K-2 concentrates in the saliva in order to mineralize calcium in our teeth. Zinc supplementation increases salivary calcium levels: http://jdr.sagepub.com/content/84/1/35.short
Weston Price treated caries with his high vitamin butter oil, which contained a lot of k-2, but I wonder if correcting a zinc deficiency at the same time would make this process faster/more effective. The increased salivary calcium is likely for the proper functioning of taste buds, but I'm sure it's in a form that would mineralize. Most people coming from the SAD are going to be deficient in both of these (k-2 because most avoid a lot of egg yolks, butter and organ meats and zinc because of the high phytate content of the SAD, reduced red meat intake and also organ avoidance).
For what it's worth, zinc picolinate appears to be the most bioavailable form. I have encountered no stomach aches as a result of taking it without food.
Edit: I should also mention that zinc should be taken away from the copper-rich foods in your diet. The most concentrated source of copper that we eat is probably liver, which itself has a lot of zinc as it is, so the "advertised" levels of both in liver are likely overstating the bioavailability of each. If you took zinc at a time when you eat liver, you might negate most of the copper.
Travis.....as a former dentist this is spot on based on things I have read. If I could upvote you more I would. I hope every dentist reads this......sadly few will.
I am a dentist. In fact, I went to dental school in Ohio--possibly where WAP went, although I haven't been able to come up with that information. The problem I see is that with the SAD depleting so many nutrients, and with obscure co-factors so often necessary, I'm skeptical as to whether artificial supplementation will be effective on caries reduction. But heck, I'm willing to suggest anything at this point. Many patients will listen with fascination as I inform them of the truth about diet, but none will do anything about it.
I graduated dental school in 1980. Back then the dental community perceived that fluoride was wiping out caries and that most of us would eventually be out of a job. That's a laugh. People's teeth are rotting out of their mouths faster than I can fix them.
Here is another reason to use Zinc - tooth pain
As we all know tooth pain is one of the worst kind.
Then we have this goodie:
This study doesnt supppor it:
This study supports it for rats:
and this too
Given that Zinc is needed for so many things, and that in combination with K2 effects may be more substantial, I think its a good idea.
Just came across these links. More reasons that zinc supplementation could be very beneficial when coming off years of SAD.
Phytic acid is postulated to enhance Cu utilization by its ability to bind other dietary components, such as Zn, that compete with Cu at the site of intestinal absorption.
Calcium in combination with phytic acid reduces zinc absorption.
So after years of eating cereal with milk, bread with cheese, and just loads of phytic acid in general, there stands to be a pretty good chance that one would have an unbalanced copper:zinc ratio.
WAP's diet for healing caries also included a high mineral content, high A & D, and low refined starch. Has it been found that K-2 is as effective in the absence of these components? No doubt the zinc sounds like a boon.
Recently I had a terrible toothache whenever I drank coffee. The pain was bad enough for me to keel over and roll around on the floor. I went to the dentist who said I'd have to get either an extraction or a root canal filling. The root canal was extremely expensive with no guarantee of success. The extraction was going to require expensive surgery due to crooked shaped roots. While I umm-ed and ahh-ed, the dentist said, "you'll need to make a decision, the pain isn't going to go away".
I wasn't sure what to do. Coincidentally, I'd been reading about bone broths and decided to make one that weekend. Not because of my teeth, just because it sounded interesting. I had a bowl of this broth every day, and after three or four days the pain went away.
That was six weeks ago. I've made a bone broth every weekend since and had a bowl every morning. And the pain hasn't returned.
This is only an n=1 report, but I'll make it anyway. Have been suffering from cracked tooth syndrome, which has been flaring up more and more frequently while my dentist and I try to locate the true source tooth, and debate crown +/- root canal.
This past holiday weekend I knew I would get 20 minutes sun on each side for all three days to boost D3. Friday night my tooth was bothering me enough that sleep was disrupted. Aware of the need to balance Vit D with appropriate K2 and A, I began taking additional K1/K2 in the form of LEF Super K, along with some beta carotene. Had only been taking the Super K a couple of times per week, but this weekend I took it twice a day. I rarely supplement zinc.
Low and behold it seemed to have stopped the cracked tooth pain in its tracks. Even eating a few Brazil nuts, which always triggers it, did not bring it back.
So there may be something to the notion that K helps. Last month I had my serum osteocalcin measured, which is an indirect method of accessing Vit K status. I was very close to the middle of the test house' range/distribution graph. My beta carotene was low despite eating carrots daily, and taking the occasional supplement.
So in my n=1 experience, the health of my teeth improved by eating Paleo style. I have no idea of my vitamin K2 status, but I certainly get more zinc now.
The important thing to note though is that my teeth improved while covered with the filling.
So I don't think that in my case K2 in my saliva mattered?
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