If you’re a regular Healthier Talk reader, you know there are two foods I love above all others. They are, of course, coffee and cheese.
And it turns out my cheese habit might have an unexpected benefit.
A new report finds that a nutrient, found inside some of the most delicious cheeses you can bite into, could help do something that EVERYONE’S looking for right now. It could help give folks a little edge against the coronavirus.
This state-of-the-science study zeroed in on vitamin K levels. Researchers believe a person’s vitamin K status could be an important factor in determining if they get slammed with the infection’s worst effects or get off a little easier.
And one of the best sources of the most desirable form of K just so happens to be certain delicious cheeses.
Connecting the dots between K and coronavirus
Researchers haven’t run a clinical trial yet. So we, of course, need to consider these findings very preliminary.
But they could also be very promising. Because there are signs that this essential nutrient could make a critical difference for some COVID-19 patients.
Scientists in the Netherlands began to notice that a number of the sickest patients had something in common. They were very low in vitamin K.
In fact, folks who were K deficient, they found, appeared to have a higher risk of the worst outcomes, including a higher risk of death.
Now keep in mind we still have a lot to learn about the virus. And we don’t know anything for sure, yet. But the researchers think it’s vital for us to dive deeper into the potential connections between K and the coronavirus.
They’re already planning clinical trials built around the nutrient. In the meantime, they didn’t want to wait to let the world know what they’ve uncovered so far in case it could help.
But there’s a bit of a speed bump. As exciting as the preliminary report is, something is missing from it.
It’s not entirely clear which FORM of K might be best for helping to shore up your system against the worst coronavirus has to dish out. And that’s assuming there IS a connection at all.
You see, there’s a BIG difference between vitamin K1 and vitamin K2.
Topping up BOTH forms of vitamin K
Vitamin K1 is easy to get from leafy greens such as lettuce, kale, broccoli, and spinach. The vitamin is essential to blood clotting. And we know the coronavirus infection can lead to clotting complications.
On the other hand, many of us miss out on enough of the K2 form in our diet. You can get some from certain cheeses, including muenster and gouda, organ meats, and a Japanese fermented bean product called natto.
K2 is essential to strong bones and clear arteries, as well as overall heart health. And we know coronavirus can lead to heart damage for some folks.
So, in theory, either form of K… or maybe both… could be responsible for the potential benefit the researchers uncovered. Which means the safest bet is to make sure you have the right levels of BOTH. And that means topping them up now BEFORE you get sick.
“My advice would be to take those vitamin K supplements,” Dr. Rob Janssen, who is involved in the research, told Britain’s Guardian newspaper. “Even if it does not help against severe Covid-19, it is good for your blood vessels, bones, and probably also for the lungs.”
Of course, you should never take a new nutrient without checking with your doc first. And that’s especially true in this case if you’re on blood thinners such as warfarin which don’t always play nice with vitamin K.