Vitamin K - What’s The Deal?

Vitamin K seems to be getting more notice recently whether it be in the press or in supplement products or even in skin care products. Some of the content is quite exciting with many labelling this is as the “next vitamin D” and many think this is the new vitamin but vitamin K has been a known micronutrient similarly to other vitamins and minerals. So what is vitamin K and where does it come from, well read on and we will discuss this and the two type of vitamin K- K1 and K2

Vitamin K plays an essential role in the human body and plays a key role in the synthesis of proteins involved in blood clotting and bone metabolism and many other physiological functions. There are two natural occurring forms of vitamin K, vitamin K1 which is found in plants and vitamin K2 which is produced from vitamin K1 by bacteria in the digestive tract.  

Vitamin K is essential for newborns as vitamin K transport across the placenta is poor thus increasing the risk of babies being born with vitamin K deficiency. Individuals with malabsorption such as celiac, inflammatory bowel diseases, cystic fibrosis and short bowel syndrome may not absorb vitamin K efficiently. Vitamin K can also be low in individuals who have had a bariatric surgery; these individuals need to be closely monitored for vitamin K deficiency and may require vitamin K supplementation. 

Vitamin K1 is found in leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, brussle sprouts and spinach. Vitamin K2 is found in natto, cheese and sauerkraut as. The highest source of vitamin K2 is Natto with approximately 850mcg of vitamin K (as MK-7) per serving. Current recommendations are at 75ug, vitamin K should be consumed through a varied and balanced diet with supplementation only being necessary in deficient individuals. 

There are many factors to take into consideration when choosing a vitamin K supplement as vitamin K is present in most multivitamin supplements and is in a lower dose. Vitamin K is also available as an individual supplement or combined with other nutrients which will give a higher dose of vitamin K usually. There are several forms of vitamin K supplementation including vitamin K1 as either phylloquinone or phytonadion (both synthetic forms of vitamin K1) and vitamin K2 as Mk-4 or Mk-7. Not much literature exist on the relative bioavailability of the various forms of vitamin K supplements with a few studies showing that MK-7 supplementation is well absorbed. Its always beneficial to see where the source of vitamin K derives from as many will use synthetic forms whist only a few brands will use wholefood based forms from fermented Natto in the form of MK-7. 

In our garden of life mykind range we only use vitamin K2 in our formula to synergistically work with other vitamins and minerals.