Vitamin Ks: What do they have in common? What are the differences?
Vitamin K is the generic name used for a family of related compounds with similar gamma-carboxylation activity.* The vitamin K family is divided into three main subsets: phylloquinone (vitamin K1), menaquinones (vitamin K2), and menadione (vitamin K3).
Most of them have similar functions in the body, mainly related to the gamma-glutamyl carboxylation of specific protein bound glutamate residues (Gla proteins).* For example, in the liver, vitamin K-dependent Gla proteins are the pro-coagulant Factors II (prothrombin), VII, IX, X and the anti-coagulant protein C, S & Z. These vitamin K-dependent factors are indispensable for the maintenance of a healthy hemostasis.* Other known vitamin K-dependent proteins are :
- Osteocalcin, the second most abundant protein in bones, which is involved in bone metabolism.*
- MGP (matrix Gla protein) and periostin are found in cartilage and bone tissues.* MGP is also present in arterial wall where it regulates calcification.*
Research on the subject of vitamin K-dependent proteins is very active, and new discoveries are being made on a regular basis, most notably for the different forms for vitamin K2.
The main differences between each form of vitamin K are their chemical structures, their dietary sources, and the way the body handles each compound. Vitamin K1 is the main dietary source of vitamin K in the Western diet. It is mainly found in green leafy vegetables. Vitamin K2 is a heterogeneous group of compounds found in foods of animal origin, fermented foods, and is produced by the intestinal microbiota.
K1 is known to be relatively poorly absorbed when obtained from vegetables. Clinical data suggest that long-chain forms of vitamin K2 from food are substantially better absorbed than K1 from green vegetables. Furthermore, in the body, vitamin K1 is known for its high turnover, small body pool, and short half-life. Vitamin K2 forms have half-lives that vary from about one hour for MK-4 to several days for MK-7. This longer presence in the bloodstream typically results in a better availability of these compounds for use in the peripheral tissues, especially when compared to K1, which is mainly confined to the liver.
While vitamin K1 functions and disposition in the body are well established, the functions and pharmacology of the different menaquinones aren’t as well known. The current scientific paradigm it that menaquinones are not only heterogeneous in their structures but also in their functions and the ways the body dispose of them. As an active area of investigation, scientists are consistently discovering new health-positive properties for each form of vitamin K2, most notably for MK-4 and MK-7. These two forms of vitamin K2 are readily available as dietary supplements.
As a practitioner, there is a choice of several different forms of vitamins K that can be tailored to create a supplementation protocol that meets your patients’ needs in terms of general, bone, or cardiovascular health.*
Protocol For Life Balance® offers seven products with vitamin K, comprising several forms, from the classic K1 to MK-7, stand-alone products, as well as vitamin K blended with other vitamins and minerals.
As a practitioner, how can you help your patients who want to focus on maintaining cardiovascular health?
Once you have a good idea of a patient’s cardiovascular health needs, it is time to discuss a tailored plan that ts their unique situation and lifestyle. Protocol For Life Balance® offers a wide range of cardiovascular support products to help you design a customized plan that perfectly fits the needs of your patient.*
What is the link between glycogen synthase kinase-3 and resveratrol, curcumin & berberine?
These three well known nutraceuticals have been extensively researched in the past few decades and are individually known for their powerful free radical scavenging properties.*
However, it is now well established that it is not their only function in the body. Each compound possesses multiple functions that contribute to their health promoting properties.*
We will focus here on one function: their ability to interact with the GSK-3 signaling pathway.*
First, what is the GSK-3?
Glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) is an enzyme belonging to the family of serine/threonine kinases that is an important ubiquitous regulator of many cellular structures and functions. GSK-3 is present in the cytosol and nucleus of cells, as well as in mitochondria; its functions vary depending on its intracellular localization. More than 100 substrates have been identified for GSK-3, including metabolic and signaling proteins such as acetyl-CoA carboxylase, glycogen synthase, pyruvate dehydrogenase, structural proteins, and many transcription factors. For cells to function properly, GSK-3 needs to be tightly regulated. GSK-3 is active under basal cellular functional conditions and requires extracellular signaling for its inactivation. There is a complex system of cellular pathways regulating GSK-3’s inactivation, and insulin, growth factors, and certain amino acids can trigger its inactivation.
Among GSK-3’s many functions, regulation of glycogen synthesis, cellular glucose uptake, and expression of genes regulated by insulin seem especially relevant for the healthy regulation of glucose metabolism. GSK-3 therefore, appears to oppose the action of insulin at the cellular level.*
There is a growing interest in researching molecules that can specifically inactivate GSK-3 and would therefore be good candidates for the support of healthy glucose metabolism, cardiovascular health, and healthy brain function.*
How do resveratrol, curcumin & berberine interact with GSK-3?
Laboratory experiments suggest that resveratrol, curcumin, and berberine may help to regulate GSK-3 activity either by directly inhibiting GSK-3 enzymatic activity or by interfering at different levels of the complex pathways GSK-3 is involved in within cells. While there is not yet any human clinical data confirming how the interaction between these three nutraceuticals and GSK-3 functions results in improved health status, preclinical data are very encouraging.
At Protocol For Life Balance® we offer resveratrol, berberine, and curcumin (four products) in several supplements. You can recommend taking them individually or in combination for complementary effects. Taking them in combination makes perfect sense, notably when thinking of their common putative action on GSK-3 and its regulation pathways.*
In January, holiday weight gain and weight management are common topics in the media. Many people start the new year with resolutions of maintaining or improving their health, notably by paying more attention to their weight.
As a practitioner, how can you help your patients on the arduous journey to their ideal weight, and how can you help them navigate the ocean of information related to weight management that they read through social media, magazines, news outlets, and the internet?
Is holiday weight gain a real problem?
According to epidemiological observational studies done in the U.S., the average weight gain is small but significant – around 1 lb. over the November to January period. That weight gain is largely fat gain and affects more people at the higher end of the BMI scale. It appears that this average weight gain is retained and is a major contributor to the average annual weight gain observed in adults in the United States.
What should you recommend to your patients in terms of weight management?
Today’s consensus is that there is no magic bullet when it comes to weight management and there is no one-size-ts-all solution. An individualized intervention that takes into consideration the patient’s physiological and psychological needs is ideal. After assessing the patient’s health history, his/her expectations, and his/her physical and biological status, including endocrine health, you can prepare an action plan with him/her including lifestyle changes and adequate supplementation.
How can Protocol For Life Balance® help you recommend the right supplements for the right weight management plan?
We propose 6 categories of products that can help you recommend the right combination of supplements to help your patients in their effort to reach a healthy weight.*
Positive mood and relaxation support*
- Neurotransmitters and their Precursors*
- Neuronal Activity Modulators*
- Adrenal Support*
- Emotional Support for Menopause*
New products in 2018
We launched 14 new products in 2018. To see them all … Read the Protofact
Clinical Strength Prostate-B™
Structural changes in prostatic tissue occur over time as a result of normal aging. These changes may be associated with difficulty in urinating, and other issues*… Read the Insight
Achieve Healthy Body Composition*
In conjunction with a sensible diet and regular exercise, dietary supplements can be a great way for your patients to better manage their weight and maintain healthy body composition.* Protocol for Life Balance offers several targeted formulations… Read the Insight
Best Products for Fall
We asked Dr. Ber, Assistant Director of Science and Nutrition at Protocol For Life Balance®, which supplements are best to prepare for winter… Read the Protofact
Achieve Healthy Intestinal Flora*
Prebiotic Powder XOS features PreticX™, a prebiotic complex comprised of xylooligosaccharides (XOS). XOS are selective, bifidogenic prebiotics shown to increase the amount of healthful Bifidobacteria in the GI tract of healthy individuals, which is particularly beneficial with aging*… Read the ProtoFact
Achieve Healthy Microvascular Function*
1,000 mg Arginine is a conditionally essential basic amino acid involved primarily in urea metabolism and excretion, as well as in DNA synthesis and protein production.* It is an important precursor of nitric oxide (NO) and thus plays a role in the dilation of blood vessels.* To learn more about it … Read the ProtoFact
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.