Vitamin K2

The Science

Vitamin K2

Vitamin K comes in two forms, K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (menaquinone). Vitamin K1 deficiency is almost non-existent, but vitamin K2 deficiency is common.

Vitamin K2 is an essential fat-soluble vitamin that has many important health benefits. It is present in small quantities as menaquinone-4 in organ meats (such as liver), and in higher quantities as menaquinone-7 in fermented vegetables (such as sauerkraut), but most people don’t eat much of that, which is where supplements come in.

Vitamin K

Occurrence in Food & Supplements

“Dietary vitamin K is largely obtained from green leafy vegetables and vegetable oils, with lesser amounts present in dairy products, meat and eggs. Vitamin K is also present as K1 and K2 in multi-vitamin food supplements and as K1 and K4 in licensed medicines.” (EVM 2003)

Absorption & Bioavailability

“Vitamin K is readily absorbed… The bioavailability of vitamin K1 is the same from raw and cooked broccoli and is unaffected by the fat content of the meal… Overall, 40-70% of vitamin K may be absorbed in the jejunum, but absorption is lower elsewhere in the digestive system.”

(EVM 2003)

Safe Daily Level

“A daily supplementary intake of 1mg/day [1000μg] would be unlikely to result in adverse effects.” (EVM 2003) However, products containing more than 100μg of vitamin K should carry the following warning: “If you are taking anti-coagulants (blood thinners) do not take this product except on the advice of a doctor.”

Vitamin K Health Benefits

  • Vitamin K contributes to normal blood clotting.
  • Vitamin K contributes to the maintenance of normal bones.
  • Research shows that Menaquinone-7, the type of Vitamin K2 used in Nutrienta Supplements, is absorbed by the body 10 times more than Vitamin K1, which is found in green leafy vegetables.

Further Information

Vitamin K

Vitamin K may not directly support our body’s immune system, but it does counteract the potentiality harmful effects of taking vitamin D by reducing its accumulation in soft tissues and blood vessels, where it can be harmful to health. So please don’t take a Vitamin D supplement that doesn’t also include Vitamin K.

K2 Synergy with Vitamin D3

The following quotes are from a 2021 webinar presentation by Dr Andrew Myers, Chief Scientific Officer at NutraGenetics and co-author of “Simplifying the COVID Puzzle”.

“Vitamin K2 improves the function of vitamin D. It activates proteins induced by vitamin D. This improves efficacy and may mitigate risks associated with high dose intake of vitamin D. While D supports calcium absorption from the gut into the bloodstream, it is K2 that regulates calcium metabolism in the body… K2 prevents calcium build-up in the vascular system, and brings it to our bones instead.”

“Unlike the function of pharmaceutical drugs, nutrients work together within all aspects of our biochemistry. The synergy between Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 is clear and should underscore the need to include both nutrients from a supplemental perspective whether promoting immune activity, cardiovascular function or bone health.” 

 

 

Scientific References

“In conclusion, in the present study, we confirmed that vitamin K status is markedly lower in hospitalized COVID-19 patients compared to population controls and that low vitamin K status was associated with mortality in patients with COVID-19 in age- and sex-adjusted analyses.”
Linneberg, Allan et al. The Association of Low Vitamin K Status with Mortality in a Cohort of 138 Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19. Nutrients 2021, 13, 1985. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061985

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Vitamin K “is key to the production of proteins that regulate clotting and can protect against lung disease… My advice would be to take those vitamin K supplements… K2 is better absorbed by the body.”

Dr Rob Janssen, quoted in a Guardian article about Vitamin K by Daniel Boffey

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“Insufficiency of vitamin K2 is thought to be common in Western populations due to dietary reasons…. [Vitamin K2] is left available for the rest of the body to activate different, yet equally crucial, proteins. In bones, they incorporate calcium into the bone matrix. In soft tissues like blood vessels or the lungs, they prevent calcium deposition, elastic fiber degradation, thrombosis and inflammation.”

Trygve Bergeland - The potential of vitamins D and K2 for the immune system

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“Taken together… studies suggest that optimal concentrations of both vitamin D and vitamin K are beneficial for bone and cardiovascular health as supported by genetic, molecular, cellular, and some human studies.”

van Ballegooijen, Adriana J et al. “The Synergistic Interplay between Vitamins D and K for Bone and Cardiovascular Health: A Narrative Review.” International journal of endocrinology vol. 2017 (2017): 7454376. doi:10.1155/2017/7454376

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