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Is Vitamin K The Same As K2

Food Sources Of Vitamin K1

Vitamin K2 as MK-7 and Natto

Vitamin K1 is produced by plants. It is the predominant form of vitamin K found in the human diet.

The following list includes several foods that are high in vitamin K1. Each value represents the amount of vitamin K1 in 1 cup of the cooked vegetable (

  • Broccoli: 220 mcg
  • Brussels sprouts: 218 mcg

Summary: Vitamin K1 is the main type of vitamin K in the human diet. It is most commonly found in leafy green vegetables.

Vitamin K1 Vs K2 Different Roles In The Body

If youve read this far, you should have a good appreciation for how different vitamins K1 and K2 are. While vitamin K1s primary role is blood coagulation, vitamin K2 is better for general health, due to its ability to better activate vitamin K-dependent proteins like matrix Gla protein and osteocalcin throughout the body. This allows it to support a wide range of biological functions like bone building and cardiovascular health.

Research supports this difference in roles. For example in the large scale Rotterdam Study, despite K1 intakes eight times higher than K2, only K2 demonstrated an inverse correlation to cardiovascular disease risk and aortic calcification.

Vitamin K1 does have some effect on activating VKDPs like osteocalcin. However the big difference is in the doses required. Studies that show vitamin K1 affecting the carboxylation of osteocalcin use doses in the range of 1 to 45mg per day, whereas MK-7 does the same at doses as low as 100 micrograms. At equal doses, MK-7 is three times better at carboxylating osteocalcin compared to K1.

Part of that reason is that K2 MK-7 has a much longer lifespan in the body than K1. Typically K2 MK-7 has a half-life of 72 hours. K1 only stays in circulation for a few hours before being flushed from the body.

Can You Overdose On Vitamin K

Its important for blood clotting, healthy bones and other bodily functions if you dont have enough of the fat-solublevitamin K. Its rare that youll get an overdose on vitamins K and K2 if you eat broccoli. If you take too much, it can cause blood clot, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke.

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Warfarin And Vitamin K Interactions

Warfarin anticoagulation results in osteoporosis and the need for vitamin K2 . A study using vitamin K1 daily in patients with unstable anticoagulation control showed that increasing and stabilizing the body’s stores of the vitamin allowed for better control of anticoagulation by maintaining steady activation of vitamin K-dependent clotting factors . Recently, a study has confirmed this again . In the group receiving vitamin K supplementation, the median number of warfarin dosage changes was significantly lower than in the placebo group. The dose of warfarin required for the treatment group receiving 150gm of vitamin K1 was 16% greater than the control group.

Considerations of vitamin K supplementation with anticoagulation should include dose and type of vitamin K used. Extended intake of vitamin K1 of 700gm reduced INR values from 2 to 1.5. Vitamin K2 supplementation is more potent at reducing INR and 200gm of K2 will reduce INR values from 2 to 1.5. Thus, supplementation of > 50gm of vitamin K2 requires INR monitoring .

Whats The Difference Between Vitamin K1 And Vitamin K2


Before 2006, the USDA didnt even distinguish Vitamin K1 from K2 in foods. Both K1 and K2 are quinones. The difference between them is similar to the difference between monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats.

Vitamin K1 is converted into K2. There appears to be two sites where conversion of K1 to K2 occurs: one in the intestine and another in certain tissues in the body.

In 2007, researchers confirmed that the body turns Vitamin K1 into Vitamin K2 via an intermediary molecule, Vitamin K3, which is made in the intestine from Vitamin K1.

However, how much K2 this produces is uncertain. We still have much to learn about the intricacies of Vitamin K2.

PhylloquinonesVitamin K1 are called phylloquinones or phytonadiones . It has a monounsaturated tail with four carbon groups.

MenaquinonesThe Vitamin K2 group are menaquinones , which have polyunsaturated tails. The tails can be of 15 different lengths, which is indicated by the following number. MK-4, for instance, has a tail of four carbon groups while MK-7 has youve guessed it a tail of seven carbon groups.

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How Can I Get Vitamin K2 Naturally

Quite simply, by eating more Vitamin K2-rich food.

But heres the thing, while guidance on daily Vitamin K supplements currently exists and the NHS says adults need around 1 microgram a day of Vitamin K for each kilogram of their body weight, theres no guidance in relation to daily Vitamin K2 intake levels at present.

It may be that you introduce just one or two Vitamin K2 foods to your daily diet, or you opt for several different things. Of all the food sources, these contain the highest levels of K2:

Vitamin K In Meat And Fish

Vitamin K is present in meat and fish, although there are inconsistencies in the total content of vitamin K depending on the origin of the meat . For example, the amount of MK-4 differs in chicken meat in the United States , compared to the Netherlands , and Japan . In Europe, vitamin K1 is found in deer back , beef liver , and minced meat . Values less than 0.5 μg per 100 g were not deemed noteworthy for this review. The richest K1 fish sources are eel and mackerel .

Total vitamin K2 was present in meaningful concentrations in chicken meat , beef liver , minced meat , beef meat , and pork liver . Only values above 1.5 μg per 100 g for meat were chosen as representatives. Among the fish tested in this study, eel had the highest concentration of vitamin K2, followed by plaice , mackerel , and salmon . The rest of the examined fish species contained less than 0.5 μg per 100 g of vitamin K1 and total vitamin K2 .

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The Optimum Dose Of Vitamin K2

As the intestines only produce small quantities of vitamin K, we have to provide a supply from foods or supplements that are rich in vitamin K. There is clear evidence that vitamin K intake is too low in Western civilisation.

People over the age of 50 are particularly vulnerable to cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis, but it is precisely at this age that the diet often contains even less vitamin K and the skin’s exposure to sunlight is also severely limited, thus leading to deficiencies in vitamin K and vitamin D.

Professor Vermeer of the University of Maastricht thus recommends that people aged over 50 take a dosage of 100 to 200mcg vitamin K2 per day. The higher dosage of 200mcg is especially recommended for people who have a history of cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis in their families.

People who have early indications of cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis can also take the higher dose to ensure that all the body’s matrix Gla proteins are activated.

45mcg of vitamin K2 a day is generally enough for healthy people under the age of 50, but this recommendation only applies if there is no additional vitamin D3 intake from dietary supplements.

Anyone who wants to ensure an optimal supply and guarantee that all vitamin K2-dependent proteins are activated in the body should take at least 100mcg.

Note: If you are taking medication to prevent blood clots, please consult your doctor before taking vitamin K2.

Vitamin K And Renal Calculi

Vitamin K – Everything You Need to Know!

Urinary GLa protein inhibits precipitation of various calcium salts. Vitamin K is required for the carboxylation and activation of this protein . It has been suggested that reduced carboxylase activity such as that seen in urolithic patients may play an important role in calcium oxalate urolithiasis .

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Is Vitamin K2 The Same As Mk7

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Correspondingly, what is Vitamin k2 and mk7?

The form of pure non-soy MK7 that we use is the preferred form of vitamin K because it lasts longer in the body, which means it works smarter than MK4 and K1.* Vitamin K2 MK7 helps deposit calcium into bones.*

One may also ask, is Vitamin k2 mk7 safe? Available data suggest that supplement doses of vitamin K2 , but not vitamin K1, promote healthy bone. Moreover, MK-7 is safe, with no reported side-effects, even at high doses.

Likewise, what is the difference between Vitamin k2 mk7 and mk4?

MK4 and MK7 are both forms of natural vitamin K2. MK4 stops and reverse bone loss, grows stronger bones and reduces fractures more than 80%. MK7 has never been shown to reduce fractures. The use of MK4 is supported by more than 28 clinical trials with over 7000 volunteers.

Do chickpeas have Vitamin k2?

One of the best sources of K2 is found in an ancient Japanese food called natt. That’s why Together’s Vitamin K2 is formulated using chickpeas fermented with Bacillus subtilis natto.

Vitamin Ks Role In Bone Health

Vitamin K is required in the formation and activation of osteocalcin, an important protein secreted by our bodys bone-building cells, osteoblasts. When vitamin K2 is activated, osteocalcin is able to draw calcium into the bones where osteoblasts then integrate the calcium into the bone matrix. Vitamin D3 is vital in this process as D3 ensures that calcium is easily absorbed into the bloodstream and available for use by vitamin K2. Without D3 and K2, calcium cannot do its job effectively .

A study in postmenopausal women found that those who took vitamin K2 supplements had much slower decreases in age-related bone mineral density .

Another study showed that a low intake of vitamin K foods was associated with reduced bone mineral density in women .

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Reasons Not To Take Vitamin K With D

If it isnt clear from the title of my blog yet, Ill make it clear. I dont normally recommend combo supplements of vitamin D3 with vitamin K . I get asked all the time why my brand of D3 doesnt have K in it, and it would have been cheap and easy to put it in there but I chose not to, because of SO many reasons which Ill discuss today, but mainly because the combination can increase risk of kidney stones and may contribute to coronary artery calcifications. Its all because the two of those nutrients together add more calcium to your blood, and thats not something you want!

Sky high doses of either D3 or K can also lead to higher risk of fractures.

I know this article is going to frustrate some people, so I want it understood that I am not anti-vitamin K, in fact you can read about the virtues of K, especially for men, by to read my article entitled, Vitamin K2 A Powerful Weapon Against Prostate Cancer.But again, I dont think its necessary to put into vitamin D formulas, and this is a controversial subject.

Both D and K are easy to get without supplementation by the way. For example, vitamin D can be obtained with a walk in some sunshine and fresh air, or just sitting on your rocking chair on your porch. The sunshine provokes vitamin D synthesis in your body. And vitamin K is found in delicious salads, vegetables and fruits.

Since were talking about interactions, you might be interested in my article, Avoid Dangerous Interactions When Taking Supplements.

What’s The Difference Between Vitamin K1 Vs K2

NutriGold Vitamin K2 MK7 Supplement, 120 Capsules, Bone ...

The differences lie in how they’re absorbed and transported. The potential health benefits they can offer differ as well. Regardless of their differences, you need both vitamins to improve your health and wellbeing.

Want to add more vitamin K to your diet? Consider using grass-fed whey protein as a smoothie base. Add a little whole dairy like organic ice cream and some greens 🙂

Check out our latest grass-fed whey recipes today to help you get more Vitamin K2 in your diet.

Bloom, Martin G. 92% Of U.S. Population Have Vitamin Deficiency. Are You One of Them? The Biostation, 2021, thebiostation.com/bioblog/nutrient-iv-therapy/do-you-have-vitamindeficiency/#:~:text=50%20percent%20of%20Americans%20are,Americans%20are%20vitamin%20D%20deficient.
Health, National Institute of. Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin K.NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 3 July 2020, ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminK-HealthProfessional/.
Foundation, National Osteoporosis. General Facts. National Osteoporosis Foundation – General Facts, 16 Feb. 2021, www.nof.org/preventing-fractures/general-facts/.

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How Does Vitamin K2 Help Bone Growth

First lets run through how bones are made & repaired. A few simple steps –

  • The body releases calcium from our bones over time as a function of our individual metabolic needs. When the body can’t replace this loss of calcium, we call this condition “Osteoporosis.”
  • The body now needs to replace this calcium loss. This process that regulates skeleton growth revolves around Osteoblasts.
  • Osteoblasts are cells responsible for creating new bones and stem from our bone marrow. Osteoblasts produce an inactive calcium-binding protein call Osteocalcin that collects calcium from the blood.
  • Osteocalcin, when activated, allows calcium from the blood to bind with the mineral component of our bones, creating hardened bone growth.
  • How do we activate our Osteocalcin? You are aware of this answer already – Vitamin K2.
  • Vitamin K2, when paired with newly made osteocalcin, allows the inactive osteocalcin to bind, which is how bones are grown. Osteocalcin is responsible for scavenging calcium from circulating blood flow and securing it to our bones’ mineral elements. Without K2, however, the osteocalcin will remain inactive and fail to complete its mission. In a sense, this is how osteoporosis starts, bones begin to shed and break down over time, and the bones fail to regenerate at an equal rate.

    Why Is Vitamin K2 Deficiency So Prevalent

    There are many factors that contribute to Vitamin K2 deficiency one of the most important is diet. The modern American food system and typical Western diet have made it more difficult to take in adequate amounts of dietary Vitamin K2.

    In the West, major dietary sources of MK-4 include animal-based foods in the form of meat, organ & dairy products. As is true for many nutrients, the MK-4 content of these foods can be highly dependent on exactly how the animals are raised and fed. Pastured and grass-fed animals will naturally take in much more Vitamin K1, a starting material which can be converted to MK-4, from the plant matter they eat. As more and more meat and dairy animals are factory farmed and grain-fed, they lose Vitamin K1 and therefore also Vitamin K2 MK-4 content.

    Longer chain menaquinones are produced naturally by probiotic bacteria and accumulating to significant levels in some fatty fermented foods. Certain cheeses, again ideally made from grass-fed, Vitamin K1-rich milk, have significant levels of higher MK menaquinones made by fermenting bacteria during cheese production. Living, probiotic fermented foods once had a significant presence in culinary traditions of almost every culture around the world. The modern industrially produced diet has limited access to many of these natural menaquinone food sources from our food system.

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    What Is Vitamin K2 Exactly

    Vitamin K2, on the other hand, is not found in leafy green plants but rather in animal products and is predominantly made by food fermentation. The bacteria in our gut produce our primary source of vitamin K2 however, the exact details of vitamin k2 synthesis from bacteria seem to elude many scientific studies.

    The vitamin K2 subtypes are called menaquinones , ranging from MK-4 to MK-13.

    Menaquinone pronounced – men·a·quin·one

    Vitamin Ks Role In Heart Health

    Vitamin K2: The Missing Link Between Diet, Disease and Health

    The same osteocalcin protein that vitamin K2 activates also triggers the activation of another protein called matrix GLA protein , which is responsible for binding and removing excess calcium that builds up in soft tissues such as arteries and veins. This promotes healthy blood flow and arterial flexibility, preventing them from hardening and reducing the risk of clogged arteries, strokes, and heart attacks.

    Calcium build-up in the arteries around your heart is a huge risk factor for heart disease . Vitamin K is believed to help by preventing calcium from being deposited in your arteries .

    A number of studies showed that people with the highest intake of vitamin K2 were less likely to develop artery calcification and had lower risk of developing or dying from heart disease .

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    Vitamin K: Uptake And Distribution

    All vitamin K forms can be taken up by enterocytes in the small intestine and packaged into chylomicrons during absorption. These chylomicrons are then taken up by the liver. Moreover, vitamin K1 has a rapid removal rate from the circulation. This was revealed by giving isotope-labeled phylloquinone to a volunteer, which then showed rapid appearance of radiolabeled excretory metabolites in urine and bile . Vitamin K1 is preferentially retained in the liver to assist carboxylation of clotting factors . In contrast, vitamin K2, particularly long chain derivatives, are redistributed to the circulation and are available for extra-hepatic tissues such as bone and vasculature .

    Vitamin K: Everything You Need To Know

    We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Heres our process.

    Most people have never heard of vitamin K2.

    This vitamin is rare in the Western diet and hasnt received much mainstream attention.

    However, this powerful nutrient plays an essential role in many aspects of your health.

    In fact, vitamin K2 may be the missing link between diet and several chronic diseases.

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    Why Is Vitamin K2 Important

    Vitamin K2 is a critical dietary micronutrient that is virtually absent in the modern Western diet. Any comprehensive discussion of Vitamin K2 will include mention of Natto, as this unique food is well known to be the absolute richest food source of Vitamin K2.

    Vitamin K2 is receiving more and more attention in medical and nutrition circles because of growing evidence that Vitamin K2 may be a pivotal factor in the prevention of osteoporosis as well as cardiovascular & coronary disease, kidney disorders, diabetes and cancer.

    How can all these common chronic diseases be linked to Vitamin K2, a micronutrient that most people havent even heard of? Because K Vitamins are critical cofactors for a variety of Vitamin K-dependent proteins in the body, including factors involved in blood clotting but also many others involved in calcium transport as well as insulin regulation, fat deposition, cell proliferation and DNA transcription.


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