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Do I Need to Supplement Vitamin K2?

Jason Hughes
Published by Jason Hughes
Fact checked by Markus Oliver, BHSc FACT CHECKED
Last updated: June 22, 2022

When it comes to our health, many of us are focused on getting the right amounts of vitamins and minerals in our bodies. But what about vitamin K2? This lesser-known vitamin is important for keeping our bones healthy and our hearts functioning properly. Do you need to supplement vitamin K2?

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at what this vitamin does and the benefits of taking it.

What Is Vitamin K2 Supplement

It is recommended that you take D3 and K2 at the same time. Vitamin D and K2 work synergistically together to promote better health.

The supplement vitamin K2 was actually discovered in 1929 in a German scientific journal. It was later identified as a fat-soluble vitamin in the 1930s. This vitamin is important for blood clotting, bone health, and heart health.

Vitamin K actually refers to a group of vitamins that are structurally similar. These vitamins are:

  • Vitamin K₁ (phylloquinone): Found in plants, this vitamin is important for blood clotting.
  • Vitamin K₂ (menaquinone): Found in animal products and fermented foods, this vitamin is important for bone health and heart health.

You can also divide Vitamin K2 further into more subtypes including MK-4 and MK-7.

So, as you can see, there are different types of vitamin K. The type that we are most interested in for this blog post is vitamin K₂. This is the type of vitamin K that will become more useful for your overall health.

How Does K2 Work?

The most important role that vitamin K2 will play in your body is by activating specific proteins that help with blood clotting. These proteins will also have an effect on your calcium metabolism and your overall heart health.

Vitamin K2 regulates your calcium deposits in your bones and promotes calcification there as opposed to calcification of your blood vessels and kidneys which would lead to health problems.

A deficiency in vitamin K can lead to bone loss, an increased risk for fractures, and even cardiovascular disease.

Vitamin K1 has not been shown to affect the body in these ways and some scientists claim it has no significant benefits. For this reason, many scientists want the two different vitamins to be classified differently.

The Benefits of Taking K2

The benefits of K2 have been proved through scientific studies and below you'll find more details on how your body can benefit from taking the supplement.

Could Improve Heart Disease

A large risk for many adults is the buildup of calcium in the arteries around the heart which could lead to heart disease. This process is known as arterial calcification and it's one of the main causes of heart attacks and strokes.

Vitamin K has been shown to help prevent this from happening by preventing any calcium deposited in the artery area and instead redirecting it to your bones where it should be.

There have not been any long-term studies done on Vitamin K2 in order to show the effectiveness of taking the supplement over a longer period of time but the initial studies are promising.

May Improve Bone Health

There are many adults who suffer from osteoporosis which is a condition that weakens the bones and makes them more susceptible to fractures. This is especially common in postmenopausal women.

Vitamin K has been shown to improve bone health by activating osteocalcin which helps with calcium absorption into the bones. It also helps promote calcification of the bones which strengthens them and makes them less likely to break.

The supplement is able to do this by activating two proteins that have a calcium-binding effect. These proteins are matrix GLA and osteocalcin, as mentioned earlier.

Over the course of three years over 240 women were given vitamin K2 supplements and they showed a much slower decrease in bone mineral density compared to those who did not take it.

In Japan, vitamin K supplements are officially recommended for women who are suffering from osteoporosis.

Could Improve Dental Health

Because of the clear effect vitamin K2 has on calcium, many believe that it could have a positive effect on your dental health.

Although there have not been significant studies to prove this theory to be right, there are some facts that help support the notion.

For starters, it's been shown that vitamin K2 promotes osteocalcin in a positive way in your body and since that protein is one of the main regulators for dental health, it can be assumed that K2 can have an indirect effect on dental health.

Osteocalcin can help to stimulate new bone and new dentin growth which lives under the enamel of your teeth.

You can also supplement your vitamin K2 with vitamins A and D because these are also thought to have a positive impact on your dental health.

Might Have Cancer-Fighting Properties

Cancer is a disease that is characterized by the abnormal growth of cells.

There has been no clear answer to the cancer problem that plagues thousands of people every year, but vitamin K2 may have the ability to help with specific types of cancer.

Some clinical studies show that vitamin K2 can help to reduce the recurrence of liver cancer and even increase survival times.

There do need to be more studies in order to prove the effectiveness of vitamin K2 on cancer cells.

FAQs

What is the best vitamin K2 supplement?

The best vitamin K2 supplements include Thorne Research 3-K Complete, Life Extension Super K with Advanced K2 Complex, and Mary Ruth’s K2 + D3 Calcium Gummies.

Should I take D3 and K2 at same time?

It is recommended that you take D3 and K2 at the same time. Vitamin D and K2 work synergistically together to promote better health.

What is K2 MK4 vs MK7?

MK-4 and MK-7 are subtypes of Vitamin K2 and they both have different benefits. MK-747 is the more active form of Vitamin K and it stays in the body longer than MK-74.


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