Where Does That Calcium in Your Clogged Arteries Come From?

Where Does That Calcium in Your Clogged Arteries Come From?

People who are diagnosed with atherosclerosis frequently suffer also from poor bone density or osteoporosis, both among the so-called diseases of aging. How can this be when one is marked by increased calcium in the blood and the other by lack of calcium in the bones? Adding to the mystery is the fact that when calcium intake is increased, its deposits in the arteries are reduced.

The answer may lie in vitamin K which is essential for the absorption of vitamin D which itself is essential for helping calcium to build bone. In Japan, K2 is prescribed for osteoporosis in preference to pharmaceutical drugs. And in 2004, the Rotterdam Heart Study revealed that those who had the greatest quantities of K2 in their diet experienced a 57% reduction in death from heart disease compared with those who ate the least. Higher intakes of K2 also corresponded to lower calcium deposits in the aorta. It appears that when calcium intake is deficient, the mineral is leached from the bones and deposited in the arteries.

Vitamin K is normally only considered in relation to blood clotting. People with the potential for blood clots are treated with Warfarin or Coumadin, which interferes with the production of vitamin K in the liver, and are advised to avoid its dietary sources.

Vitamin, K2, a different form of the vitamin than that which affects clotting, appears to control the balance of calcium in the blood and is a very important factor in building bone. The vitamin comes mostly from organ meats such as liver, egg yolks, and dairy products, especially certain hard cheeses like Gouda, Jarlsberg, and Emmenthal, all foods that tend to be avoided by people with high cholesterol and atherosclerosis.

If inadequate K2 leads to a loss of bone density and an increase of arterial calcification, why are doctors so quick to blame calcification of the arteries on high cholesterol. Why do they not notice the coincidence of people having atherosclerosis and poor bone density? They just assume that both of these diseases are part of the aging process and so there is no surprise when they appear together. Why do they not notice the coincidence of low levels of vitamin D, low levels of calcium, and low levels of vitamin K2 in people suffering one or both diseases?