Vitamin K2

  Chemicals, K, Nutrients, Vitamins
Vitamin K1, MK4, MK7

Vitamin K2, also known as menaquinone, is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in blood clotting and bone health. Its discovery is credited to Danish scientist Henrik Dam, who in 1929, identified a nutrient in fermented cod liver oil that prevented bleeding disorders in chickens. He named the nutrient vitamin K, with the “K” standing for koagulation, the German word for clotting.

Since then, researchers have discovered that there are two main forms of vitamin K: vitamin K1, which is found in leafy green vegetables and helps with blood clotting, and vitamin K2, which is produced by bacteria and found in animal products and fermented foods.

While vitamin K2 is important for blood clotting, it also plays a critical role in bone health by regulating the body’s use of calcium. Specifically, vitamin K2 activates a protein called osteocalcin, which helps to deposit calcium into bones and teeth, while preventing it from building up in arteries and soft tissues.

Research has also shown that vitamin K2 and vitamin D work synergistically to promote bone health. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium from the diet, while vitamin K2 directs the calcium to the bones, where it is needed most. In fact, studies have suggested that taking vitamin D without adequate levels of vitamin K2 may increase the risk of calcium buildup in the arteries and other soft tissues.

The optimal dosage of vitamin K2 is still being studied, but most experts recommend a daily intake of around 100-200 micrograms for adults. It’s important to note that vitamin K2 can interfere with certain blood-thinning medications, so it’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before taking vitamin K2 supplements.

In summary, vitamin K2 plays an important role in blood clotting and bone health. Its synergistic interaction with vitamin D helps to ensure that calcium is deposited in bones and teeth, while preventing it from accumulating in arteries and other soft tissues. While further research is needed, current recommendations suggest a daily intake of 100-200 micrograms for adults.