A missing ingredient that research is finally exposing as deficient in the Western diet due to the vilification of such foods as eggs, cheese and liver as part of the unproven saturated fat hypothesis is Vitamin K2 which is found in abundance in such foods and also fermented foods which have declined since the introduction of refrigeration and pasteurisation.
Nattō (納豆) (extremely high in vitamin K2) is a fermented soybean product that has been consumed as a traditional food in Japan for thousands of years, mostly as breakfast food which is served with Karashi mustard, soy sauce, and sometimes Japanese onion. Nattō is often considered an acquired taste because of its powerful smell, strong flavour, and sticky, slimy texture. Within Japan, nattō is most popular in the eastern regions, including Kantō, Tōhoku, and Hokkaido and has been found to be a potent blood-clot dissolving protein and is produced by the bacterium Bacillus Subtilis during the fermentation of soybeans. Nattō has been extensively studied in Japan, Korea, and China and recently, the fibrinolytic (anti-clotting) capacity of nattō has been recognized by Western medicine.
It has been shown to break down and dissolve fibrinogen, a component of blood clots and atherosclerotic plaque, which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease, and has no side effects.
Also, consumption of nattō is linked with lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as viscosity, which in turn improves blood flow and subsequently, lowers blood pressure.
But let’s look back at some research by Weston A. Price in the 1930’s when he published Nutrition and Physical Degeneration detailing his global travels studying the diets and nutrition of various cultures and highlighted the benefits of a missing vitamin he called Activator X, later to be named Vitamin K2.
Not to be confused with vitamin K1, which can be found in leafy green vegetables such as Broccoli, Spinach and Chard, vitamin K2 comes in several forms but the form of interest is MK7 (Menaquinone 7) and is produced by intestinal bacteria, yep, again, the microbiome also has a role but discussion is ongoing as to what extent K2 produced by human intestinal bacteria contributes to daily vitamin K2 needs.
Probably the most informative lecture on Vitamin K2 is the appropriately titled Everything You Need To Know About Vitamin K2 and is 50 minutes of indispensable information.