Vitamin K is by and large a relatively unknown vitamin with many people being completely unaware of it. We’ve curated an excellent article that looks into this obscure vitamin that is also a cofactor for vitamin D and calcium and even improved testosterone production.
What Are the Health Benefits of Vitamin K2?
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for the functioning of several proteins involved in physiological processes. Naturally occurring forms are vitamin K1 (referred to as phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 (called menaquinones).1,2
Vitamin K1, which is derived from green plants, is best known for the role it plays in blood clotting, while vitamin K2, derived primarily from fermented foods and animal products such as eggs, meat and liver,3 is important to hormone production and utilization, as well as bone and heart health.
Vitamin K2 is needed to activate the protein osteocalcin, which is found in your bones. Without vitamin K2, this and other vitamin K2-dependent proteins remain inactivated, and cannot perform their biological functions.4
However, the absorption of vitamin K1 from food is extremely low. Only 10 percent of the vitamin K which is found in green leafy vegetables, is absorbed in your body … And there’s no variable or modification of the consumption that will significantly increase the absorption …”
Vitamin K2, on the other hand, was only present in fermented foods. It’s actually produced by specific bacteria during the fermentation process. Certain bacteria in your gut naturally produce vitamin K2 in your body as well. Interestingly, while the K1 in vegetables is poorly absorbed, virtually all of the K2 in fermented foods is readily available to your body. Vitamin K2 can be further broken down into:6,7,8
While vitamin K1 has been found to “moderately reduce” the risk of bone fractures,14 MK-7 is more effective than vitamin K1 at reaching your bone.15,16 In your bones, vitamin K2 is used to produce osteocalcin, improving metabolic and hormonal health and exercise performance.
Vitamin K2 is also important for your oral health. Preserving enamel helps reduce cavity formation. Your enamel is made of hollow tubes that extend into the dentin. The enamel is made of nonliving cells, while the dentin has live cells called odontoblasts. What Are the Health Benefits of Vitamin K2?