Osteoporosis? Ask your gut bacteria to make you some vitamin K
Japanese doctors have been using supplements of vitamin K2 for a number of years now to treat osteoporosis. But it is not yet approved in this context within the EU.
Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin. Typically, vitamin K1 has been used with new-born babies to aid blood clotting. But its alter-ego, vitamin K2, seems to have a ‘more direct’ effect on bones according to Dr. Geeta Hampson, who is about to lead a clinical trial at the Osteoporosis Screening and Research unit at King’s College London.
Your bones are constantly renewed – the constituents breaking down and reforming. But cells called osteoclasts sometimes break the cells down faster than bone building osteoblasts can repair them. Vitamin K2 seems to be critically involved and previous research has shown Vitamin K is known to activae several proteins known to be important in bone formation.
Science was of the view that K2 was found in egg yolks and some milk products such as cheese and butter; while K1 was found predominantly in green leafy vegetables. Now it is clear that commensal bacteria in your gut actually make these vitamins for you, assuming you have a healthy gut, with the right bacteria present.
Historically, osteoporosis treatment was in the hands of GPs who who recommend you consumed more cows’ dairy and even took the dangerous drug HRT, known to increase the risk of cancer. Their advice is clearly questionable.
Cows’ dairy actually reduces the absorption of magnesium and can restrict vitamin D plasma levels. So what’s the Truth about Osteoporosis and keeping your bones strong whatever your illness?
Six simple steps to maintain strong bones
1. Avoid cows’ dairy,
2. Eat far more leafy greens,
3. Go in the sunshine every day and supplement with 2,000 IUs of vitamin D a day when you cannot.
4. Eat magnesium-rich foods (like nuts, seeds, vegetables and whole grains) or supplement. (Note – Alcohol depletes magnesium levels.)
5. Maintain a healthy gut – take a daily probiotic and eat live foods (See Heal Ur Gut for more information).
6. Try some light weight bearing exercise if you can. It is important – but this could be a problem, especially if you have brittle bones!
Vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin K and calcium from plants not cows’ dairy (with its saturated fat and growth hormones), or chalk from supplements. There is increasing evidence that calcium supplements are linked to heart problems and even cancer.
Stick to a simple, natural solution.