You’ve all read my post about fat soluble vitamins, right?


Well, let’s just take a second to let those of you who haven’t read it yet catch up.  It offers vital context for today’s post.

Today I am going to walk you through two very complementary presentations from the Weston A. Price conference held earlier this month in Atlanta.

The first was by Chris Masterjohn, PhD.   and the second was by Kate Rheaume-Bleue, ND.

Masterjohn, as you may recall, is THE GUY when it comes to the synergies of fat-soluble vitamins.  In this presentation, his focus was: Beyond Cholesterol: Fat-Soluble Vitamins in the Prevention of Heart Disease.”  Rheaume-Bleue (hereinafter, R-B) spoke on “Vitamin K2: Putting Calcium in Its Place … and Much More.”

I’ve seen Masterjohn speak twice now and I devour every piece he writes in the Weston A. Price newsletter, Wise Traditions.  He is masterful and laying out a foundation and building an argument upon it.  He began by discussing Vitamin A.

Masterjohn explained that while humans possess the ability to convert carotenoids into Vitamin A, that conversion may be impacted by many factors.  Some of those factors are within our control – the type of foods we choose to eat, for example – and some are out of our control, i.e., genetics.  The rate of conversion of carotenoids into Vitamin A can be as little as 3% and as great as 25%.  A simpler “matrix” makes conversion more efficient so red palm oil is on the higher end while fruits tend to be on the lower end of the conversion scale.

Then he walked the audience through the differences between K1 and K2.  Many people conflate these vitamins and assume that they get sufficient “Vitamin K” because they eat foods like kale and other green leafy veggies.  Mammals convert K1 into K2 and the more green leafies that they eat, the more K2 in their fat.  That’s one reason why WAPFers along with Paleo and Primal folks place a premium on grassfed, full fat dairy.

In case you were wondering, yes, humans (as mammals) convert K1 into K2, as well.  But, as R-B shared in her presentation:

  • Humans absorb K1 weakly, around 5%
  • Of that K1 that we absorb, only between 5-25% is converted to K2.
  • Testing in Europe shows most apparently healthy people are deficient in K2.
  • Our body doesn’t have a “recycling” mechanism for K2 and you can become deficient in as little as a week.
  • Thus, K2 is an “essential nutrient” which means it is one we must consume as opposed to the ones our bodies can manufacture.

If you’ve ever read any of the WAPF literature, you may be aware that most of the Foundation’s beliefs center around the work of a dentist, Dr. Weston A. Price.  He traveled around the world and made observations about how diet impacted human health.  He wrote a book, [amazon_link id=”0879838167″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Nutrition and Physical Degeneration[/amazon_link], wherein he described his observations.

One of the observations that Price made, according to Masterjohn, involved a seasonal variation in heart disease, with fewer CVD events occurring in the fall and spring months.  Price posited that those were the times of the year when the grass was growing more rapidly and thus it contained more beta carotene (a precursor of Vitamin A) and Vitamin K1 which the cow’s bodies then converted into what Price termed “Activator X” and which Masterjohn believes, with a great deal of evidence, is Vitamin K2.

(Still with me?)

Now, all that I just laid out is really important if we are going to go any farther.  But I’m going to be honest, Masterjohn’s next segment laid out the mechanisms behind cardiovascular disease and between my furious attempts to take notes, tweet the info, and listen, I am in no position to walk you through his foundational information on this front.  I am hoping that Laura of Ancestralize Me will tackle this project with all her R.D.-to-be wisdom.  Because, well, can you see what my notes look like?  WAPF Folder

So, here’s my grossly, grossly oversimplified version of what Masterjohn had to say:

  • The perception of our blood vessels as “pipes” and fats as materials that “clog the pipes” thus leading to CVD is incorrect and harmful.
  • Instead, one of the key mechanisms by which CVD occurs is through the buildup of plaque in vessels that is then destabilized.  The vessel narrows with successive ruptures and healing.
  • Calcification, notably micro-calcifications, contribute to dangerous rupture.
  • Vitamin K2 from animal fats works in synergy with Vitamins A and D to put the calcium in your teeth and bones where it belongs and not in your blood vessels.

And the big, big bottom line?

If you don’t consume the fat-soluble vitamins in a balanced way, calcium will be deposited in your soft tissues (blood vessels) instead of your bones and teeth where it belongs.  Calcified blood vessels can lead to heart disease.

Okay, so I only touched on R-B’s presentation a little bit and I know I’ve written a ton.  So, I’ll save that for the next post.  But in the interim, if this stuff interests you like it does me, I recommend the following pieces from Masterjohn:

2 Responses to “My Fat-Soluble Obsession Explained. In Part. The First Part. That’s Really the Second.”

  1. […] As promised many moons ago, here is the summary of the talk by Kate Rheaume-Bleue, N.D. from the Weston A. Price Wise Traditions Conference, held in Atlanta in November. (And, if you don’t remember, rather than type her longish name out a million times, I’m calling her R-B.) […]

  2. […] I am obsessed with fat-soluble vitamins. I’ve written about them a few times, like here, and here and here. But most of those pieces focus on Vitamins A, D, and K2, to the exclusion of Vitamin […]

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