Do I Want Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2?

Vitamin Okay is important for the method of blood clotting. It takes its identify from the primary letter of the German phrase “koagulation.” Vitamin Okay acts as a coenzyme for chemical reactions that produce proteins concerned in blood coagulation and bone metabolism.

Vitamin Okay at a Look

Vitamin Okay has two varieties: K1 and K2.

  • K1 (phylloquinone) is plentiful in plant meals, particularly leafy greens. No must complement.
  • K2 (menaquinones) is scarce in plant meals. Supplementation could also be acceptable on a plant-based food plan.

Vitamin Okay is vital for the next causes:

  • Important for blood coagulation and bone metabolism.
  • Permits the physique to make the most of the calcium wanted for bone and tooth formation.
  • Helps stop the calcification of sentimental tissue.
  • Low ranges are related to the next threat of hip fracture or low bone mineral density (BMD).
  • Greater consumption is related to a decrease threat of bone fractures.

Vitamin Okay additionally permits the physique to make the most of the calcium wanted for bone and tooth formation and helps stop calcification of sentimental tissue.1,2 Many research have related low vitamin Okay standing with the next threat of hip fracture or low bone mineral density (BMD),2-5 and, conversely, greater vitamin Okay consumption is related to a decrease threat of fractures.6

Meals wealthy in vitamin Okay. (AdobeStock)

Are There Variations Between K1 and K2?

Vitamin Okay exists in two main varieties in nature, K1 and K2. Vitamin K1 (additionally known as phylloquinone) is straightforward to acquire when following a Nutritarian food plan since it’s plentiful in leafy inexperienced greens, akin to kale, collards, spinach, and mustard greens. Most dietary vitamin Okay is K1, and as much as 25 % of vitamin Okay in a typical food plan could come from K2.2 Vitamin K2 (a number of completely different substances known as menaquinones) is produced primarily by micro organism, and is scarce in plant meals. K2 is harder to get from a Nutritarian food plan since it’s primarily present in animal merchandise, notably in darkish meat rooster, pork, and fermented meals like cheese and yogurt. The human physique can synthesize some K2 from K1, and intestinal micro organism can produce some K2, however these are small quantities, and it’s unclear whether or not any vital quantity is absorbed after manufacturing by the microbiome.7

The proof is inconclusive on whether or not there are advantages of vitamin Okay particular to K1 or K2. There’s some proof that K2 is extra bioavailable, and has greater useful exercise than K1, notably for capabilities outdoors of blood coagulation. The completely different chemical constructions of nutritional vitamins K1 and K2 have an effect on their bioavailability and metabolism, with K2 having an extended half-life within the circulation system. A examine evaluating K1 and K2 in people discovered that the 2 have been equally absorbed, nevertheless, K2 (as menaquinone-7, MK-7) had greater bioavailability. Supplementation with K2 resulted in greater and extra secure circulating ranges of vitamin Okay in comparison with K1, and larger carboxylation of osteocalcin (a measure of noncoagulation vitamin Okay perform).2,8-10

Analysis on K2

Bone Well being

Conclusions are troublesome to attract from trials investigating vitamin K2 supplementation for fracture prevention. There are three causes for this: First, meta-analyses have mixed research of K1 and K2 supplementation. Second, a number of research from one analysis group have been retracted; and third, most trials haven’t documented K2 standing or K2 consumption at the beginning (if contributors have been already getting loads of vitamin Okay as K2, we might not count on to see any additional profit from taking extra K2).

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Of the 5 particular person trials analyzed in a latest meta-analysis that investigated MK-7 (probably the most bioavailable type of K2, and the commonest type in dietary supplements) supplementation for bone well being,11,12  three reported enhancements in bone well being indicators akin to BMD:

  • Postmenopausal girls consumed dairy merchandise enriched with calcium plus vitamin D3, and both no vitamin Okay or supplemental K1 or supplemental K2, for 12 months. All three teams improved complete BMD, and the 2 vitamin Okay teams additionally elevated lumbar backbone BMD.13
  • In postmenopausal girls taking vitamin K2 or a placebo day by day for 3 years, decreases in age-related bone loss have been documented on the lumbar backbone and femoral neck, however not the full hip. Bone energy additionally elevated.14
  • In postmenopausal girls, after one 12 months of K2 supplementation, BMD and bone thickness remained fixed, whereas within the placebo group, BMD and bone thickness decreased, suggesting that supplementation helped stop age-related bone loss.15

Coronary Calcification

A vitamin Okay-dependent protein (matrix Gla protein, MGP) inhibits the calcification of sentimental tissues, together with the arterial partitions.16 Coronary artery calcification is a predictor of cardiovascular occasions like coronary heart assault and stroke.17 A number of observational research have discovered a diminished threat of coronary coronary heart illness or coronary calcification related to greater consumption of vitamin K2 particularly.18-23

Notably, in a few of these research, there was an affiliation between greater K2 consumption and decrease threat of arterial calcification or coronary coronary heart illness, however not for K1.20-22 It’s unclear why these completely different outcomes have been discovered for K1 and K2; it may very well be resulting from variations in bioavailability or organic exercise between the vitamin Okay varieties.2,24

Just like bone well being, trials on K2 supplementation measuring arterial calcification are troublesome to interpret as a result of most didn’t assess K2 standing or consumption previous to supplementation. Thus far, K2 supplementation trials haven’t reported reductions in calcification.25 The prevailing trials on K2 supplementation have been performed on most people (not vegetarians or vegans), who’re almost certainly already getting some K2 from animal merchandise.

Ought to Vegans (and Others With Low K2 Consumption) Complement With K2?

I like to recommend supplementing with a conservative quantity of K2 as a result of this vitamin isn’t current in most plant meals, and K2 could present some advantages that K1 doesn’t. Whether or not K2 supplementation of a plant-based food plan (which incorporates little to no K2) helps stop fractures or arterial calcification has not been straight studied but.

Though there is no such thing as a proof of toxicity related to vitamin K1 or K2 supplementation,26 and plenty of trials have used greater doses of K2, I like to recommend warning with the dose of K2 dietary supplements since vitamin Okay is a fat-soluble vitamin (fat-soluble nutritional vitamins usually accumulate extra within the physique than water-soluble nutritional vitamins). My multivitamin and mineral dietary supplements embody roughly one-third of the advisable day by day consumption for vitamin Okay as K2 (30 to 40 micrograms).

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