WHY VITAMIN K2?
There are a wide variety of available food sources to provide sufficient levels of vitamin K1, but vitamin K2 foods are less common. Vitamin K2 is mainly found in animal products and fermented foods (egg yolks, liver, sauerkraut). Not everyone consumes these on a regular basis, especially those who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet.
Vitamin K2 improves bone and heart health by promoting the calcification of bones. On the other hand, it prevents the calcification of blood vessels and kidneys.This helps to increase our calcium levels, increase bone strength, protects us against osteoporosis and fractures, and is strongly associated with a reduced risk of heart disease.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF TAKING VITAMIN K2?
Vitamin K2 helps deposit calcium into our bones, increasing bone density. A bone-building protein, Osteocalcin, relies on K2 to become activated and then binds to calcium. In general, the typical Western diet contains insufficient amounts of vitamin K2 to activate MGP, an inactive protein that regulates calcium levels in the blood. This can lead to excessively low or high blood calcium levels, both of which can have detrimental effects*.
The percentage of vitamin K2 deficiency increases with age. In clinical studies, vitamin K2 has shown to maintain bone mineral density and reduce age-related bone fractures by activating the calcium-binding actions of two proteins (matrix GLA protein and osteocalcin) which help to build and maintain strong bones (1).
*low calcium levels and calcium intake may lead to muscle cramps, brittle bones, dry and itchy skin, fatigue, insomnia, etc; high calcium levels may lead to kidney stones, interference with heart and brain function, complications of the digestive tract, etc.
Studies show that if at least 32mcg of vitamin K2 is present in the daily diet, risks for blood-vessel calcification* and heart complications are significantly lowered. Also, the elasticity of the vessel wall is increased. In a study that consisted of 16,057 women, it was found that participants with the highest vitamin K2 intake had a reduced risk of heart disease by 9% (1).
*accumulation of calcium in the walls of blood vessels, which can induce blockage of blood flow
A 3-year study with 244 postmenopausal women found that those taking vitamin K2 supplementation experienced a buffer against age-related bone mineral density. These women also showed a significant improvement in cardiovascular health as measured by ultrasound and pulse-wave velocity* (1).
*established as standard measurements for cardiovascular health
WHAT TIME OF DAY SHOULD I TAKE VITAMIN K2?
Vitamin K2 is fat soluble, so it is best absorbed with foods that contain fat. Furthermore, vitamin K2 and vitamin D work as a team with calcium for optimal heart and bone health, so it is important to ensure you are incorporating calcium rich vitamin k2 foods in your diet while taking vitamin K2.
Our vitamin k2 source is a high purity known as MK-7, derived from natural fermentation using a substrate of chickpea powder, and is the only clinically-validated available form backed by extensive human clinical documentation in children and adults. Our supplier’s fermented chickpea powder activates the vitamin K dependent proteins osteocalcin and MGP, which contribute to both bone and cardiovascular health.
- Maresz K. Proper Calcium Use: Vitamin K2 as a Promoter of Bone and Cardiovascular Health. Integr Med (Encinitas). 2015;14(1):34‐39. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4566462/
- Gast GC, de Roos NM, Sluijs I, et al. A high menaquinone intake reduces the incidence of coronary heart disease. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2009;19(7):504‐510. doi:10.1016/j.numecd.2008.10.004 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19179058/
- Knapen, M.H.J., Drummen, N.E., Smit, E. et al. Three-year low-dose menaquinone-7 supplementation helps decrease bone loss in healthy postmenopausal women. Osteoporos Int 24, 2499–2507 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00198-013-2325-6 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23525894/