You really owe it to yourself to look into this. Think of it this way: 60 years ago they were curing cavities in teeth by getting them to re-calcify using this exact thing. Now, think of what happens with a vitamin D deficiency; rickets, right? rubbery bones. Calcium. Other mineral salts. What you will find is that these vitamins, in combination, essentially cause your minerals to go everyplace they should, and no place they shouldn't (such as the walls of your arteries).
Now here's some of the research Stephan dug up.
- Tissue-specific utilization of menaquinone-4 results in the prevention of arterial calcification in warfarin-treated rats. (link)
- Dietary intake of menaquinone is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: the Rotterdam Study. (link)
- High dietary menaquinone intake is associated with reduced coronary calcification. (link)
- Matrix Gla-protein: the calcification inhibitor in need of vitamin K. (link)
Coincidentally, Loren Cordain's free newsletter was about the K vitamins this week and here's an excerpt.
There are two different forms of vitamin K: Vitamin K1, or phylloquinone, is found in green plants such as green, leafy vegetables. Vitamin K2, more properly designated: menaquinones (MK), is bacterially synthesized forms of Vitamin K (especially anaerobic bacteria that is present in the lower bowel).
The main function of Vitamin K is to carboxylate or activate a class of proteins called Gla-proteins. Phylloquinone [K1] preferably carboxylates or activates clotting factors in the liver, and menaquinones [K2] preferably carboxylate or activate other Gla-proteins such as matrix-Gla protein (which prevents calcification of soft tissues such as arteries) and osteocalcin (which is responsible for depositing calcium in the bones where it belongs).
So, how do we get it? Well, the best place is in food. Cordian's suggestion:
Liver and to a lesser extent meat also contain MKs and, as Dr. Cordain has explained on the website, organ meats were favoured parts of the animal so presumably this was one way our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have gotten their MKs. And, let's not forget menaquinones from gut bacteria. Unfortunately, today that may not be as reliable a source for some since we now live in a world with the generalized use of antibiotics, which may destroy gut flora.
Therefore, it could be useful to include organic organ meats (such as liver) in your diet, to maintain a healthy gut bacteria flora by supplementing with a broad spectrum probiotic supplement when an antibiotic is needed, to eat enough soluble fibre found in vegetables and certain fruits (such as apples) and prebiotic containing vegetables (such as onions and garlic).
Easy for me, as I love liver. Here's also a list from the excellent Chris Masterjohn article I previously linked. As you can see, various organ meats and eggs seem to be highest, but the general message is clear: eat lots of meats. Makes sense, huh?
As far as supplemental sources, I think it's a good idea, and also for omega-3 fats and vitamin D3. I'll post about the importance of the omega-3 fats later, but essentially my regime on non-fasting days is 3g of salmon oil (3 gel caps), 2g of cod liver oil (2 gel caps), 1g of butter oil (2 caps) from Green Pastures (for the K2, MK-4). I also try to get a few hours of skin exposed sunlight per week during the spring & summer, and then I supplement 4,000 IU of D3 daily from October to April. There's a few other K2 (MK-4) sources: Thorne, Carlson, and here's a D3/K2 (MK-4) combo from Nature's Plus.
Other than that, I take no other supplements, no multi-vitamin or anything. Just food.
And what of my experience? Well, the K2 is the only one I definitely "feel." Marked difference in softness of skin overnight, and my wife has since noticed her skin improve as well. Within a few days, all plaque deposits on my teeth dissolved and have not returned. This has been a big issue, as I had gum disease and two surgeries about seven years ago. Since getting off grains (probably the gluten) my gum disease has reversed completely according to the dentist. And now, my teeth are virtually always smooth. I rarely feel the need to brush them.
The following excerpt suggests why.
Weston Price was primary interested in Activator X because of its ability to control dental caries. By studying the remains of human skeletons from past eras, he estimated that there had been more dental caries in the preceding hundred years than there had been in any previous thousand-year period and suggested that Activator X was a key substance that people of the past obtained but that modern nutrition did not adequately provide. Price used the combination of high-vitamin cod liver oil and high-Activator X butter oil as the cornerstone of his protocol for reversing dental caries. This protocol not only stopped the progression of tooth decay, but completely reversed it without the need for oral surgery by causing the dentin to grow and remineralize, sealing what were once active caries with a glassy finish. One 14-year-old girl completely healed 42 open cavities in 24 teeth by taking capsules of the high-vitamin cod liver oil and Activator X concentrate three times a day for seven months.
Activator X also influences the composition of saliva. Price found that if he collected the saliva of individuals immune to dental caries and shook it with powdered bone or tooth meal, phosphorus would move from the saliva to the powder; by contrast, if he conducted the same procedure with the saliva of individuals susceptible to dental caries, the phosphorus would move in the opposite direction from the powder to the saliva. Administration of the Activator X concentrate to his patients consistently changed the chemical behavior of their saliva from phosphorus-accepting to phosphorus-donating. The Activator X concentrate also reduced the bacterial count of their saliva. In a group of six patients, administration of the concentrate reduced the Lactobacillus acidophilus count from 323,000 to 15,000. In one individual, the combination of cod liver oil and Activator X concentrate reduced the L. acidophilus count from 680,000 to 0.