Vitamin K2 plays an important role in blood clotting, heart health, and bone health. But many times vitamin K2 is not consumed with a normal diet. Many people have never heard of Vitamin K2. It is found in fewer foods than vitamin K1. It is found in animal-based foods, such as beef and cheese, while K1 is found in plant-based foods. Vitamin K2 plays an essential role in many aspects of nutrient health.

Read more -(Vitamin K: Benefits, Sources)

 
  1. What is Vitamin K?
  2. Uses of Vitamin K1 and K2
  3. Benefits of Vitamin K2
  4. Vitamin K2 Benefits for Heart Health
  5. Vitamin K2 Benefits for Bones
  6. Vitamin K2 Benefits for Teeth
  7. Vitamin K2 Benefits for Cancer
  8. Vitamin K2 Benefits for Anxiety and Depression
  9. Sources of Vitamin K2
  10. Vitamin K2 Rich Foods
  11. Summary

Vitamin K was discovered in 1929 as an essential nutrient for blood clotting.

There are two main forms of vitamin K:

Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone): Found in plant foods such as leafy greens.

Vitamin K2 (menaquinone): Found in animal foods and fermented foods, also produced by gut bacteria.

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Vitamin K activates proteins that play a role in blood clotting, calcium metabolism and heart health. Its most important function is to control calcium deposition. In other words, it promotes calcification of bones and prevents calcification of blood vessels and kidneys.

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Calcium build-up in the arteries around the heart is a major risk for heart disease. Vitamin K may reduce calcium buildup, which helps prevent heart disease.

 

Osteoporosis is especially seen in older women and greatly increases the risk of fractures. Vitamin K2 plays a central role in the metabolism of calcium, the main mineral found in bones and teeth. Vitamin K2 activates the calcium binding actions of two proteins – matrix GLA protein and osteocalcin, which help build and maintain bone. Vitamin K2 may provide major benefits for bone health.

16 studies in 6425 postmenopausal women showed that taking vitamin K2 replenished essential bone minerals and increased bone strength. Another study also found that vitamin K2 intake reduced spine fractures by 60%, hip fractures by 77%, and other bone fractures by 81%.

Vitamin K supplements are officially recommended in Japan to prevent and treat osteoporosis.

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Researchers have speculated that vitamin K2 may affect dental health. A 2023 review of 4965 elderly individuals concluded that regular vitamin K intake along with fiber-rich food helped prevent tooth loss.

The key protein needed to keep teeth healthy is osteocalcin – the same protein that is important for bone metabolism and is activated by vitamin K2. Osteocalcin is helpful in increasing the growth of new bone and new dentin.

 

Cancer is a common cause of death in western countries. Interestingly, several studies have been conducted on vitamin K2 and certain types of cancer. Some studies show that vitamin K2 reduces the recurrence of liver cancer.

 

High blood sugar levels can increase a person's risk of developing depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment.

A 2016 study examined the effects of vitamin K-2 and found that vitamin K treatment normalized blood sugar and reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression.

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There are rich sources of vitamin K1, but few sources of vitamin K2. Our body can partially convert vitamin K1 into K2. The amount of vitamin K1 in the normal diet is nine times that of vitamin K2. However, only 10-15% of ingested vitamin K1 is absorbed in the digestive tract. Bacteria of the large intestine produce vitamin K2. Yet, the percentage of this important nutrient in modern diets is quite low.

Vitamin K2 is found primarily in some animal and fermented foods, which most people don't eat much of. Vitamin K2 is found in high-fat dairy products derived from the meat of cows, egg yolks as well as liver and other organs. Because vitamin K is fat soluble, low-fat products do not contain much of it. You can use supplements to include vitamin K2 in your diet.

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Vitamin K occurs in many foods, but on average, most of what we eat is the K1 form found in plants. The following foods are rich in Vitamin K2-

1. Natto

Natto is a Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans. It is rich in several nutrients that promote good gut health and is the richest source of vitamin K2. One teaspoon of natto contains 150 micrograms of vitamin K2, which is almost double the recommended amount.

2. Fish

Vitamin K2 is found in good quantities in eel fish. 100 grams of eel contains 63 micrograms of vitamin K2.

3. Cheese

Cottage cheese is one of the best sources of nutrients like calcium, vitamin A and protein as well as vitamin K2.

4. Beef Liver

Beef liver is one of the most nutritious meat products. Nutrients like vitamin A, riboflavin, folate and copper are found in good quantities in it. A 100-gram serving contains more than 11 micrograms of vitamin K2, making it the best meat-based source of the vitamin.

5. Chicken

Eat chicken for your vitamin K2. With 10 micrograms per 100 grams, chicken has five to 10 times the amount of vitamin K2 than beef or pork.

6. Butter

Just one tablespoon of butter contains 2.1 micrograms of vitamin K2.

7. Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a cabbage with a distinctive sour taste. Apart from providing vitamin K2, it also promotes good intestinal health.

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Vitamin K is a group of nutrients that is divided into vitamins K1 and K2. Vitamin K1 helps blood clotting and vitamin K2 benefits bone and heart health. Some scientists believe that people at risk for heart disease should consume vitamin K2 regularly. To maintain good health, be sure to get adequate amounts of vitamins K1 and K2 through your diet.

 

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