Updated: Jul 25, 2019
We all know that our body needs vitamins for proper functioning of body and its maintenance. But have you ever wondered how? If Yes, this article could be the answer for your question.
We will take an example of one vitamin and will learn how does it do its job and what. But before that you must have some basic information about vitamins.
Vitamins are organic chemical compounds because they include the element carbon in their structure and sometimes referred to as co-enzymes, or co-factors. The basic function of vitamins and minerals is to aid enzyme function. Vitamins do not have any calories unto themselves in the way they are used by the body, and so do not produce any energy on their own. Different kinds of vitamins have different chemical structures. Vitamins are known as micro-nutrients because they are not required in large amounts.
Vitamins are classified as to their solubility in either fat or water. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble, while the B-complex and C vitamins are water-soluble. Water-soluble vitamins will not persist as long in the body as fat soluble vitamins, and so the risk of toxicity or overdose from vitamins in the class are rare.
Lets take an example of Vitamin K2 (Menaquinone) and understand what and how vitamin K2 be doing its job. Get excited !!
Prevent varicose veins
Regulates blood sugar
Prevent PolyCystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) - female fertility
Prevent kidney stones
Prevent calcification of arteries
Enhance brain health
Food Sources Of Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 is primarily available in egg yolk, fermented foods and grass fed animal products like chicken, mutton, pork and beef.
Matrix GLA Protein (MGP) and Osteocalcin
Vitamin K2 activates above two key proteins in the body.
Osteocalcin: once activated, it carries calcium and minerals into bones and teeth. It’s mostly responsible for the dental health and osteoporosis prevention-based benefits of vitamin.
Matrix-GLA: The non-bone and teeth benefits of Vitamin K2 are mainly tied to the action of the matrix-GLA protein. This protein is activated only in the presence of Vitamin K2.
The process is called carboxylation. Non-carboxylated matrix GLA protein, which is known to form as a result of Vitamin K deficiency, is associated with cardiovascular disease. It’s known to have actions in the kidney, and lungs too.
People with chronic kidney disease and those receiving dialysis are at risk of Vitamin K deficiency. One risk factor for kidney stones is excess Vitamin D. But the real problem is that Vitamin D creates a need for Vitamin K2. Patients with kidney stones secrete matrix-GLA protein in its inactive form. Vitamin K2 deficiency is a major cause of kidney stones.
Osteocalcin is carrier of calcium. It carries calcium to right parts of the body like teeth, bones. Deficiency of vitamin K2 may result in cataracts, stones in gall bladder and kidney as we learnt earlier. Less drinking of water isn't the primary reason for gall bladder / kidney stones.
If you are a non-vegetarian and eat meat, eggs, etc on a regular basis but you still have gall bladder / kidney stones, the reason could be your stomach is too alkaline or you are not having enough bile to absorb vitamin K2 from food or supplements.
Note: Now you have understood the importance of Vitamin K2. How it does affect out body and health. You can imagine how each and every other vitamin is very crucial to over all health. We cannot neglect the importance of taking balanced diet as per your current health status and blood parameters.