Reduce your risk of atherosclerosis with two simple nutrients
(Naturalhealth365) Atherosclerosis, which occurs when blockages in the arteries restrict the normal flow of blood, can set the stage for a long list of life-threatening conditions – including heart disease, dementia, kidney failure, liver failure, type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.
Sadly, the American Heart Association plus many other conventional organizations like to characterize the exact cause as ‘unknown’ – leaving people with a feeling of hopelessness.
However, recent research shows that two natural nutrients, vitamin K and vitamin D, can work together to arrest the progression of atherosclerosis – thereby helping to forestall these conditions and prevent catastrophic events such as heart attack and stroke.
Bottom line: there really is so much we can do to help avoid unwanted consequences.
Warning about atherosclerosis: Stiff and blocked arteries are a grave threat to our health, but it is reversible
Atherosclerosis is caused by a buildup of fats and excess cholesterol – or plaque – in and on artery walls.
This accumulation of plaque can prevent sufficient amounts of nutrients and oxygen from reaching organs and tissues. In addition, a sudden rupture in arterial plaque (which causes most heart attacks) can trigger a potentially life-threatening blood clot.
Did you know? The liver is the most important detoxifying organ in the body. When the liver can’t effectively neutralize and dispose of toxins, they accumulate in the body. Two essential nutrients for healthy liver function are milk thistle and glutathione. These two ingredients - plus much more – are now available in an advanced liver support formula. Click here to learn more.
Along with the formation of harmful deposits of plaque, atherosclerosis also involves arterial stiffness and loss of flexibility. (In fact, atherosclerosis is sometimes referred to as “hardening of the arteries.”)
This undesirable brittleness can cause problems with blood flow and raise blood pressure, which in turn contributes to even more arterial stiffness – creating a vicious cycle of arterial damage.
While arterial stiffness is a result of aging, factors such as high blood sugar, inflammation and calcification (the excess accumulation of calcium in the arteries) certainly contribute to the problem.
Vitamins D and K play a crucial role in arterial health
Increasingly, researchers are exploring the unique partnership between vitamins D and K, and discovering exactly how these nutrients to work together to manage calcium levels and maintain arterial health.
Simply put, vitamin D promotes the absorption of calcium from the diet and helps to deposit calcium in the bones. Vitamin K, for its part, makes certain proteins in the arterial walls (matrix Gla-proteins) more resistant to calcium binding – meaning that it keeps calcium out of the arteries, where it could otherwise accumulate as harmful calcification.
Having insufficient levels of vitamin D, vitamin K – or both – can jeopardize the appropriate placement of calcium throughout the body and contribute to disease.
Studies have shown that low levels of vitamin D promote the development of heart disease, and are associated with elevated blood pressure and higher amounts of C-reactive protein, a biological marker of inflammation.
Similarly, people with insufficient amounts of vitamin K have been shown to have more arterial stiffness.
Supplementation can drastically improve coronary and arterial health
Two recent studies have shown that vitamin D supplementation helps to alleviate heart disease – especially in older adults, diabetics and people with low levels of the nutrient.
In one study, middle-aged, diabetic participants received either a placebo or 1,000 IU a day of vitamin D for a year. Researchers found that the vitamin D group experienced significant decreases in measures of arterial stiffness, while the placebo group enjoyed no such benefit.
Other studies have shown that giving vitamin D-deficient subjects 3,000 IU a day caused significant drops in blood pressure.
Supplementation with vitamin K paid health dividends as well, with one long-term placebo-controlled clinical trial showing that MK-7 (menaquinone-7, a specific form of vitamin K2) reduced arterial stiffness by up to 50 percent in postmenopausal women.
Finally, in a 2009 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vitamin K slowed the development of coronary artery calcification in older adults.
How much vitamin D and vitamin K should I take?
To promote cardiovascular and arterial health, integrative doctors may recommend vitamin D in dosages ranging from 1,000 to 8,000 IU a day.
Most experts advise taking the nutrient in the form of cholecalciferol — or vitamin D3 – which is the same form the body produces in response to sunshine. Cholecalciferol is believed to be 87 percent more effective in raising blood levels of vitamin D than the alternate form, vitamin D2. For best absorption, it should be taken with meals.
Like vitamin D, Vitamin K exists in two main forms.
Phylloquinone, or vitamin K1, is found in plant foods such as fruits and vegetables, while menaquinone, or vitamin K2, exists in meat, eggs, fermented dairy products and fermented soy. Interestingly, the body also converts a small amount of vitamin K1 into K2 through beneficial gut bacteria in the intestinal tract.
Although the National Institutes of Health advises 90 mcg a day of vitamin K for women and 120 mcg of vitamin K a day for men, many integrative healthcare providers maintain that this is not enough for arterial benefits.
For arterial health, natural health experts may recommend 1,500 mcg of vitamin K1, along with 1.000 mcg of vitamin K2. For maximum benefit, many advise 100 additional mcg of a form of vitamin K2 known as ”all-trans menaquinone-7,” reputed to be 100 percent biodegradable.
As always, consult with a doctor – that understands the value of nutrition – before supplementing with vitamins D and K – particularly if you have a history of heart disease or clotting issues.
Yet again, research is revealing the ability of non-toxic, inexpensive, natural nutrients to safeguard health – and protect against a truly formidable disease. When it comes to maintaining the health of arteries, the importance of sufficient amounts of vitamin K and vitamin D can’t be overstated.
*And, yes, your purchase helps to support our operations at NaturalHealth365. Thank you.
Sources for this article include:
Cancer & Heart Disease
NaturalHealth365 is a premium source of trending and popular health-related news, science, testimony & research articles on the most up to date and relevant natural health information. The Food & Nutrition articles found herein are meant to inform and advise our site visitors on eating healthy, nutritious foods and safely using supplements and vitamins to achieve optimal health.
Join thousands of daily visitors staying informed and involved on Natural Health 365! We seek out scientific solutions with proven results and it is our mission to keep you up to date on the latest information! Articles range in topic from the causes of cancer, cancer-fighting foods, to natural cancer treatments, cancer prevention & specific research-backed information on Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer, etc. We also write extensively on Heart Disease because it is accounts for 25% of all deaths in the United States – that’s one in four! We take an in depth look at the symptoms of heart disease, the causes and treatment of high blood pressure, benefits of CoQ10 and healthy, natural ways to unclog arteries.
Read Some of Our Most Popular Articles
Grape Seed Extract More Effective than Chemotherapy, Olive Oil is AWESOME, Store Bought Almond Milk is Basically Just Sugar Water, Antioxidants, Cancer & Blueberries.
More Food & Nutrition Articles
Fresh Organic Produce Fights Cancer, Susan G. Komen on Organic Foods, Hemp Seeds for Inflammation, Pau D’Arco For Improved Immunity
In addition to publishing articles on cutting edge natural cancer treatments and heart disease prevention, we also aim to connect healthy lifestyles, diets and balanced consumption of dietary supplements to long-lasting cancer-free health and adding happy years to your life. For example, did you know that the amount of emotional stress in your life can contribute to your risk of cancer? Or that raw, expeller-pressed olive oil has cancer fighting qualities? Perhaps you didn’t know that Fresh Organic Produce has been found to have higher concentrations of key, cancer-fighting anti-oxidants and vitamins than conventional produce? You can find all of that information and more right here on Natural Health 365.
Join Our Email List
Each day, visitors sign up for our weekly informative news sent directly to their email or RSS feed agregator. We send out three weekly emails keeping you informed and involved on the latest Natural Health News, information about our FREE SHOWS and updates on your favorite topics including Food & Nutrition, Cancer & Heart Disease, Vaccines & Autism, & – of course – GMOs & Dangerous Chemicals!
You can also check out our VIP member area, The Inner Circle, where you get access to thousands of recorded interview (audio/video), pod casts, & literature by some of the worlds foremost experts on Natural Health and Treatments that could save you thousands! Learn how to REVERSE disease without the use of toxic and expensive medications.
Natural Health 365 also is a venue for webinars on various topics, has a flourishing e-commerce store where you can purchase vitamins, pro biotics, supplements and unique products such as Grazing Goat Whey Protein.
Grazing Goat Whey Protein™ is formulated exclusively for the health-conscious consumer looking for the finest whey protein nutritional supplement on the planet.* Best of all, this goat whey protein comes from goats that graze – 365 days per year – on pesticide and chemical free pastures. No hormones, antibiotics or pesticides are used – ever. This product is non-GMO and gluten free.