All you need to know about vitamin K2

Basma Saleh is a health coach, founder of Ancient Traditions and a new stockist of Grassland Nutrition products. Basma offers a range of natural supplements, without fillers, binders, preservatives and other nasties. Her product selection ensures sustainable methods of sourcing, balanced with science-based findings.  Ancient Traditions has been borne out of desire to understand more about the body and its requirements and treat imbalances and deficiencies with natural products.

An online journal houses her vast knowledge base and Basma has kindly allowed us to share with you her informative article that follows.

All you need to know about vitamin K2

In the 1930s, during his endeavor in search of the secret to health, Dr. Weston Price, a highly respected dentist, spent 10 years visiting hundreds of cities in 14 countries on 5 continents.

Dr. Price’s aim was to find people with overall excellent health, minimal tooth decay and high immunity. Indeed, he did find that indigenous people who ate their own ethnic unprocessed foods met his criteria. However, Dr. Price found that when people within these groups were introduced to modernized foods, such as white flour, white sugar, refined vegetable oils and processed foods, they showed signs of quick deterioration in their health.

In 1939, upon returning back from his journey and compiling his research, Dr. Price described a fat-soluble vitamin, which he called X-Factor or Activator X. Through his lab tests, Dr. Price found that activator X, is mainly present in butterfat, organs and fat of animals consuming rapidly growing green grass. He also noted that this compound plays an important role in the utilization of minerals, protection against tooth decay, growth, protection against heart disease, as well as the brain function.

After decades of research, scientists were able to identify Dr. Price’s Activator X as the fat-soluble vitamin K2.

Not to be confused with vitamin K1

Both vitamins K1 and K2 are forms of vitamin K. Vitamin K1 is the one found in dark leafy greens and vegetables, such as kale, spinach and broccoli; and is most famous for helping our blood clot, thus preventing serious bleeding. The highest concentration of vitamin K1 in the body is found in the liver.

Vitamin K2, as mentioned above, is found in butterfat, organs and fat of animals consuming rapidly growing green grass, as well as in fermented foods. The highest concentration of vitamin K2 in the body is present in the pancreas followed by the second highest concentration which is found in our saliva.

Tooth decay and vitamin K2

Dr. Weston Price had performed a number of fascinating studies on vitamin K2 where he referred to it as activator X; and combined it with high quality cod liver oil.

In one of the studies, Dr. Price selected a group of twenty-seven children; all from poverty stricken families and suffering from rampant tooth decay. The children’s diet was very deficient as it mainly consisted of “highly sweetened strong coffee and white bread, vegetable fat, pancakes made of white flour and eaten with syrup, and doughnuts fried in vegetable fat.”
 
All of the children received one extra good meal a day at midday.
 
The children’s meal included about 4 ounces of tomato or orange juice and a teaspoonful of a mixture of equal parts of a very high-vitamin natural cod liver oil and butter oil (ghee) with a high content of activator x.
Each child then received around half a liter of a very rich vegetable and meat stew that always contained finely chopped vegetables and plenty of very yellow carrots. Dessert consisted of cooked fruit with very little sweetening and rolls made of freshly ground whole wheat and spread with butter with a high content of activator X. Each one of the children also received two glasses of fresh whole milk a day.
 
At the end of the trial, dental caries of all the children were completely controlled. Impressively, during the trial two different teachers came to Dr. Price
to inquire as to what had been done to make a particular child change from one of the poorest in the class to have the capacity to learn to be one of the best.”
In another illustration, Dr. Price was able to save the teeth of a 14 year old girl who had forty-two open cavities in twenty-four teeth. The girl’s local dentist had indicated the necessity of removing all of the decayed teeth and the construction of two artificial dentures. However, Dr. Price placed the girl
 “on a reinforced diet including approximately one-half teaspoonful of a mixture of a high-vitamin A and high-activator X butter oil mixed with equal parts of a very high-vitamin, natural cod liver oil taken in capsules three times a day.” After following the regimen for seven months, all the teeth of the girl healed.

Latest research on vitamin K2

Recent research suggests that vitamin K2 has a number of health benefits and can help in many health conditions such as cancer, osteoporosis and calcification of the blood vessels.

While calcium insufficiency may lead to a higher risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis, the overconsumption of calcium supplements may lead to calcium deposits in the blood vessels and soft tissue, causing kidney stones and heart disease. This is where vitamin K2 plays an important role as it has been shown to have the ability to prevent calcium from depositing in the arteries and causing arterial calcification.

However, besides the risk of arterial calcification, calcium overconsumption may lead to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, depression, hypertension and more. That is why many health experts nowadays suggest that in order to maintain healthy bones and overall good health vitamins D, K2, and A (from a natural source such as cod liver oil), as well as magnesium should be taken in adequate quantities together with calcium from calcium-rich foods, such as sardines, oats, oranges, kale, spinach, parsley, dried figs, raw almonds and more. 

In a large meta-analysis, it was concluded that high vitamin K2 levels were associated with 60% reduction in vertebral fracture risk, 77% reduction in hip fracture risk and 81% reduction in non-vertebral fracture risk. The beneficial effect of vitamin K may not be due to an increase in the bone mineral density but improved bone strength.

Numerous studies have also shown that vitamin K2 is effective against cancer; with one study showing it slows cancer growth among lung cancer patients through encouraging apoptosis, while another showing that vitamin K2 intake decreases the risk of prostate cancer.

Vitamin K2 was also shown to help against other types of cancer, such as colon, leukemia and stomach.

How to get vitamin K2

There are two types of vitamin K2: MK-4 and MK-7.

MK-4 is the type that Dr. Weston Price researched and found in animal fat and organs. After testing more than 20,000 butter samples, Dr. Price was able to conclude that the highest vitamin K2 concentrations were found in the products of animals that grazed on rapidly growing green grass during the springtime.

Why rapid growing grass specifically? Because it contains the highest amount of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is then processed by probiotic bacteria in the guts of these animals into MK-4. Cows fed on dead hay will produce lesser amounts of vitamin K2, while those fed on corn and soy will produce the least, if any.

Based on Dr. Price’s research we all need MK-4 for the integrity of our teeth. Furthermore, pregnant women need MK-4 for their babies. In her book, Vitamin K2 and Calcium Paradox, Dr. Kate Rhéaume-Bleue states that weeks 5-12 of pregnancy are critical for the baby’s teeth development. Both sets of teeth, the baby teeth and adult teeth are formed during these weeks. Proper bone, jaw, skull, and dental development is impossible without adequate MK-4.

On the other hand, MK-7 is produced by beneficial bacteria and found in fermented foods such as natto, which is Japanese fermented soybeans. Cheeses such as Gouda, Brie and Edam are among the highest in vitamin K2 with Brie containing around 75 mcg per 100 grams. However, in order to get the suggested daily requirement of around 180 mcg, you need to eat more than 200 grams of cheese.

Our body needs both MK-7 and MK-4 in order to function well and maintain good health. Acquiring both forms through diet would be the ideal way to supply our needs, but the problem is that with the current farming practices and the lack of nutrients in the soil, we need very large quantities of food to meet all our needs. Supplementation is sometimes required, especially if we’re dealing with a health condition such as tooth decay or pregnancy.

How much do we need daily and how to find a supplement

We need much more MK-4 than MK-7 because MK-4 is much more abundant in our body tissues and is the only form found in our brain. Research suggests a minimum of 500 mcg of MK-4 per day and 100 to 180 mcg of MK-7 per day.

Goose liver and emu oil contain the highest amount of MK-4, at around 369 mcg/100 grams. Butter and egg yolks contain around 15 mcg MK-4 per 100 grams, while some brands of ghee were found to have around 35 mcg/100 grams. As mentioned above, Gouda, Brie and Edam are amongst the cheeses highest in MK-7, at around 75 mcg/100 grams. If you want to go natural, focus on getting adequate amounts from a variety of foods.

If you’re looking for supplements, look for a supplement that contains both MK-4 and MK-7 in reasonable proportions. Make sure that the MK-7 is in the Trans form, which is found in nature, not the Cis form.

Note: Research shows that vitamin K2 supplements are best taken around 8-12 hours away from vitamin D supplements. It is a good idea to take your vitamin D with breakfast and vitamin K2 with dinner.

In conclusion, the merits and accessibility of bridging the gap of vitamin K2 deficiency with organ meat. 


Life is too short to be tired all the time!
Grassland Nutrition is a quality online and in-store purveyor of organic 100% beef organ meats in freeze-dried form. The rationale for freeze drying is simple and we do it because:

●     the process preserves the concentrated nutrients,
●     The product keeps for longer, and
●     when in powdered form it can be used in smoothies, shakes, sauces, sprinkled on almost any meal and added to yogurt!

Choose from liver, kidney and heart wholefood snacks, beef organ powders and beef liver capsules to improve your health, strength and immunity.

How Our Organic Beef is Guaranteed Halal

Our most frequently asked question by far is…

“Are your beef products Halal?”

The simple answer is YES!  We hope that we can satisfy your curiosity through this blog. and provide peace of mind that Grassland Nutrition products are Halal safe – as well as organic sourced.

What is organic Halal beef ?

Halal is Arabic for permissible. Halal food adheres to the Islamic law, as defined in the Quran   and Sunnah. The slaughter can either be done by a Muslim, Christian or a Jew (people of the Book) as long as they recite Bismillah and Allahu Akbar (In the name of God and God is the Greatest).  

Animals must be alive and healthy at the time of slaughter and all blood is drained from the carcass. 

The Islamic form of slaughtering  is done via an incision to the trachea, esophagus and the jugular veins in conjunction with the carotid arteries, but not the spinal cord.

Australia has strict food safety and traceability systems with controls applied in the production of Halal meat and meat products by approved Islamic organisations. This ensures that high food safety standards and Halal robustness measures are maintained.

When you buy Australian Halal meat and meat products, you can be confident that you are buying clean, safe and 100% guaranteed Halal meat.

What makes our organic Halal beef products unique?

Our products contain organic beef – and NOTHING else. There are no fillers, flavours or preservatives. Purity of products these days is rare, for instance up to 5% of a capsule’s contents can be padded out with fillers and still regarded as pure! You can trust us to provide ONLY the purest product. We will not compromise on quality and see no value in offering anything less than the best.

Grassland Nutrition’s organic Halal beef products are:

  • Grass-fed and grass-finished
  • From a Certified Organic source
  • Hormone, pesticide, antibiotic & GMO free
  • Zero fillers (or) flow agents
  • 100% freeze dried, not heat processed – that way all the nutrients are retained for your maximum benefit
  • Non-defatted and left in their natural state

We practice what we preach by consuming Grassland Nutrition products everyday.  It’s the very reason we created our selective range of products and we enjoy the clear benefits of more energy, strength and immunity. This drives our passion to pass on the benefits of nutrient rich organic beef wholefood snacks, powders and nutritional supplements to you.

Why choose us for organic Halal beef  products?

Grassland Nutrition sources its organic beef from OBE Organic, the oldest and most trustworthy producer of organic beef in Australia. The farming collective covers 16 million acres of organic land in Australia’s Channel Country where cattle roam freely and graze on hundreds of native herbs, grasses and herbaceous plants. The global Muslim community can be confident that products from OBE Organic and by association – Grassland Nutrition – adheres to the Halal regulations . This is further illustrated in the OBE Organic Halal Beef showcase.

Conclusion

Organic and Halal beef liver from Grassland Nutrition is rich in B12 to support energy and strength. 

Our beef liver product range includes:

Beef Liver Powder

We recommend you use it in your smoothies,shakes, sauces, add it to ground beef, sprinkle it on eggs, or even over yoghurt. Our organic beef liver powder is an economical choice compared with the capsule form.

Beef Liver Capsules

Ideal for if you are on the go and aren’t keen on the Powder, take these capsules as directed for maximum benefits. Not only a great choice for bone and muscle health, after only one month you will notice the difference in your hair and skin quality too.

Beef Liver, Kidney & Heart Wholefood Snacks

Diced and easy to consume, freeze-dried organic Halal beef liver Kidney & Heart wholefood  snacks are three to four times as nutritious in volume to their raw equivalent, you can eat these as a snack or incorporate them in your everyday dishes. We like to snack on these – along  with our latest product in the range, Beef Suet.

Beef Liver and Kelp Energy Formula Capsules

In addition to the beef exclusive products we produce popular blended formula with Organic Sourced Australian Beef Liver and Australian organically harvested Bull Kelp that is rich in B12 and Iodine. These superfoods combined, create a powerful 2-in-1 unique energy formulation. Read more about the significance of iodine, its amazing health and immunity properties and how iodine is one of the biggest deficiencies in our modern diet. Check out the blog.

Powder

Grassland Nutrition’s blended liver and kelp formula is available in powdered form for those who prefer to add the blend into sauces, or add to smoothies and shakes to get their immunity and strength boost. Get your liver and kelp powder here

Bull Kelp Crunch

We love the moreish Bull Kelp Crunch that can be sprinkled on literally anything to add a little salty flavour and crunch. It’s available in 50g and 100g size resealable bags.  Take it from us there won’t be many reseals once you’ve tried it!

Please share your favourite ways of adding our organic Halal Beef products to your daily dishes, so we may pass further recipe ideas to our growing community. [contact us]

Nature’s antidote for an underactive thyroid

Problems arise when your thyroid produces too many hormones (hyperthyroidism) or not enough (hypothyroidism).

And the main cause..? A lack of iodine.

Where is your thyroid?

The thyroid gland is positioned – as you can see in the first image below – with the ‘X’ marking the spot. It is a small, butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck, below the throat. This sensitive gland that can cause so much havoc in the body is part of the endocrine system that coordinates many bodily actions, as well as producing hormones that regulate the body’s metabolism.

Looking at the entire world’s population, thyroid problems occur most in countries that rarely use iodised salt. And in those countries that do, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is the main thyroid issue (hypothyroidism).

A lack of selenium can also be a contributory factor, where the heart and the nervous system are put at risk. When the deficiency is ongoing it can lead to mental health challenges with the individual experiencing anxiety and depression that can result in dementia. A lack of selenium can also negatively affect fertility.

What doom and gloom, yet it needn’t be the horror show of yesteryear with stories of people coming down the mountains to fix their ‘big neck’ (referred to so nicely as a Goiter). Measured in degrees of severity 1-3, the more pronounced and more painful the Goiter. We don’t see instances of higher levels of ill-functioning thyroids nowadays, like the Mayan mask sculpture depicted here. However, treatments for thyroid dysfunction are commonplace today – and in modern medicine, it means taking daily medication – for life. Yet in the case of an underactive thyroid, it needn’t.

There can be a natural approach to thyroid wellness.

Antique Goiter Mask (Patzcaa Dance) – Huehuecho-Rabinal mayan folk art

What are the main types of thyroid dysfunction?

When the thyroid becomes ineffective, symptoms will help identify whether it is underactive or overactive. Thyroid conditions are many and names you’ll come across include; Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves’ disease, Goiter (swollen thyroid), and thyroid nodules.

Hyperthyroidism

In hyperthyroidism, the thyroid gland is overactive. It produces too much thyroid hormone. This can cause many of your body’s functions to speed up. Heart racing, itchy skin and in some cases this condition can make the eyes bulge. The symptoms are many and differ with the individual. Graves’ disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism, affecting about 70% of the population.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is what we are focusing on in this blog and where the thyroid gland is underactive and can’t produce enough hormones. This can cause some of the body’s functions to slow down. Of the two types, more people suffer from too little thyroid hormone production than too much.

Common symptoms? There are many and can include: fatigue, dry skin, dry hair, increased sensitivity to cold, brain fog, depression, constipation and unexplained weight gain. None of these are pleasant and so what can be done without resorting to medical intervention?

This engraving ‘Goiter’ is credited to Sartori, Franz (1819)

Nature’s antidote to Hypothyroidism is iodine

And where can it be found naturally…? In Kelp!

Kelp forests flourish in underwater areas that cover a large part of the world’s coastlines. Kelp is neither a vegetable nor a plant, it’s a protest, and most importantly, one of the best natural sources of iodine.

Iodine is a mineral needed by the body to make thyroid hormones. People with a deficiency in iodine are more at risk of developing thyroid problems, with common symptoms including fatigue, unexplained weight loss, and dry skin. Kelp also contains high levels of vitamin K (which helps with blood clotting) and other minerals to help keep the body healthy. These properties that are rich in antioxidants support the heart and the immune system.

How is kelp best consumed?

The team behind Grassland Nutrition are huge advocates of kelp usage as a vital element in good nutrition. The bull kelp we ethically source comes from The Great Southern Ocean and is rich in natural Iodine.

Here’s Kel, against a backdrop of bull kelp blades that had washed up on the beach the previous night, washed and drying on a bright Winter’s morning, with our finished freeze-dried kelp product to the right finely chopped.

In summation, kelp is nature’s antidote for an underactive thyroid as a natural iodine and selenium source, combined in a ready-made package. This magical natural health product not only supports thyroid health, it also boosts energy. The iron guru Vince Geronda is a testament to its physical benefits (you can read more about this smart, legendary bodybuilder in an earlier blog, ‘Why Liver and Kelp?’ )

The bull kelp we use is 100% organic and the store offers a number of bull kelp products:

  • Kelp Crunch is a moreish salty ‘crunch’ that can be sprinkled over meals.
  • As a supplement, blended with organic beef liver. This energy-boosting blend in capsule form we have found to be an antidote to those that suffer from a restless sleep – and acts as a natural energy booster.
  • Liver and Kelp can be taken as a powder (we recommend it for any savoury dishes and can also be mixed in with yoghurt).

Why did we blend liver and kelp?

Grassland Nutrition’s roots lie in organic beef farming. We know that beef liver has many fantastic health properties and we experimented with adding kelp for its additional antioxidant properties. This is not a new or maverick approach. The aforementioned Vince Gironda, bodybuilder (1917-1997) recommended mineral sea kelp for its iodine content and dried liver extract for blood building and oxygen capacity boosting.

It’s been tried and tested for generations!

We are proud of our organic sourced Australian Beef Liver from OBE Organic, that have been practising certified organic sustainable agriculture for over 20 years in the Australian Channel Country. The cattle are raised with no growth hormones on natural pastures and pure water in clean air and sunshine. Combine this with Bull Kelp products that are rich in B12 and Iodine…

We’ve created a powerful 2-in-1 unique energy formulation!

Head to the Grassland Nutrition store. We’ve got you covered, naturally….

SOURCES

  1. Iodised Salt.  Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iodised_salt
  2. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Underactive thyroid condition. Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hashimoto%27s_thyroiditis
  3. Types of thyroid disorders. Healthline  https://www.healthline.com/health/common-thyroid-disorders
  4. Goiter engraving. Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congenital_iodine_deficiency_syndrome
  5. Protist (kelp) Wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protist
  6. Where we source beef organs from.  OBE Organic https://www.obeorganic.com/
  7. Antique Mayan Goiter maskhttps://www.ebay.com.au/itm/283001884136?hash=item41e43a0de8:g:hJ0AAOSwcF1bHAzt&frcectupt=true
  8. Where to buy Grassland Nutrition liver and kelp products https://www.grasslandnutrition.net/shop-location/