All vitamins are organic molecules (essential micronutrients), which are crucial for the seamless functioning of metabolism.
Our body cannot produce vitamins, which is why we have to obtain them from our diet.
Thus, choosing the right type of food is essential for retaining the perfect balance of vitamins in your body.
Below, you’ll find information about different kinds of foods containing vitamin K2.
What is Vitamin K2?
Menaquinone or Vitamin K2 is one of three main types of vitamin K. This may sound a bit strange, menaquinone is actually a bacterial product, mostly found in animal products and fermented foods.
Vitamin K2 has 9 main variants, but only a few of them are important for humans, thanks to their biological functions. These are the most important variants of K2 vitamin:
What is Vitamin K2 MK-4?
MK-4 is also called menatetrenone, and our body produces it from vitamin K1. It is generally believed that some gut bacteria convert vitamin K1 into vitamin K2, but tissues that receive the former are most possible capable of converting K1 into K2 (MK-4).
MK-4 is often used as a hemostatic agent, meaning that it is an extremely important antihemorrhagic substance. More concretely, vitamin K2 (MK-4) promotes blood coagulation and stops bleeding. Bear this in mind the next time you cut or injure yourself.
Why Do We Need Vitamin K2?
K complex improves the health of bones. Some variants of K2 vitamin, MK-4 for instance, are even used as a part of therapy for osteoporosis. Some forms of vitamin K may inhibit arterial calcification and thus preclude the onset of cardiovascular diseases. However, more research is still needed to prove vitamin K’s preventive effects on the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases.
Osteoporosis is a complex bone disease, and it is closely linked with the hormonal changes in postmenopausal women, which is one of the mechanisms of osteoporosis development. Vitamin K2 is used as one of the many supplements that are given to people who suffer from osteoporosis. However, on its own, this organic substance cannot “cure” the inconvenient bone disease.
One longitudinal study found a significant negative correlation between the intake of menaquinone and cardiovascular disease. More specifically, participants who consumed the most vitamin K2 had the least chances of having cardiovascular issues, and lower mortality rates.
While this organic molecule is sometimes promoted as a supplement that might slow tumor growth, there are still no studies that might prove this claim.
We’ll sum up everything we’ve said under this heading:
Possible benefits of vitamin K2
Type of disease
Status (validated/not validated)
There is no firm evidence that vitamin K slows down tumor growth
Intake of K2 may reduce the risks
Used as one of supplements
Vitamin K2 has an important place in the proper functioning of bone metabolism. It affects the enzyme processes involving osteocalcin (BGP), periostin, and matrix Gla protein.
It’s important to note that, while K2 vitamin intake is associated with a lower prevalence of aortic calcification, it has not been proven that K1 vitamin has the same beneficial effect on the possibility of acquiring the cardiovascular disease.
It has been shown that consuming fair amounts of natto may reduce the risks of bone health deterioration in postmenopausal women. Natto is fermented soya beans, something very popular in Japan and we do know of good cardiovascular health over there.
Health Issues and K2 Vitamin Deficiency?
Generally speaking, liver diseases are likely to induce a chronic deficiency in the synthesis of this organic component. For instance, alcoholics (who often have damaged livers), people with cystic fibrosis and inflammatory bowel diseases are more likely to have lower concentrations of this substance.
Patients with bulimia may acquire the so-called secondary deficiency of this vitamin, which is also present in people who are on strict diets. Furthermore, individuals who take antibiotics or anticoagulants often have problems with vitamin K deficiency.
Hemodialysis and underlying kidney health problem might also cause a deficiency in this important substance.
Foods That Are High In K2 Vitamin
Generally speaking, many naturally fermented products are high in their concentration of vitamin K2 such as:
- Dairy products
- Other fermented foods such as natto
As mentioned earlier, there’s one very important plant-based menaquinone food source- natto. Is natto a good source of vitamin K2? Natto is a very good source of MK-7, MK-8, and MK-9. This is a Japanese food made from fermented soybeans, and perhaps one of the best foods high in vitamin K2 MK-7.
Treat yourself with gut beneficial bacteria in your foods and you would never be short of K2 vitamin that is helpful to look after your heart and bones.