The Scoop of Vitamin K2
Also published on the Can Prev Blog
Vitamin K2 probably does not sound too familiar, it is not one of the more popularly wide known vitamins, like vitamin C or D. Vitamin K2 belongs to the Vitamin K family which is a fat soluble vitamin. Vitamin K1 is the natural vitamin found in nature, mainly in green leafy plants and is perhaps the more popular of the two as it helps with blood clotting.
Vitamin K2 is known chemically as menaquinone. It received recognition when research came out investigating calcium supplementation and osteoporosis. Many people who were taking calcium supplements had calcium build up in their arteries and kidneys, where it should not be, and this placed them at risk for heart attacks and kidney stones. It seemed like the body was absorbing the calcium from the supplements, but the calcium was not going to the bones where it was needed. Vitamin K2’s job is to help direct calcium to deposit into the bones and teeth and away from your other areas of your body.
Vitamin K2 is found naturally in the fat containing area of animals, such as butter, dairy and organ meats. So the fattier the meats, the more vitamin K2 there is. However, leaner meats and grass fed meats are going to contain lower levels of fat, thus lower levels of K2.
The food containing the highest amount of vitamin K2 is natto. This is a Japanese food that is made from fermenting soybeans but most typical North American diets are not likely going to be very high in natto, thus, including cheeses like gouda or brie, animal livers, egg yolks, and fish eggs are good ways to get vitamin K2 in the diet. But even those foods are not consumed on a regular basis making this a perfect vitamin to take in supplement form.
Most people would benefit from vitamin K2 supplementation. Children need bone building nutrients for their growing bones. Women, especially those nearing menopause, require vitamin K2 and D3, as a decrease in estrogen decreases bone density. Individuals at risk for osteoporosis or osteopenia and those who are currently taking calcium containing supplements (i.e most multivitamins and prenatal vitamins) would all benefit from a vitamin K2 supplement to direct calcium to bones and not to other tissues in the body.
Can Prev’s Vitamin D3 and K2 (menoquinone-7) provides an excellent source of these vitamins.
It comes in a base of medium chain triglycerides that allows for superior absorption in a liquid dropper form which is easy to ingest for adults and children. Or an organic coconut oil based soft gel is available if that is preferred over a liquid.
Simply put, vitamin D3 helps you absorb calcium and vitamin K2 puts that calcium into the right places. So make sure you check your supplements to see if they contain vitamin K2 and if not, pick one up and add it to your daily supplement regime.
Hi I am Dr. Laura: mum of 2, Naturopathic Doctor, Health and Wellness Expert, Educator, Speaker, & Entreprenuer