This is page 4 of an 8-page Article. Please begin at Page 1 here, to fully understand how vitamin K2 gives you strong bones & teeth.
Why I Think Grains Have K2 Bacteria
Are all bacteria on cabbage and grains producing vitamin K2 for their anaerobic energy needs?
In the case of cabbage, the answer is clearly No, with only 5 mcg of K2 per 100g. Research shows only a few strains of lactic acid bacteria produce K2.
Why do I believe that grains carry beneficial vitamin K2-producing bacteria? And therefore we should drink fermented grain milks.
First, the source of Bacillus subtilis (natto) is straw, which is dried stalks of grain. Originally the Japanese made natto by placing boiled soya beans in straw. Today factories just use the bacillus from the straw.
Second, Dr. Weston Price advised pregnant women to ferment their grains. Fermenting triggers the phytic acid in grains to release their hold on calcium. But I wonder if it wasn’t also because the women were getting K2 from the fermented grain? I can’t find any record that Dr. Price ever tested fermented grains for Activator-X.
Yet I find it significant that Dr. Price selected fermented grains for pregnant women, and not sprouted grains. Sprouting will also reduce the phytates and other anti-nutrients. Did he intuitively know that fermenting the grains gave the women Activator-X? And sprouting did not?
Pregnant women have a super-high need for vitamin K2, to build good facial structure and jaw bone in the foetus.
I’m sure Dr. Price would’ve heard about sprouting from his contemporary, Dr. Edmond Szekely. In 1928 Dr. Szekely founded the International Biogenic Society, to teach sprouting and living foods (biogenic foods). In 1937 he published The Essene Gospel of Peace (#ad), and founded his live-food healing clinic in Mexico.
At the very same time, Dr. Price was conducting his cross-cultural studies in the 1930’s. He published his findings on “Activator X” (vitamin K2) in 1945.
Third and most significant of all, comes my personal experience! My very own epidemiological evidence (okay, anecdotal). I may be the only person on the planet who’s had this experience!
In 1992 I came to raw foods with excruciating unbearable toothaches that kept me awake at night. In the fall of that year, my Russian dentist diagnosed yet another $1,200 root canal. I did not have $12 at the time, nor a job. I walked out of her office on Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn, and said:
“Okay Ann Wigmore, if your way cures cancer, let’s see it cure a hole in my tooth.”
I slowly began the Ann Wigmore program. I carried on eating my normal fare of pizza, chips, chocolate, soda, ice cream, and donuts — at that time, not today! But each day I’d also have either Energy Soup (today it’s morphed into Green Smoothie) or green juice, and lots of fresh sprouts & micro-greens, all grown by me.
On the days I drank her fermented grain milks, my tooth pain went down. On the days I left them out — because they tasted so gross — my teeth remained painful.
After reading Dr. Kate’s book, I believe that the grain ferments gave me K2 to deposit calcium into my teeth. The root that my dentist said needed a root canal, actually calcified itself up!
I never experienced anything with the other ferments, such as almond cream. Only the grain milks made a clear specific difference in my pain on the day I drank one. I’d drink a quart jar (1 liter) a day.
You could argue that it was all the vitamin K1 in my blended and juiced greens that my body was converting to K2.
But to me, it’s highly significant that I actually felt the calcium go into my tooth (pain went down) when I drank grain milks. I did NOT experience this with my blended or juiced greens.
Do grains carry a K2-producing bacterium? That’s my hypothesis. If you want K2 in a natural form (not a supplement) my advice is to make fermented grain milks and oat yogurt.
Remember, variety is the rule. Drink a different grain ferment each day. I recall counting up to nine different grains in my kitchen cupboard in Brooklyn.
Try amaranth, unhulled barley, hulled buckwheat, kamut, millet, oats (unhulled for milk, hulled for yogurt), quinoa, rice, rye, spelt, teff, wheat.
For me, the ones that work best are whole unhulled barley, sproutable kamut/rye/spelt/wheat, and oats. You can get raw sprouting oats from Canadian Jim Mumm at sprouting.com. He grows them on his farm.
The “bad” gluten in wheat, barley and rye stays in the grain when it’s soaked. It does not leach out into the fermented soak water that you drink.
Gluten proteins form a matrix that store starch in the dry grain. When you add water to wheat or wheat flour, this matrix becomes elastic (a “visco-elastic network”). It stretches to allow the water to ooze into the starch, between its chains of glucose molecules. Read my article on How We Digest Starch.
Feedback from Dr. Kate
I asked Kate Rhéaume-Bleue, B.Sc. N.D., author of Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox (#ad) for her feedback. Her reply:
“I find your theory about fermented grains and K2 really interesting.
I didn’t expect your article to be so thorough. Well done! Excellent. Vegans and everyone will benefit from eating more greens and spouts and you make it clear that it takes a lot of greens to achieve those potential osteocalcin activation benefits, or else natto or a K2 supp is required. You didn’t misquote or mis-represent my work at any point.”
Leafy Greens: Vegan Source of K2’s Precursor, Vitamin K1
Do you see how high a springbok jumps? She never breaks a bone. What does she eat? Grass. Do you see the strong bones and teeth of a silverback gorilla? Munching on his leafy greens.
If grass and leafy greens are so powerful, why are some writers saying you must eat liver, fish, eggs, and butter for bones and teeth?
Because they’re not blending leafy greens and juicing wheatgrass! You need a LOT of the substrate, K1, to convert it into K2. Remember wild buck and gorillas are munching on greens all day!
All mammals, including humans, synthesize K2 (MK-4 form) from K1, which you find in rapidly growing green plants. The K1-to-K2 conversion takes place in your fatty tissues, such as your arterial walls, and in women the mammary glands.
Wikipedia reports on two rat studies: “Tissues that accumulate high amounts of MK4 have a remarkable capacity to convert up to 90% of the available K1 into MK4.”
The ability to convert K1 to K2 varies widely between species, and even between strains or breeds of the same species.
In humans, bile salts are needed to absorb both K1 and K2. So it’s good to eat a little fat at the same time as your leafy greens, to trigger release of bile. Add a tablespoon of ground seeds like chia, flax or hemp to your Green Smoothies.
Fat also helps you to convert K1 into K2. Trans fats inhibit your body’s utilization of K2.
How much K1 do you need to eat, to convert to K2? Let’s say the DRI for K2 will turn out to be double that for K1 — 200 mcg/day.
And let’s say the conversion rate is 10:1 for K1:K2 — you need to eat 10 units of K1 for every 1 unit of K2. I’m basing this on the conversion of 12:1 for betacarotene to vitamin A (some authors say it’s 6:1 but that’s assuming you have all co-factors in the right ratio needed for conversion).
That means you must eat 2,000 mcg of vitamin K1 a day to get 200 mcg of K2. One study found that you need a daily intake of 1,000 mcg of K1 for the protein osteocalcin to bind minerals into your bones.
If the DRI for K2 turns out to be 100 mcg, then that study is in line with my calculation here — 1,000 mcg K1 for 100 mcg K2.
But here’s the tricky part. A 2002 study concludes that humans can’t absorb more than 200 mcg of vitamin K1 a day from plants.
If you can’t absorb more than 200 mcg K1 a day, and the conversion of K1 to K2 is 10:1, then it means you’re unable to get more than 20 mcg a day of K2 from leafy greens — a fraction of your daily requirement.
Truth is, no one knows what’s really going on! And no one has yet studied LIVING greens in LARGE amounts. Dr. Cursio worked in rural upstate New York. I bet his patients grew the greens they blended.
First Anecdotal Study Questions the Research
I’m living proof that a woman over 60 (I was born in 1948) who’s been vegetarian for 40+ years (since 1972) CAN get enough K2 to actually reverse both porous bones (osteopenia) and a lifetime of cavities, by eating LARGE quantities of LIVING greens.
At age 23 I decided never to touch fish, animal, bird or eggs again (except egg in cake & cookies). For the next twenty years I lived on junk food and alcohol, and chain-smoked to boot.
Then in my early 40’s, I hit perimenopause with huge mineral deficiencies. I lost five teeth in five years from 1988 to 1993, either to extraction or root canal.
In 1992 I began to grow micro-greens and sprouts in my Brooklyn apartment. A year later, I read Dr Ann’s Energy Soup recipe in her book Rebuild Your Health: with High Energy Enzyme Nourishment (#ad). I began to blend the greens & sprouts I was growing. My teeth healed. After a lifetime of cavities and surgical interventions (fillings, root canals, extractions) it all stopped within a year!
It shows the power of blended greens! Even when you eat junk, so long as you eat blended or juiced greens every day, the leafy greens will vanquish the junk.
Since 1993 I’ve had only one self-inflicted cavity, in 2000. At the time I was still eating donuts, pizza, and chocolate, along with my Energy Soup. By 2007 the junk food had fallen away (I’m so happy to report).
Fifteen years later in 2015, an electric toothbrush gave me a cavity in a molar root. The entire tooth had to be removed. I’d used that brush for seven years because the oral hygienist told me to. Its harsh abrasive action brushed away the delicate gum, and then the cementum around the root, so bacteria had free entry into my root’s teeny dentinal tubules.
Stupidly I listened to that oral hygienist! You’d think I’d know by now not to listen to the medical profession, wouldn’t you? I said to my dentist:
“This was caused by the electric toothbrush, wasn’t it?”
“Yes, that was the triggering factor. I tell my own hygienist NOT to give electric toothbrushes to my patients.”
Today I use the softest of toothbrushes. It’s a special surgical one from my dentist, softer than any toothbrush you can buy in a store.
Nadine Artemis writes in Holistic Dental Care: The Complete Guide to Healthy Teeth and Gums (#ad) that your toothbrush should look new after six months. That’s how softly you must brush! If it’s worn down with flattened bristles, you’re brushing too hard.
Never use an electric toothbrush!
Healing Bones with Leafy Greens
My bones healed just as beautifully as my teeth — with my Energy Soup, Green Smoothies, and green juices.
I went through menopause in 1995-1996 (age 47-48). In the first five years afterwards — a 5-year period when women absorb very little calcium into their bones — I broke three bones in three years from 1998-2000.
My wrist (which is several bones not just one) fractured so badly that I needed surgery. The surgeon pointed out my porous bones to me on the x-ray. I clearly had osteopenia (mild bone loss). I spent two months in a cast from my hand to my shoulder, my arm locked in a rigid right angle.
Twelve years later in 2013, at age 65, I went for a bone density test. I’m in every single high-risk category for osteoporosis — skinny white female over-60 who’s never had a child and who drank and smoked heavily until her 40’s! Yet my bones passed top of the class for bone mineral density — absolutely no sign of osteopenia (which is the average for age 65) or osteoporosis (severe bone loss).
You really can reverse weak teeth and bones, with living greens. I’m living proof. I’ve never done weight-bearing exercise — I know I should! I walk my dog daily (about 2 miles, or 2.5-4 km). I also take a green powder supplement several days a week, such as freeze-dried alfalfa grass or barley grass, moringa leaf (Moringa oleifera), blue-green algae, spirulina, chlorella … I vary it.
I ate Dr. Ann’s fermented foods for only five years from 1992 to 1997. But since 1993 I’ve had blended greens about four days a week (or sometimes green juice). I blend my greens into Energy Soup or Green Smoothies.
I always eat LIVING greens every day — from a Sprouter, or my garden, or wild weeds. I love chickweed and lamb’s quarters (Chenopodium berlandieri, called goosefoot in South Africa).
Energy Soup is better for strong bones and teeth because it has seaweed for trace minerals, and bean sprouts for extra protein & minerals like phosphorus.
Do leafy greens work for me? I say YES. I’ve eaten cheese all my life. It never saved my teeth and bones. I don’t eat much, 2-3 thin slices and I’ll go days without it, sometimes months.
Yet the very first year I began to add Ann Wigmore’s living greens and fermented foods to my junk food diet, my teeth healed. Within a decade, on greens alone, my bones healed. Actually I could feel I had strong bones years earlier. But 2013 is when I went for the test.