Vitamin K2: Definition and Benefits to the Body

The vitamin K is especially known for its form K1 (phylloquinone), but it also exists in the form of K2. To get a better view, here’s everything you need to know about vitamin K2, its benefits, the foods it contains, and its recommended intake.


What is Vitamin K2?

Vitamin K2 is soluble in fat, ie it is soluble in fat, so the body can store it. It is produced by bacteria in the colon and is ingested through fermented foods. This vitamin, also called menaquinone, is in some form vitamin K. The latter is divided into two different vitamins: vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) in plants and vitamin K2 (menaquinone) in food of animal origin or fermented soybeans. It is an essential vitamin for the proper functioning of the body and especially for bone health.
whereas K1 form is especially known for its role in the blood clotting process, vitamin K2 is more recommended for bone health. These two forms of vitamin K do not work in the same way. They are both related to calcium, a mineral necessary for the body and especially for bone formation. In fact, the role of vitamin K1 is to activate the proteins needed to bind calcium to regulate blood clotting, and vitamin K2 to activate the proteins that regulate the amount of calcium in the body.

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Green leaves are rich in vitamin K.

What are the benefits and indications of vitamin K2?

Vitamin K2 is little studied compared to vitamin K1. However, it is very important for bone health. Its role is to regulate the use of calcium in the body, thus helping to strengthen bones and teeth. Treatment of osteoporosis is sometimes recommended. Menachinone also plays an important role in cardiovascular health. According to several studies, this vitamin could prevent vascular calcification, thus reducing cardiovascular accidents, preventing hypertension, and participating in proper heart function. Vitamin K in its two forms, K1 and K2, may also reduce the risk of developing serious forms of Covid-19 infection. This virus actually causes blood clotting, which breaks down the lung fibers, vitamin K is involved in good blood clotting. Therefore, vitamin K supplements may be advised in some cases. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor before taking it as it is incompatible with anticoagulant drug.

Where can I Find Vitamin K2 in Food?

As explained earlier, vitamin K comes in two main forms, which are vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 (menaquinone). K1 is found in plants such as green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, cabbage, parsley, asparagus, as well as in vegetable oils such as canola, olive or soybeans. On the other hand, vitamin K2 is only found in foods of animal origin or fermented. Foods rich in vitamin K2 include:

  • natto made from fermented soybeans
  • them fermented milk products (milk, kefir, yoghurt, etc.)
  • certain cheeses (edam, gouda, munster, raclette, etc.)
  • offal (beef liver, poultry liver, etc.)
  • fishoil.

The body’s need for vitamin K2 is relatively low, therefore, a varied and balanced diet is sufficient to meet all needs organism. In case of doubt or evidence of deficiency, it is important to consult a doctor. The latter may then suggest the use of a dietary supplement. Doses of vitamin K2 vary depending on the patient’s profile, so the advice of a healthcare professional is required before starting food supplements.

What are the recommended amounts of vitamin K2?

The vitamin K intake An average of 70 to 120 µg (micrograms) per day is recommended for an adult. There is usually no distinction between vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 intake. However, the average intake of vitamin K is estimated to be 10-25% of vitamin K2. So vitamin K1 is present in most of the body. Consumption of phylloquinone is easily achieved by eating daily leafy green vegetables. Menachinone (vitamin K2) is more difficult in the daily diet because it is mainly found in fermented foods of animal origin. As a result, it remains relatively rare and few studies have examined the recommended intake for the body.

The vitamin K deficiency (K1 and K2) in adults are quite rare. However, the intake of vitamin K in newborns is monitored because they are not yet able to synthesize this vitamin. Most mothers also offer vitamin K injections a few hours after birth. A precautionary measure to prevent birth defects that can cause serious symptoms such as life-threatening bleeding. It is also advisable to give vitamin K extra weekly to breast-fed babies throughout the breast-feeding period. This supplement is not necessary for babies who are breastfed because they contain all the nutrients needed for their babies to develop properly.

What is the risk of vitamin K2 overdose?

No study appears to support a risk of overdose of naturally occurring vitamin K2 in healthy adults. On the other hand, vitamin K1, which plays an important role in blood clotting, may be a risk factor for people treated with anticoagulants if taken in excessive amounts. In all cases of doubt, or when symptoms persist, seek medical advice.

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