The Vitamin Deficiency That is Written All Over Your Face| Updated: Jul 25, 2018
In 2011, researchers presented findings at a meeting of the Endocrine Society in Boston that revealed that women in their 40’s and 50’s who have extensive skin wrinkling are much more likely than their peers to have low bone mass.
Researchers noted the relationship between wrinkles and bone density in every single bone tested which included hip, heel, and lumbar (spine). In addition, this relationship existed regardless of body fat percentage and age.
Epidemiological evidence of Asian women offers further health clues to the wrinkle mystery.
It is known that Japanese women have fewer wrinkles and less skin sagging that women of the same age living in North America. These two groups of women vary greatly in diet and lifestyle, however.
Even when Japanese women living in Tokyo were compared with women from the Asian cities of Shanghai and Bangok, however, they showed the least visible signs of aging.
Diet and lifestyle factors for these three Asian groups of women are comparable except for one notable exception: the consumption of natto in Japan.
Tokyo residents frequently enjoy natto, a strong smelling food traditionally made from fermented soybeans for breakfast. Natto is loaded with menaquinone, Vitamin K2, and blood samples of the Tokyo women revealed high circulating levels of this fat soluble vitamin.
Further research which bolsters the notion that getting plenty of anti-wrinkle vitamin K2 in the diet makes for smoother facial features is found in the research of Korean scientists and was published in the journal Nephrology in 2008.
The rate at which the kidneys are able to filter the blood is an important measure of overall kidney function. Researchers found that reduced renal filtration rate was associated with increased facial wrinkling.
What does decreased kidney filtration rate predict?
You guessed it – Vitamin K2 deficiency, according to American research published the year after the Korean study.
Testing has been limited so far on the true extent of Vitamin K2 deficiency in the western world, but so far, of those tested, 90% tested deficient in this critical nutrient.
Avoid the Vitamin Deficiency That Causes Wrinkles With These Foods
If you want to avoid a vitamin deficiency of K2, know that it is an elusive nutrient and extremely difficult to obtain with a modern diet. The highest sources of K2 are natto (fermented soybeans), goose liver, certain cheeses and animal fats like egg yolk, butter and lard which must come from grassfed animals.
Natto contains 1,103 mcg of K2 per 3.5 ounce/100 gram portion which is far higher than any other food.
The second highest food in Vitamin K2 is goose liver pate which has 369 mcg per 3 1/2 ounce portion. While delicious and wonderful to eat, goose liver pate is very hard to find in most places. It is also a very high end, gourmet food which makes the price out of reach for most.
Rounding out the top 3 foods highest in Vitamin K2 is none other than the humble Gouda cheese, which boasts 75 mcg per 3 1/2 ounce serving! This compares to pastured egg yolks and butter, which each have about 15 mcg of K2 per 3 1/2 ounce portion. Brie cheese is also very high in K2.
How much of these K2 containing foods should you eat to avoid a vitamin deficiency of this critical nutrient? That part gets murky as the official recommended daily intake (RDI) of Vitamin K doesn’t distinguish between K1 and K2 despite their very different uses in the body. The RDI for Vitamin K is only determined by the liver’s requirement for normal blood clotting factors, not the K2 needed for optimal bone and kidney health and wrinkle free skin. So, getting enough K1 in the diet via leafy greens could still mean a serious vitamin deficiency of K2.
The good news is that there is no known toxicity of Vitamin K2, so eating generously of Vitamin K2 rich foods as practiced by Traditional Societies and even potentially taking a supplement to avoid a vitamin deficiency is considered wise by Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue, ND, author of Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox.
Vitamin K2 Update
Recent research has shown that an Aboriginal sacred food is extremely high in vitamin K2, so high in fact that it is nearly as high as goose liver pate! Click here for where to source authentic emu oil from the genetically pure strain of birds eating their native diet that produce this nutrient dense fat.
More Information on Skin and Avoiding K2 Vitamin Deficiency
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Sarah Pope has been a Health and Nutrition Educator since 2002. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Sarah was awarded Activist of the Year at the International Wise Traditions Conference in 2010.
Sarah earned a Bachelor of Arts (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) in Economics from Furman University and a Master’s degree in Government (Financial Management) from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mother to three healthy children, blogger, and best-selling author, she writes about the practical application of Traditional Diet and evidence-based wellness within the modern household. Her work has been featured by USA Today, The New York Times, National Review, ABC, NBC, and many others.