Vitamin K-2 and How to AVOID Calcifying Your Arteries

November 19, 2019 0 By William Morgan


– Hey guys. Okay, we’re back. It’s John Sottery. Today I wanted to present
episode number two of Leading Edge Health. And today we’re gonna talk a
little bit about vitamin K-2 but I wanted to just give
you 30 seconds of background, 30 to 60 seconds of background
on me before we get started. And I think we have a few
people that are joining. So the first thing, my background, I’m a scientist by training. I did my doctoral work at
Duke back in the 1980s, finished up in ’85. I’m focused on what I
call Leading Edge Health. And Leading Edge Health
is where you go out and you study scientific
literature and you follow the top researchers around the world. And you can try to figure
things out maybe 10 or 15 years before they become commonly known. So that’s one of my missions in life. I’m a little strange,
I spend a lot of time reading in the scientific literature. I read a lot on PubMed. I try to follow a lot of
the leading scientists around the world whether they’re at Yale or they’re at Harvard or they’re
at University of California at San Francisco, wherever they may be. You try to find who are the top people and then what can you
learn from their research. So I see Shawn has joined, that’s great. I see few other people here, that’s great. So when I’m talking
about Leading Edge Health for me I think of all
the people in my life and I think what do I know
that I might be able to share with them where that
knowledge might actually change their life or maybe
it would save their life. And that means a lot to me. So my focus when it comes
to Leading Edge Health is you want, I wanna try
to identify these things that are easy to do,
these small course changes that you can do and you
can actually avoid hitting the health icebergs
that can ruin your life, whether that be cancer
or Parkinson’s Disease or Alzheimer’s or prostate
cancer or breast cancer. We all live in a little bit
of fear that something’s gonna strike us down. And what I wanna try to do is
understand from the science what are they learning and
what can I do about it, how can I make smart moves, how
can I make things happen so. There’s a lot of brutal
diseases that are out there. So that’s step number
one is try to help people not hit the iceberg, help
people make smart moves and avoid the iceberg. Step number two is what can you do, what smart science can you do
to reduce your biological age. I mean, obviously your biological age, how many trips that you’ve
made around the sun, yeah, that’s pretty
much set in stone unless somebody comes up with
a working time machine. You have a certain number of
times you’ve orbited the sun but your biological age is very different, because let’s just think about
your arteries for a second. If you calcify your arteries, you can be 40 years old
but your biological age of your arteries may be
that of a 70-year-old. Or alternately, you can be 60 years old and you can have the
arteries of a 35-year-old if you make the right moves, and so that’s what we’re
gonna be talking about a little bit. You can influence that. So the topic today, before
I get into it a little bit I just wanna let you
guys know that everything that I’m gonna tell you
about is my opinion. I read the scientific literature, I follow the research, I try
to piece the puzzle together. I’m not providing medical advice. It’s up to you. You really need, whoever you listen to you need to vet the information. You need to do your own research. You need to dig into it a
little bit before you start making changes. Obviously you should
also talk to your doctor before you start making
substantial changes to your nutrition supplements, things like that. So we’re talking a little
bit about vitamin K-2. There are several different
forms of vitamin K-2. And the two most common
are the MK-4 and the MK-7. They differ in the
length of the side chain on the vitamin. We’ll get into that in a little bit. But why should you care about vitamin K-2? I’ll tell you why I care. The three things are really
cardiovascular disease which is the number one killer. And if there’s something that you can take that reduces the biological
age of your arteries, that will help you prevent and
avoid cardiovascular disease, to me that’s a big deal. The second thing is cancer. I don’t want to be diagnosed
with prostate cancer. I don’t want my friends to be diagnosed with prostate cancer. I don’t want my family
members to deal with cancer, so I’m always on the look out for things that have a beneficial
effect in terms of preventing cancer and like that. And the third thing is strong bones. I mean, as you get older
particularly for women after they go through menopause it
becomes extremely difficult to maintain the bone mass,
the bone strength and so on, so osteoporosis is a huge issue. Hip fractures for older folks
that’s absolutely brutal and that can be, it’s just a
road you don’t wanna go down. But also for older men as well. I mean, hip fracture can really destroy their quality of life. They can’t live at home, they
have to be institutionalized. It’s just a really ugly situation. So as I talk about vitamin K-2 the first thing I wanna talk about, I wanna tell you about three studies. I pick one that deals with
cardiovascular disease, one that talks a little bit about cancer, and then one that talks
about osteoporosis. But here’s the interesting
thing with vitamin K-2 and that is vitamin K-2 should
be getting a ton of press. It should be on 60 Minutes,
it should be on TV, you should be talking
about it with your doctor, but because science has
only happened, let’s say, in the last 11 or 12 years
it hasn’t made it through to that point yet. So the first study I wanna talk about is called the Rotterdam Study. It was done to Europe. There were over 4,000 subjects, and they followed them from
between seven and 10 years. And they wanted to look at vitamin K-1 which everybody, well everybody knows, you get vitamin 1 from
green leafy vegetables and they looked at vitamin K-1
levels of all these people. They looked at how much
they were consuming on a daily basis. And they also looked at
vitamin K-2 on a daily basis. And they broke the 4,000
people up into three sections: the top third, the middle
third, and the bottom third. Then they said okay, we’ll
follow for seven to 10 years and see what happens. And for the vitamin K-1
there was no correlation between their vitamin K-1
intake and the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. However, when it came to vitamin K-2, it was pretty interesting. So the high group only
got 41 micrograms a day of vitamin K-1. Now, if you’re not
familiar with micrograms that is 0.041 milligrams. It’s a tiny amount of vitamin K-2, but yet the people,
Wayne, thanks for joining and Dr. Bob Baron, I
appreciate you tuning again. It’s good to see you guys. So I was just talking
about the Rotterdam Study in real quick. 4,000 subjects, they followed
them for seven to 10 years and they really wanted to see
what the intake of the various K vitamins, how that would
impact their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. And as I said before K-1, no effect. They didn’t see any correlation
between their K-1 intake and the risk of dying of
cardiovascular disease, but when they looked at the vitamin K-2, the top group, the top third
that only got 41 micrograms a day, they had a 57% decrease
in their risk of dying from cardiovascular disease
over the next seven to 10 years. I remember the first time
I read the Rotterdam Study I was like, what? Why isn’t this on the news? Why aren’t people yelling
this from the rooftops? This is crazy. If you understand how
K-2 works in the body, it actually activates these
calcium transport proteins. And so it would make sense that
there could be a correlation between K-2 consumption
and your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease. So they also looked at the
calcification of the arteries of these subjects and the people
that were on the top third versus the bottom third had 52%
less arterial calcification. So that really spoke to me, it really jumped out of me like that. So we talked a little bit
about cardiovascular disease. Now I wanna jump over and
just talk about cancer. In this case it’s prostate cancer. And there was a study it’s called the EPIC-Heidelberg Study. I’m trying to think, that was done about eight
years ago I believe. And you might wonder
why the study was EPIC. It was a really good study
but EPIC stands for the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. They dropped the N ’cause it
was much cooler to be EPIC than EPICN. So again they looked at vitamin K-1 and they looked at vitamin K-2. And they said okay, we have 11,312 men and we’re gonna follow them for
about eight-and-a-half years and we wanna see if their dietary K-1 or if their dietary K-2
has an impact on the risk of dying from prostate cancer. Again, with the K-1, no
knock on K-1, you need it, but K-1 didn’t show any
effects on the development of prostate cancer either
total prostate cancer or prostate cancer that was very advanced. Yup, Bob, I will do that. Thanks for the, that’s coming up, yup. So they didn’t see an
effect, but with the K-2 when they looked at the risk
of getting advanced stage prostate cancer which
is a big killer of men like breast cancer is
a big killer of women, they saw an inverse
relationship between the amount of K-2 in their diet and their
risk of dying from advanced, I’m sorry, not dying, the
risk of being diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. So if you had high levels of
K-2, you ended up with a low risk of advanced prostate cancer. And if you had a low level of K-2, you ended up with a high risk
of advanced prostate cancer. In fact if you compare
the top quarter versus the bottom quarter,
sorry about the lighting, you saw a 75% reduction
in your risk of drying of prostate, I’m sorry,
I keep saying dying, in your risk of being
diagnosed with prostate cancer if you were in the top quarter
versus the bottom quarter. Again, we’re talking about trivial levels, a tiny fraction of a milligram
per day made a difference of 75% reduction in terms
of you being diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. And in fact of the 11,319 men, 268 of them were diagnosed over the next eight-and-a-half years
with prostate cancer and 113 had advanced stage prostate cancer which would be the biggest
problem and the least survivable. The third thing I’m gonna
talk about is strong bones. You need bricks, you need
calcium to build your bones. Everybody knows that. You see advertisements on TV,
they want you to buy Citracal or Osteo-Cal or whatever,
take calcium citrate to try to build your bone. There was a study done in
2013 and the journal is called Osteoporosis International. And in this case, they
actually had two groups. And these women were after they
have gone through menopause where your risk of losing bone
mass is much more pronounced, they gave them 180 micrograms
a day, so 0.18 milligrams. And they followed them
for a couple of years. And they wanted to find
out does this small amount of vitamin K-2, not K-1 but the
small amount of vitamin K-2, does that influence bone loss. Will they perform any
differently than the women that don’t have the K-2? And the answer was that the
women that got the vitamin K-2 even though it was a trivial amount, they ended up with significantly
higher bone mineral content, significantly
higher bone mineral density, higher bone strength,
and they also didn’t lose height as much as the other women. And it was pretty dramatic. Okay, so we talked about
cardiovascular disease, we talked about cancer, and
we talked about osteoporosis, how does it work? Well, I needed a calcium,
I said calcium bricks so I went into my son’s room
and I got a calcium atom. Actually it’s a white Lego. So what happens is that
you have these critical calcium transport proteins in your blood and in your bones. Two of the most important ones,
one of them is osteocalcin and then the other one is
matrix gla proteins, so MGP. And when those proteins
are created in your body, it’s like having, there’s
a point on the protein where it’s supposed to grab calcium, but it only has one carboxylic acid group so it’s like having a
finger but having no thumb. So when those proteins are
born they’re not activated. They can’t bind calcium ’cause
you can’t pick up a calcium with just one finger, okay? So what happens is vitamin
K-2 is actually a catalyst. And it goes through
some involved chemistry and then gets regenerated
but it actually carboxylates that portion on the protein. So now you don’t have just a finger, but now you have a finger and a thumb. You have two carboxylic
acid groups on that point on the protein and now you can chelate and you can transport calcium. And so if you think about it
you eat food that has calcium whether it’s dairy, whether it’s greens, you absorb it in your gut. It has to go to the
bloodstream to get to the teeth and to the bones. That’s where you need the bricks. The danger is do you calcify
your arteries or do you calcify your kidneys and end up with kidney stones or do you calcify your heart valves. So that’s the bad part. So you want your calcium
transport proteins to be carboxylated so that
they have a finger and a thumb and that they’re gonna
actually chelate calcium and transport calcium. And if that’s not the case
then what ends up happening is your proteins are
way under carboxylated which means they’re not active. And when they’re under
carboxylated you’re at risk for calcifying your arteries. You’re also at risk for
having very weak bones and having osteoporosis. And you also don’t have the vitamin K-2 which the MK-4 version
seems to trigger apoptosis of cancer cells which
is programmed cell death of cancer cells. So that’s why I think
vitamin K-2 is a big deal ’cause I don’t wanna see my friends die from cardiovascular disease. A good friend of mine, Bryan Wade, about a year ago had a
heart transplant operation up in Boston, and he’s doing awesome. But it’s really challenging if you damage your cardiovascular system. You put yourself in extreme risk of living a much shorter life. My feeling is everyone of us has children, we all have people in our
lives that are depending on us whether they be children,
whether it be your wife, your husband, and I don’t wanna see people be ravaged by disease if it
is potentially preventable and like that. So Bob’s question from before, where do you get vitamin K-2? It’s very good question. If you live in Tokyo you are
probably just doing great in terms of your vitamin K-2 levels ’cause the Japanese
eat a food called natto which is a fermented soybean dish. And natto is the world’s
highest source of vitamin K-2. The challenge is of course
that people that don’t live in Japan generally don’t
eat a lot of natto. Yeah, I knew, Bob, a little
bit about your background but I think K-2 would have,
in fact I knew another retired PhD who’s gone
through it and I got his cardiologist to read all the papers on K-2 and improve his calcium transport protein. Bob Baron had a question out there, and I think you definitely
wanna look into that. Hi, Jennie, thanks for joining. Hi out to Chicago. So natto is the number one
source of K-2 in the world but yet we don’t eat a lot
of fermented soybean dishes. And in the US, natto is not that popular. I’ve been told it’s an acquired taste, I’ve never tried it. So what’s food number
two if you wanna get K-2 into your diet? You wanna carboxylate your
calcium transport proteins, you don’t wanna die of heart disease. And that is another one that’s
probably not on your plate but maybe it is, and
that’s goose liver pate. Goose liver pate is the number
two source of vitamin K-2 in the world. And in fact if you read
Paul Jaminet’s book, the Perfect Health Diet,
they talk about the fact that France has lower cardiovascular
disease and you would expect and then the part of France
where they eat the most goose liver pate has
the lowest incidence of cardiovascular disease in all of France, which is kind of interesting. Okay, number three on the list, we’re getting to things
that you might actually eat like a little Chicago deep
dish pizza or whatever and that is cheeses. Vitamin K-2 is produced
by bacterial fermentation. And the bacterial
fermentation usually produce the longer chain length K-2. So the MK-7, MK-8, MK-9. That bacterial fermentation is key. So certain cheeses
depending on what bacteria is used to culture those
cheeses do have reasonable levels of K-2, not high
levels, not nearly what you get in the goose liver pate, and a tiny fraction of
what you get in the natto. And that’s the primary
source for a lot of people is the cheese that they
eat, but it all depends on what kind of cheeses that you like. And you can actually go out there and look and Google and see which
cheeses have more K-2 and which have less. Thanks, Karen. So another food that a
lot of people eat would be egg yolks, and egg yolks also contain K-2. I believe that’s the MK-4 version. Animals tend to produce the MK-4 which has four units on the side
chain and then bacterial fermentation tends to produce
the seven, eight, nine, and so on. So natto, which most people don’t get, goose liver pate, which
most people don’t get. So most of the people in the
US are relying on cheeses and on egg yolks. But if you think about it,
let’s say you were trying to be extremely healthy
for the last 20 years and you followed conventional
wisdom in terms of nutrition, they would have told
you do not eat egg yolks and do not eat cheese ’cause
those are bad for you. And yet those would be your
primary sources of vitamin K-2 that you can also
supplement with vitamin K-2. And one of the questions that
people come back to me a lot and ask me, it seems
like a weird question, but John, should I take MK-4
where I have four of these units on the side chain or MK-7? And the answer is really both
because they’re transported differently in the body
and they nurture different tissues in the body. MK-4 seems to be particularly
good for the brain, if you’re a male for the testicles. MK-7 seems to be key in terms
of concentrating in the bone and it helps you to
activate your osteocalcin. It also tends to concentrate in the liver. Hi, Ally, thanks for joining. I know one thing you might
be thinking is hey, John, I’m a vegetarian or I’m a vegan. How am I supposed to get vitamin K-2? You can get it by fermenting
your own vegetables if you’re in to that. So Dr. Joe Mercola, formerly in Chicago, I think he lives down at Florida now, he actually has done some
work looking at different bacterial cultures and seeing
which ones are really good at producing K-2. And I think they sell that
so you can actually make your own kimchi or you can
make your own fermented cabbage or whatever and you can get
all the K-2 that you need. Before I forget this a lot of
people around the world now supplement with vitamin
D3 and that’s a good thing because the only way
you can make vitamin D is photochemically in your skin. So you have to get a UVB photon
and it, I won’t get into it but you have six dihydrocholesterol. You have to break the ring. And a lot of people don’t get a lot of sun this time of the year
particularly in Chicago or Maine or Philadelphia because the
sun has to be relatively high in the sky for you to make vitamin D. When it’s low in the sky
the ozone layer filters out those wavelengths between
290 and 320 nanometers, and you can’t make vitamin D in your skin, so your vitamin D levels drop. So a lot of people think
vitamin D that’s a good thing, but the challenge is if you take vitamin D you’re gonna bring up the
calcium level of your blood. And that’s also a good thing
but you don’t want those bricks to end up in your arteries or in your, in your kidneys or on your heart valves. But I don’t know on the fermented
beets as a source of K-2. As long as the beets
originally contain K-1 I believe that’s the starting
precursor that the bacteria then convert into K-2. So I’d have to look into that
but that’s a good question. So given what you know about
K-2 and just to be clear, everything that I’m
telling you is my opinion. I’m not providing medical advice. I’m making you aware of things. I want you to go out and research them. I want you to vet them. I don’t care who tells you something, you should dig in to it before
you start to practice it. And the other thing is
anyone that takes warfarin which is a vitamin K
antagonist should never do anything to change their vitamin K intake. That means don’t start eating
three times as much kale or green leafy vegetables
because that’s gonna change your K-1. You also don’t wanna start
taking K-2 if you’re on warfarin unless you work with your doctor. So what happens is if you work with him he might say okay, take
the additional supplement. We’re gonna measure your INR
and we will titrate the dose of the warfarin. Because warfarin is a K-2 antagonist, they’ve done work in animals
and they show that when they put them in warfarin
they start to calcify their arteries which is pretty brutal. But if they increase the K-2
and then increase the warfarin, they can get them to decalcify. So to summarize quickly, you
wanna have thumbs on your calcium transport proteins
’cause if you don’t have a thumb on there, you
cannot chelate calcium and those proteins won’t work. As I start to wrap up I
would like to throw out there probably if it greens (mumbles), yeah, yeah, that’s a good point, Bob. Yeah, and you might be
better off instead of doing the leafy greens, you might
be better off supplementing with the K-2 and something
with both K-1 and K-2. I believe that you should
be targeting for somewhere between 100 and 300 micrograms
a day based on the data that I’ve seen. Right now as we speak there’s
a double blind randomized placebo controlled study
where they’re looking at vitamin K-2. It’s the MK-7 version. It is 360 micrograms. So they’re giving people
0.36 milligrams a day of K-2 and then they’re doing
multi-slice CT scans to look at the calcification
of their arteries. That data should be
available at the end of 2017. Now I’m guessing most of the
people that are on this video are probably not in that study,
but the I guess the question I would ask myself is
based on what you know about vitamin K-2 and based
on the work that you do when you look into it, would
you rather be in the group that gets the 360
micrograms of vitamin K-2 or would you like to be in the group that gets zero additional micrograms? And they’re the ones that
get to calcify their arteries or worse to prove that
in fact it is effective. So I only read you three studies, there are probably 15 or 20 studies. But I know if I went through 20 studies you guys would all be in a deep coma. So I wanted to offer, I’m happy
to take questions as we go. I’m just gonna, I wanted
to reference a few people. The first person is DR.
Paul Jaminet and his wife Dr. Shou-Ching Jaminet. They’re a couple of Harvard PhDs. They wrote the book called
the Perfect Health Diet which I think is extremely well-researched and extremely well-written. And to me that is the
most significant book that’s come out in health
over the last 20 years. It’s called the Perfect Health Diet. And another person I’d like to
mention is a young scientist Dr. Chris Masterjohn. Chris did his doctoral work at UCAN, did his postdoc and was a professor at Brooklyn College in New York. I think he left last month
in January just to go out and start providing content
for people that are trying to improve their health. And he has the best vitamin
K-2 resource on the web. So if you go to chrismasterjohnphd.com he’s done a great job pulling
together the research, translating it from the
scientific studies into english, so it makes more sense. I also wanted to say to
you I’m a big believer that if you get the right piece of information at the right time and you
make that course change, I believe way too many
people are hitting icebergs in their lives, health
icebergs that cause incredible amounts of pain for them
and for their families, and so I wanna do collision avoidance. I wanna try to figure out the
chemistry and the biochemistry around things that happen that
are good and do more of that and try to understand
the biochemistry around the bad things and try to avoid that. So if you know someone in
your life where they’ve had kidney stones or they have the
heart valves are calcifying, or they’ve done some CT
scans on their arteries and they have a calcium build
up, you might wanna share it. And ideally you share even
earlier on so that never happens. The best way to avoid hitting an iceberg is just never hit it. I mean, steer south and
get into warmer waters where you’re not gonna hit the icebergs. But if you do find this helpful, if you can click on the like button and share it with some
of your friends or some of the people that you know, I would very much appreciate that. If you want more content like this, if this is useful to you, please
go to my professional page on Facebook, it’s Dr. John Sottery. I’m the only John Sottery in the world. I don’t think they plan it
that way in terms of URLs but it worked out pretty well. And I would really like to
hear what you guys think. I’d love to see your
comments and questions. I will try to respond to them quickly. Subjects that you like to hear more about, things that you’d like to talk about, I would love to engage with you. And if there’s anything that
I know that might help you or someone that you love to
avoid cancer or heart disease or some of these things
that are just brutal, I have seen people go
through chemotherapy. I’ve seen people that were very close to me deal
with radiation treatment and deal with a surgery
and go through that. And it’s brutal, so I would
personally whatever moves I can make to steer away
from those icebergs, I’m gonna do that. I see a question from Bob. I have not read that protocol. Secondary progression of MS
with dietary interventions and is done from many others. That’s a good point, Bob, I’m
a big believer that says that most people have
inflammation in their gut, and when you have inflammation in your gut the junctions open up and things crossover that aren’t supposed to. So you’re supposed to get
individual amino acids coming across but if you can
get peptides or larger things coming across, the immune
system looks at those and says these are foreign proteins and starts attacking those. And so I think a lot of
autoimmunity comes back to people that had some kind of gut issue
and they have permeability, things cross over and then
your immune system is like your special forces. And when they target
something, if that pattern, if that sequence matches
something in your thyroid or if that sequence matches
something in your pancreas, you will get collateral damage that way. Now, I’m gonna look into this protocol. I’m not sure what the doctor’s getting out but I’m very interested
in learning more about it. If you guys have any other questions, but please shoot me a
comment, ask me a question, love to engage with you. This is the focus of my
life right now is to try to mind the 10.2 million articles that have been indexed on PubMed in the last 15 years
and find those little gems that you can use to potentially
transform your health. So I wanna thank everybody
for all the great questions and I wanna thank everybody for tuning in. And I really appreciate it. So until next time, thank you guys.