Reader Kari B. of Lincoln, Nebraska, writes:
“Could you review vitamin K2 at some point in your nutritional column? I was researching os health online and found an article that discusses the importance of this vitamin in bone health. He claims that vitamin K2 is part of the bone health package that includes magnesium, calcium, exercise to carry weight, minimize inflammation in the body and have a healthy gut (microbiome).
It seems that some documents can come out easily and can only tell your patients to take calcium supplements, possibly along with vitamin D.
If you could shed some light on that? It could be very helpful to know how much vitamin K2 you ingest each day. Thanks for any consideration. “
Happy to comment on this interesting topic! Vitamin K is the term given to a family of compounds that are similar but slightly different. Thus, vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and various types of vitamin K2 (menaquinones) are collectively called “vitamin K.” You can also read about MK-4, MK-7 or MK-9, which are various forms of vitamin K2. And that’s all the chemistry we need now.
Vitamin K has historically been known as the “clotting vitamin” for its important role in helping our blood clot. In fact, a classic symptom of a vitamin K deficiency is abnormal bleeding.
More recently, vitamin K has been studied for its role in bone health. Both vitamin K1 and K2 are involved in processes that help build bone strength, but vitamin K2 seems to be the most protective in this particular work. A deficiency in the K2 form of vitamin K has been linked to osteoporosis (brittle bones), as well as calcium deposits in the arteries (commonly called hardening of the arteries).
The current recommendation for adequate vitamin K intake for people 19 years of age or older is 90 micrograms (mcg) for women and 120 mcg for men. This includes both forms, K1 and K2.
Because of its emerging role in bone and heart health, some researchers believe that vitamin K needs its own daily recommended. And it’s still unclear whether or not to take a K2 supplement.
In 2020, a randomized controlled study (the best type) tested several doses of vitamin K2 in 311 older men and postmenopausal women. One year later, they found that the most effective dose to reduce bone loss in the femoral neck (hip) for postmenopausal women was 90 micrograms (mcg) a day, with or without additional calcium or vitamin D3. Interestingly, there is no change bone health was found in the men in this study.
For now, the best recommendation is to include dietary sources of vitamin K1 and K2 in our diets. And these sources differ.
Vitamin K1 is most abundant in leafy greens such as broccoli and spinach. Vitamin K2 is found in fermented foods (especially natto, fermented soy), cheese, egg yolk and meats (especially liver).
Why pet food? Experts say that animals have a unique ability to synthesize vitamin K2 from vitamin K1 they get from the grass.
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Citation: Why Vitamin K2 (2021, June 8), Retrieved June 8, 2021 at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-06-vitamin-k2-important.html, is important
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