on bone density found that probiotics increase bone density. Women taking a daily dose of 1010 colony‐forming units of L. reuteri 6475 has more bone density at the end of the study than those who took a placebo.
A Chinese study highlighted the role that healthy gut bacteria plays for women who are dealing with postmenopausal osteoporosis. The research suggests that when it comes to PMO, bone loss is closely associated with the health of one's immune system and gut.
They found that probiotics restore intestinal microbial diversity, which enhances the immune system and facilitates intestinal calcium absorption and the production of metabolites resembling estrogen. This suggests that the intestinal microbiota work as a key player in the pathogenesis of postmenopausal osteoporosis and can also be a new target for treatment.
Probiotics Linked to Improved Heart Health
You gut bacteria can improve your immune system and regulate your metabolism and mood, as well as increase your heart health. Animal studies have suggested that while eating, the metabolized chemicals from your gut bacteria awaken receptors in your blood vessels which then lowers your blood pressure.
This means it is important to eat both pre and probiotic foods.
There is a symbiotic relationship between gut bacteria and one's body. Chemicals in gut bacteria can alter blood pressure. When people have high blood pressure, their gut bacteria changes. But not enough is known to make any conclusions.
Additionally, a healthy gut microbiome can reduce arterial stiffness in women. There is some sort of connection between gut microbiota and blood pressure control in general. Because there is a possibility of modifying gut composition through one's diet and probiotics, This means that there could be related therapies for reducing arterial stiffness by targeting the gut microbiome.
Vitamin K2 Boosts Women’s Health and Reduces Bone Fractures
Vitamin K is known for its role in blood clotting. Vitamin K1 is mainly responsible for blood clotting, while K2 works along with calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D to help maintain the health of bones, teeth, the heart, and the skin.
Vitamin K2 also supports healthy immune function and depresses genes that can lead to cancer. It also works to boost women’s health. Vitamin K2 is a commonly missed nutrient for women’s health. Women often don't need a calcium supplement, but vitamin K2 channels dietary calcium where it should go. Also, without K2, people are not getting all of the benefits of vitamin D, and may even be putting themselves at risk from it.
When it comes to bone health, one study found a negative correlation between levels of vitamin K2 and bone fractures in children. The researchers also noted that it is important to maintain healthy levels of calcium, vitamin D and K2.
Vitamin K2 Is Important for Your Heart Health
Vitamin K2 deficiency causes symptoms of vitamin D toxicity, including inappropriate calcification of soft tissues, possibly leading to atherosclerosis.
Vitamin K2 has been shown to reduce cardiovascular health problems and mortality. People were followed for almost 10 years to determine whether consuming vitamins K1 and K2 were related to the calcification of arteries in the heart and coronary heart disease. The results showed that the participants with higher intakes of vitamin K2 had a lower risk of CHD mortality, all-cause mortality, and severe calcification in the heart. The consumption of vitamin K1 had no relation to those outcomes. The study suggested that an adequate intake of vitamin K2 could be important in preventing CHD.
Best Sources of Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 is clearly an important part of proper health. How much vitamin K2 should you take? Some studies suggest you only need 45 mcg per day. However, some recommend higher dosing, up to 180 to 200 mcg per day.
You can get healthy amounts of K2 by consuming 15 grams of natto every day or a small serving of fermented vegetables. If you ferment your vegetables with a starter culture that has been made with vitamin K2-producing bacteria, one ounce will provide you with around 200 to 250 mcgs. Vitamin K2 is also important if you take an oral vitamin D3 supplement.
Aim for 100 micrograms of vitamin K2 for every thousand IUs of vitamin D you take. That said, it may be hard to get enough vitamin K2 from your diet alone and you may need to take supplements. If you don't eat fermented foods like cultured vegetables, coconut, kefir, or sauerkraut, you will need to take a supplement.
Animal products like beef liver, milk kefir, pastured butter, cheese and egg yolks are good options for increasing your K2 consumption. If you do take a K2 supplement, make sure it’s MK-7 and take it with a fat such as avocado, coconut oil, or grass fed butter.
While it may not seem like bone and heart health are related, you can care for these parts of your body in similar ways. By consuming enough calcium, magnesium, K2, and vitamin D along with your probiotics and through the right foods, you’re on your way to protecting your bone and cardiovascular health.