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The Life Saving Benefits of Vitamin K

The Life Saving Benefits of Vitamin K

A number of recent studies have contributed to expanding our understanding of vitamin K. We've known that it's essential for bone density and heart health for a long time (1-3). More ways to optimize the benefits of vitamin K have been discovered. This is something that's helped researches create a more biologically-active vitamin K formula.

Vitamin K in Food

It's been identified by scientists that different forms and amounts of vitamin K are present in foods. This provides crucial insights into the different types of vitamin K we should be consuming.

It also shines light on certain limitations in relying on foods to supply us with the types and levels of vitamin K associated with peak bone and cardiovascular health.


Vitamin K Forms

In food, vitamin K comes in two general forms:

  • Vitamin K1 (or phylloquinone) - primarily found in leafy green vegetables
  • Vitamin K2 - primarily found in Japanese nattō or fermented soy, and in animal products such as eggs, meat, milk and cheese (6).


Vitamin K2 has several subtypes that are denoted by a number, e.g. MK-4, MK-6 and MK-7. MK is short for menaquinones. These are vitmain K forms that vary in their organic structure.

MK-7 is a long-acting vitamin K form that's been available over-the-counter as a dietary supplement for many years. It's only just recently that MK-9 has become available in supplement form.


Limitations to Vitamin K Intake Via the Diet

Studies show that there are certain problems in relying on diet to supply all the various forms of vitamin K. Vitamin K1 found in foods has a low bioavailability (8). What this means is that even if you might eat a very large amount of leafy green vegetables, you may not actually absorb adequate amounts of vitamin K1.

Vitamin K2 is found in the highest concentrations in many foods that people to limit their intake of, e.g. foods that are high in saturated fat (9). You would have to consume massive amounts of cheese to achieve the optimal vitamin K2 levels that are supported by human clinical trials. Lower-fat versions of these very foods often have far less vitamin K2 in them - if any at all (9).

Supplementation is a more efficient and practical way of increasing your vitamin K intake, but what doses of the different forms of vitamin K are the optimal ones that we should be consuming daily?



Broad-Spectrum Vitamin K

  • Vitamin K is an essential vitamin found in two general forms of K1 and K2
  • Research has found that vitamin K is not only important for coagulation (blood clotting), but also for bone- and cardiovascular health
  • Research has also been instrumental in clarifying the ideal doses of vitamin K1 and K2 necessary for optimization of bone- and heart health.

Because the foods that contain the most vitamin K naturally often have poor bioavailability and high fat content, relying solely on the diet to supply adequate amounts of vitamin K is most likely not the best idea.


The Role of Vitamin K in Bones and Blood Vessels

The effect that vitamin K has on the production of coagulation factors for normal blood clotting has been well understood and demonstrated, but it's only just recently that research has revealed the impact it has on bones and blood vessels.

Several vitamin K-dependent proteins have been discovered in both bone and blood vessels. This means that they require adequate vitamin K levels to function properly (2,3).

Vitamin K is essential for the production of active osteocalcin, which is a hormone that plays a large role in the formation of new bone, and is often used as a biochemical marker of overall skeletal health.

Vitamin K supports calcium deposition in bone. In blood vessels, vitamin K has the exact opposite effect; helping prevent excess calcium deposition. Calcification in arteries is common in elderly people and is associated with arterial stiffening, atheosclerotic plaque and increased risk of heart- and kidney disease (3).



Vitamin K is an essential nutrient that's being recognized for more health benefits than simply aiding in coagulation. Scientific research demonstrates the fact that adequate vitamin K intake is crucial for optimal bone-, heart valve- and blood vessel health. Recent studies have shined a light on the importance of new vitamin K forms associated with reduced risk og age-related outcomes.

Applying this knowledge, scientists have created a broad-spectrum vitamin K, formula, with beneficial MK-6 and MK-9 compounds, alongside K1, MK-4 and MK-7.



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  • Available from: Accessed March 8, 2019.
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