Get a cal­cium boost

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - YOUR HEALTH -

CAL­CIUM is key to main­tain­ing a set of healthy bones. It is found in dairy prod­ucts, var­i­ous leafy greens, seafood, legumes and cer­tain fruits.

Bone devel­op­ment oc­curs ev­ery day of our lives. Our bod­ies nat­u­rally re­move ( re­sorp­tion) old bones and re­place ( ab­sorp­tion) them with new ones via a process called bone re­mod­elling. Through this process, we at­tain a new set of bones ev­ery seven years.

The pace of bone re­mod­elling dif­fers be­tween in­di­vid­u­als, grad­u­ally slow­ing down with age. To pre­vent dis­eases such as os­teo­poro­sis, re­sorp­tion and ab­sorp­tion must be kept at a bal­ance with the help of cal­cium.

Vi­ta­min K, a fat- sol­u­ble vi­ta­min, is essen­tial for build­ing strong bones be­cause it serves as the bi­o­log­i­cal “glue” that helps plug the cal­cium into your bone ma­trix.

Vi­ta­min K has been clas­si­fied into a few types, with K1 and K2 be­ing most dis­cussed.

Vi­ta­min K1 is a blood- clot­ting fac­tor com­monly found in green leafy veg­eta­bles while vi­ta­min K2 plays a cru­cial role in cal­cium reg­u­la­tion.

Vi­ta­min K2 is fur­ther di­vided into sub­types de­pend­ing on the length of its struc­ture.

Me­naquinone ( MK- 7) is the nat­u­ral form of K2’ s sub­types found nat­u­rally only in the Ja­panese del­i­cacy natto, which is not present in many peo­ple’s diet.

Stud­ies have shown that MK- 7 helps im­prove bone den­sity by ef­fec­tively de­posit­ing cal­cium where it be­longs – in the bones and teeth.

With­out K2, cal­cium floats freely in the blood­stream and tends to be de­posited in the ar­ter­ies, mak­ing them pro­gres­sively stiff and nar­row ( cal­ci­fi­ca­tion), which im­pedes healthy blood flow to and from the heart.

MK- 7 ac­ti­vates bone- build­ing pro­teins that are dor­mant in its ab­sence. These pro­teins func­tion to bind cal­cium to the bones and teeth and also keep cal­cium from be­ing de­posited in the ar­ter­ies, thus pre­vent­ing ar­te­rial cal­ci­fi­ca­tion and heart dis­ease.

If you are tak­ing cal­cium and vi­ta­min D for your bones, it is im­por­tant that you also get plenty of vi­ta­min K2.

These three nu­tri­ents have a syn­er­gis­tic ef­fect that can­not be achieved when one piece of the puz­zle is miss­ing.

Vi­ta­min D3, a nat­u­ral form of vi­ta­min D, helps your body ab­sorb cal­cium, but vi­ta­min K2 di­rects that cal­cium to your skele­ton where it is needed.

With­out the help of vi­ta­min K2, the cal­cium that vi­ta­min D3 ef­fec­tively lets in might be work­ing against you – by build­ing up in your coro­nary ar­ter­ies rather than your bones.

Thus, tak­ing cal­cium to­gether with vi­ta­min D3 and K2 may be nec­es­sary for bone ben­e­fits while cir­cum­vent­ing in­creased risk for heart dis­ease.

It is rec­om­mended that peo­ple re­ceiv­ing oral an­ti­co­ag­u­lant treat­ment do not take vi­ta­min K2 sup­ple­ments with­out con­sult­ing their doc­tor.

This ar­ti­cle is brought to you by Vi­ta­mode.

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact Medis­pec ( M) Sdn Bhd.

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