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Sources, Benefits, Forms, Dosage
What is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K is one of thirteen essential vitamins. Essential vitamins need to be present in the diet because the human body cannot make the nutrients on its own, or in sufficient amounts to sustain normal and healthy bodily functions.1 Vitamin K is considered an essential vitamin due to its many physiological health benefits. Along with being essential, Vitamin K is also fat-soluble, which means unlike water-soluble vitamins, these nutrients are stored in the liver and the fat cells of fatty tissue. Since the four fat-soluble vitamins, Vitamin A, D, E, and K are stored in tissue and not as easily flushed out of the body, there is a risk to develop toxic side effects. However, toxicity only occurs when the vitamin is taken in very high concentrations.
Benefits of Vitamin K – There are many
Vitamin K was discovered in Germany by the Danish physiologist, Henrik Dam whom concluded that a Vitamin K deficiency in chickens caused uncontrollable bleeding.1 Vitamin K, also known as the “clotting” or “koagulation (coagulation) vitamin”, is involved with the production of the protein prothrombin, which plays a critical role in blood clotting to heal the body after a cut and also prevent excessive bleeding from wounds1,2
In addition to benefiting the cardiovascular system and preventing vascular calcification, Vitamin K also supports tooth formation and bone health such as bone density, formation, and repair by producing the protein osteocalcin.3,4,5 Other research shows it even helps to prevent certain diseases, including heart disease, osteoporosis, and certain types of organ cancers such as lung, liver, and even leukemia.3
Forms of Vitamin K – Which is best?
The three types of Vitamin K include phylloquinone or Vitamin K1, menaquinone or Vitamin K2, and menadione or Vitamin K3.1,4 Vitamin K1 is the form found in mostly plant food sources and is poorly absorbed and mostly excreted from the body.1,4 Vitamin K2 is the form produced by the good bacteria in the large intestine and is also found in some food sources.1,4 Vitamin K3 is the synthetic form and is also known to have toxic effects.1,4
The most effective, protective, active, and bioavailable form of Vitamin K is Vitamin K2 in the form MK7, known by the trade name MenaQ7™. Vitamin K2 is most effective because it goes to your blood vessels first, is then delivered to other tissues, and is predominately absorbed in the small intestine. Menaquinone is the form that has the most benefits and is strongly related to the decreased risk of coronary heart disease and arterial calcification.5 The video below explains why Vitamin K2 in this form is so important and superior to other forms.