Vitamin K2

Buy Vitamin K2 - what you need to know!

Vitamin K2 is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a role in helping to move calcium to the areas of your body that require it - like your bones and teeth.

Vitamin K2 is actually the name for a family of related compounds within the group of K-vitamins. The other main K-vitamin, vitamin K1, is known for its role in preventing blood clotting.

If you have low vitamin K levels, calcium can’t properly attach to your bones. The result can be a hardening of your arteries, because the excess calcium in your body can build up in your arterial walls. This can also mean that your bones aren’t as strong as they should be.

There is good evidence suggesting vitamin K2 supplements can help to prevent this arterial hardening and maintain bone strength, reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis.

A hardening of the arterial walls is associated with diseases like osteoporosis and coronary heart disease. There is also good scientific evidence supporting adequate vitamin K2 intake for preventing coronary heart disease by inhibiting calcification in your arteries.

Vitamin K2 health benefits

Vitamin K2 is associated with the following health benefits:

  • Maintains bone strength
  • Supports bone mineral density
  • Maintains healthy arteries
  • Protects against coronary heart disease

How does vitamin K2 maintain bone strength?

As vitamin K2 plays a role in helping to disperse calcium in the body, the way in which your body regulates calcium can be disrupted if you have low levels of vitamin K2.

This can result in low bone mineral density - which, if left untreated, can lead to osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a condition in which your become brittle and fragile from loss of tissue, and it’s commonly associated with calcium deficiency. Postmenopausal women are most at risk of osteoporosis.

It’s thought that vitamin K2 deficiency results in a decreased level of active osteocalcin, a vitamin K-dependent protein that your bones product. With decreased osteocalcin, you have an increased risk for fragile bones.

Research has indicated that vitamin K2 supplements can maintain bone strength. In fact, in several Japanese studies, vitamin K2 reversed bone loss and increased bone mass in patients with osteoporosis.

Studies have also suggested that vitamin K2 supplements can reduce bone loss and improve bone strength in postmenopausal women.

Vitamin K2 can help to:

  • Maintain bone strength
  • Support and maintain bone mineral density
  • Reduce bone loss and improve bone strength in postmenopausal women

How does vitamin K2 maintain healthy arteries?

Low levels of vitamin K2 are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and atherosclerosis (a disease in which plaque builds up inside your arteries).

An important Dutch study of over 4,800 patients suggested that people with high vitamin K2 intakes were significantly less likely to develop severe calcification of the arteries (an indirect measure of atherosclerosis).

The study also showed that those with high K2 intakes were much less likely to develop heart disease - and they were significantly less likely to die from it.

This study added weight to the body of evidence suggesting that vitamin K2 may play an important role in maintaining healthy arteries by keeping calcium out of the arterial lining.

Vitamin K2 can help to:

  • Maintain healthy arteries
  • Inhibit calcification of the arteries

Vitamin K2 and coronary heart disease

If you have a lack of calcium in your bones, you’re more likely to possess an excess of calcium in your arteries. This is because calcium that can’t be - or isn’t - deposited where your body needs it most tends to build up in your arteries.

When you have excess calcium in your arteries, you have an increased risk of developing coronary heart disease - as well as other types of disease, like cardiovascular disease, renal disease and certain neurodegenerative diseases.

As vitamin K2 plays a role in moving calcium around your body, it’s thought to be protective against coronary heart disease. A study conducted in 2009 found exactly that - and it looked at data from over 16,000 women.

Vitamin K2 can help to:

  • Reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease
  • Protect against coronary heart disease

Who can benefit from taking a vitamin K2 supplement?

A vitamin K2 supplement may be beneficial for you if you’re someone who is at risk of the following:

  • Osteoporosis
  • Brittle bones
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Coronary heart disease

Does vitamin K2 have any side effects?

Side effects vitamin K2 supplements, including allergic reactions, are rare when taken at recommended dose.

Vitamin K2 supplement combinations

Vitamin K2 supplements often contain a combination of vitamins. These formulations are designed to work together to strengthen your bones. They’re also designed to help protect your arteries against calcification.

If you’re considering taking a supplement containing vitamin K2, vitamins commonly combined with K2 can include:

  • Vitamin K1
  • Vitamin D3

Vitamin K2 medicine interactions

Vitamin K2 supplements may interact with other medications you may be taking, so you should always discuss supplementation with your healthcare professional.

Certain drugs may interfere with vitamin K2 supplements, including antacids, blood thinners, antibiotics and aspirin. Also, certain types of medications for cancer, high cholesterol and seizures may also interact with vitamin K2 supplements.

Vitamin K2 contraindications and cautions

Vitamin K2 is considered safe for pregnant and breast-feeding women when taken at the recommended dose. If you are unsure of whether a vitamin K2 supplement is right for you, always consult your healthcare professional.

How much vitamin K2 do you need every day?

Because different brands vary in their dosing guidelines, always read the vitamin K2 supplement label to determine the optimal dosage for you.

Talk to your health professional if you’re unsure of your vitamin K2 status or if you think you may benefit from a vitamin K2 supplement.

Foods sources of vitamin K2

Foods high in vitamin K2 include natto (a Japanese food made from fermented soybeans), cheese, egg yolk, butter, chicken liver, chicken breast, salami, and ground beef. However, these foods contain relatively small levels of vitamin K2.

Why take a vitamin K2 supplement?

There is an emerging body of evidence supporting vitamin K2’s role in maintaining healthy bones and preventing heart disease, among other diseases. So vitamin K2 supplementation may be beneficial for you if you’re looking to:

  • Prevent osteoporosis
  • Prevent coronary heart disease
  • Maintain healthy bones
  • Support and maintain bone mineral density
  • Maintain healthy arteries

Other names of vitamin K2

4-Amino-2-Methyl-1-Naphthol, Fat-Soluble Vitamin, Menadiol Acetate, Menadiol Sodium Phosphate, Menadione, Ménadione, Menadione Sodium Bisulfite, Menaquinone, Ménaquinone, Menatetrenone, Menatétrenone, Phytonadione, Methylphytyl Naphthoquinone, Phylloquinone, Phytomenadione, Vitamina K, Vitamine K, Vitamine Liposoluble, Vitamine Soluble dans les Graisses.

References

The following research has been conducted into vitamin K2:

Beulens JW, et al. High dietary menaquinone intake is associated with reduced coronary calcification. Atherosclerosis. 2009 Apr;203(2):489-93. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2008.07.010. Epub 2008 Jul 19. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18722618

Booth et al. "Associations between Vitamin K Biochemical Measures and Bone Mineral Density in Men and Women", The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism Vol.89 No.10 pp.4904-9 doi:10.1210/jc.2003-031673 http://press.endocrine.org/doi/citedby/10.1210/jc.2003-031673

Gast GC, et al. A high menaquinone intake reduces the incidence of coronary heart disease. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2009 Sep;19(7):504-10. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2008.10.004. Epub 2009 Jan 28. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19179058

Geleijnse JM, et al. Dietary intake of menaquinone is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: the Rotterdam Study. J Nutr. 2004 Nov;134(11):3100-5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15514282

Knapen MH, et al. Three-year low-dose menaquinone-7 supplementation helps decrease bone loss in healthy postmenopausal women. Osteoporos Int. 2013 Sep;24(9):2499-507. doi: 10.1007/s00198-013-2325-6. Epub 2013 Mar 23. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23525894

Schurgers LJ, et al. Matrix Gla-protein: the calcification inhibitor in need of vitamin K. Thromb Haemost. 2008 Oct;100(4):593-603. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18841280

Schurgers LJ, et al. Regression of warfarin-induced medial elastocalcinosis by high intake of vitamin K in rats. Blood. 2007 Apr 1;109(7):2823-31.

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