By Mike Pearson, News staff
The next time you reach for a heart healthy food, consider your choice wisely.
That spoonful of butter, egg yolk or slice of Dutch Gouda could actually be beneficial to your cardiac health.
Naturopathic Doctor Kate Rhéaume-Bleue unlocks the secrets of a misunderstood vitamin in her new book, Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox. The Ancaster-based health care professional has put her private practice on hold as she prepares to travel across the country to promote her book.
“Vitamin K2 is a vitamin that guides calcium to the right place in the body,” said Rhéaume-Bleue. Instead of calcifying arteries a process that can lead to heart disease, Rhéaume-Bleue cites recent studies that show K2 directs calcium where it belongs, in the bones and teeth.
She recommends vitamin K2, especially for those taking a calcium supplement or vitamin D supplement. Vitamin K2 can prevent osteoporosis and heart disease, which is the number one killer of both men and women, Rhéaume-Bleue said.
“People are really concerned for their bone health and heart health,” said Rhéaume-Bleue. “This provides a missing piece for the puzzle of these health concerns.”
Modern science has only recently discovered the benefits of K2, a vitamin that was once prevalent in everyday diets. When livestock was raised at pasture and fed with grass, K2 abundant in meat products, Rhéaume-Bleue explained. In more recent decades, with a transition to grain-fed meat, K2 has virtually disappeared in many meats sold commercially.
A good daily dose of vitamin K2 is about 120 micrograms, said Rhéaume-Bleue. An average commercially-raised egg yolk will have about 15 micrograms, which is roughly equal to the amount found in a spoonful of butter. A 3.5-ounce portion of natto has a whopping 1,103.4 micrograms of K2.
Once the scientific studies are more widely distributed, Rhéaume-Bleue believes K2 will be added to calcium supplements and milk, which is already fortified with vitamin D.
Vitamin K1 is a factor in blood clotting and it’s extremely rare to be deficient.
Rhéaume-Bleue’s book includes some K2-rich culinary suggestions, such as a recipe for a Japanese dish called Natto, made with fermented soy beans. The author also speaks about the French Paradox, which accounts for a low rate of heart disease among people in France who consume higher amounts of cheese, butter and local delicacies like goose liver pâté.
Rhéaume-Bleue’s book contains brief passages extolling the benefits of K2 for areas ranging from pre-natal care to high blood pressure and diabetes. Studies show K2 can delay the formation of wrinkles in the skin, which points to an anti-aging property as well.
Vitamin K2 supplements are widely available in health food stores that sell vitamins. When choosing a K2 supplement, shoppers should look for the suffix MK7 on the label, which is an effective daily dose.
Rhéaume-Bleue said a K2 supplement will not cause any adverse drug interactions. But if you’re currently taking a blood thinner medication, you should consult your doctor before taking a K2 supplement.
“Unlike other fat-soluble vitamins, K2 has no toxic effect,” Rhéaume-Bleue said.
Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox is available at major book stores and online book sellers, or from Rhéaume-Bleue’s website at www.doctorkatend.com . On Jan. 31, Rhéaume-Bleue will visit the Waterdown location of Goodness Me at 74 Hamilton St. N for a seminar. Call 905-689-8402 to register.