K Vitamins are essential to the utilisation of calcium in the body, and are therefore essential to the maintenance of optimal bone health.
There are two primary forms of vitamin K, each with different contributions to our health. The two primary forms are Vitamin K1
(phylloquinone) and Vitamin K2 (menaquinone).
This is considered the major dietary source of vitamin K comprising approximately 90% of total vitamin K intake. The bioavailability of Vitamin K1 is low, and less than 20% is absorbed.
The most important K2 forms are menaquinone-4 (MK-4) and menaquinone-7 (MK-7). These forms of Vitamin K2 are the most powerful and most important for health.
Vitamin K2 is required by the body for the optimal utilisation of calcium, the building block for strong bones. Vitamin K2 puts calcium into where it is needed – into the bones and not the arteries. Excess calcium deposited into arteries can lead to the stiffening of the arteries, increasing the risk for heart disease.
Inadequate Vitamin K, especially K2, results in this “calcium paradox”, whereby too little calcium results in weak bones, while excess calcium accumulates
in the arteries. A Vitamin K2 deficiency therefore leads to decreased bone formation, resulting in impaired bone strength and mineral density.
Vitamin K2 is required for optimal bone strength during each stage of your life. Children have a higher bone metabolism than adults, and therefore require more vitamin K2 to build healthy bone tissue. Strong, healthy bones formed early in life set a higher baseline for when the natural decline of bone mass begins. Adults require Vitamin K2 in order to preserve their bone mass and ensure healthy bones for future years, and seniors require Vitamin K2 in order to prevent further bone loss and fractures.
Although Vitamin K2 is available from dietary sources such as meat, eggs and cheese, the majority of healthy people are vitamin K2 deficient!
This is due to an increase in industrialisation leaving Western diets deficient in this important vitamin.
In order to achieve your daily recommended dose of 45 µg Vitamin K (As K2VITAL). you would have to consume either 4kgs of meat, 5l of milk, 5l whole yoghurt, 80 g soft cheese, 59 g hard cheese or 8 egg yolks!
The best source of dietary vitamin K2 is the traditional Japanese dish natto made from fermented soybeans, which is rich in vitamin K2 as MK-7. This dish, however, is not popular in the western world, and supplementation of Vitamin K2 is required to overcome K2 deficiencies.