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A fairly new player: vitamin K2

2 minutes

You probably know a lot of vitamins like vitamin C or vitamin B12, but you probably have not year about vitamin K2 very often? That’s not a problem, we will explain everything about it here.

What is vitamin K2?

There are differences between vitamin K1 and K2. Vitamin K1 is primarily absorbed by the liver and we get mostly (and sufficiently) from our food in the western world. It is responsible for activating coagulation factors. This is while vitamin K2 is also active in other areas of the body (for instance, the vascular wall).

Do you take extra vitamin D3? It is advisable to take this together with vitamin K2. These two strengthen one another in maintaining strong bones. Vitamin D3 makes sure that the body absorbs enough calcium. It extracts this primarily from dairy products. Subsequently, vitamin K2 makes sure that the calcium is brought to the right places in the body. Vitamin K1 does this also to a certain extent, but vitamin K2 is a lot more effective in doing so than its ‘little brother’.

Vitamin K2 from food

The great benefit of vitamin K in its entirety is the fact that the body transforms part of K1 into vitamin K2. It is thus advisable to eat a lot of food containing vitamin K1 because it will help keep the K2 level high. K1 can be found in food such as green leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage and broccoli. These are good sources of vitamin K1. Plant-based margarine and butter are also rich in vitamin K1.

However, vitamin K2 can also be found in food products but is represented a lot less in terms of quantities. It is namely found in small quantities in meat, eggs and dairy. The traditional Japanese dish ‘natto’ is actually very rich in vitamin K2. These are specially fermented soybeans with a very distinct taste.

What happens in case of a vitamin K2 deficiency?

Due to the fact that vitamin K2 is not found in that much food and vitamin K1 can only be obtained from specific dishes, a shortage of vitamin K (1 and 2) is always lurking. In the event of a vitamin K2 deficiency, the body has difficulty dealing with all the calcium (from vitamin D). For instance, it does not work to store calcium in the bone structure, but is deposited elsewhere in undesirable locations of the body.

Because of it help with coagulation, a vitamin K2 deficiency is quickly noticeable in that regard. You can tell that from longer bleeding wounds, a lot more blue spots, spontaneous bleeding or bloody noses, and accelerated decrease in the elasticity of the vessels.