Healthy Foods and Vitamins

Vitamin K2

The main function of all types of vitamin K is one of the essential vitamins that contribute to blood clotting by contributing to the activation of proteins that are important for this, and promoting heart and bone health.

Vitamin K2

Vitamin K1 (in English: K1); The basic form of the vitamin, vitamin K2 has many subtypes that are named according to the length of their side chain.

This type is known as menaquinones or MKs for short, and scientists have given them numbers from MK-4 to MK-13.

The Difference Between Vitamin K1, K2 and K3

Vitamin K1 and K2 are natural vitamins that are important for blood clotting . This is because of their essential role in producing the clotting factor called prothrombin.

They are both fat-soluble vitamins, and vitamin K has three forms: Vitamin K1, also known as phytonadione or phylloquinone, is the only form of vitamin K that is naturally available in plants, specifically in green leafy vegetables, and the human body can use it directly, or convert it to vitamin K2 from Its counterpart is MK-4, and vitamin K2, which is manufactured by bacteria in the intestinal tract, and the bacteria in turn produce several isotopes of it.

There is also vitamin K3 (in English: K3), also known as menadione. It is the water-soluble synthetic analogue of vitamin K, which can be converted to vitamin K2 in the intestine by enzymes found in mammalian tissue.

Vitamin K1 is less absorbable than Vitamin K2, which may lead to them having different effects on health due to the difference in absorption and level of transport in different tissues of the body.

A review published in 2019 in the International Journal of Molecular Science indicated that of all vitamin K2 analogues, the body absorbs MK-7 more than other analogues because it is the most bioavailable, and the extent of absorption of this analogue increases by a rate of 10 times.

Regarding the absorption of vitamin K1, it is believed, according to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2013, that since vitamin K2 is a fat-soluble vitamin and is available in most foods that contain high amounts of fat , its absorption may be better than vitamin K1.

Therefore, vitamin K2, which is available in animal products and fermented foods, increases in meat organs and milk products because they are high in fat, and in contrast, fat-free meat; Like poultry, it is not a good source.

It is worth noting that the body stores this vitamin in high concentration in the brain and kidneys. That is, differently than how vitamin K1 is stored, which accumulates in the liver, heart, and pancreas .

As for vitamin K supplements, they are usually available in several forms: Including vitamin K1; such as phylloquinone or Phyto menadione; It is the synthetic form of this vitamin, vitamin K2; Such as MK-4 or MK-7. As for vitamin K3, it is not used in nutritional supplements or fortified foods, as it has been observed that it causes damage to liver cells, according to laboratory studies.

Foods rich in Vitamin K2

  • Below are some nutritional sources of vitamin K2, in addition to what was mentioned above in the absorption section:
  • Dairy products; Especially hard or dry cheese, such as Parmesan cheese, etc.

Scientific Studies on Vitamin K2

The following points highlight the potential benefits of vitamin K2, which still need more studies to prove, including the following:

A study published in the journal Osteoporosis International in 2013 indicated that taking vitamin K2 supplements, specifically the MK-7 type, may help post-menopausal women reduce the risk of low bone density . As for other groups; Like men and children, more studies are still needed to confirm this effect.

A preliminary study published in the American Cancer Society Journal in 2006 indicated that one of the vitamin K2 analogues, MK-4, may reduce the risk of recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma and increase the probability of survival, but despite Of these results, it requires more studies to prove it.

A study published in the journal Thrombosis and Haemostasis in 2015 indicated that using MK-7 supplements for up to 3 years improves arterial stiffness in women who do not suffer from any health problems and have gone through menopause, and this effect has been observed. Also in women who suffer from a significant increase in this stiffness.

Harmful Effects of Vitamin K2

Taking both types of vitamin K: Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2 are mostly safe for most people when consumed appropriately, as their consumption does not cause any side effects when taking this vitamin in the recommended amount daily.

However, some people may suffer from stomach upset or diarrhea , as for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Consuming vitamin K during these two periods is usually safe when taken in the recommended amount daily, but it is worth noting to avoid consuming higher quantities than that without consulting a doctor.

Warnings Regarding the use of Vitamin K2

Vitamin K is associated with certain warnings when consumed by some groups, some of which are mentioned below:

  • Kidney patients: Taking vitamin K in large quantities may be harmful to a kidney patient who is undergoing dialysis.
  • Liver patients: High doses of vitamin K may worsen clotting problems in patients with severe liver disease.
  • People with decreased bile secretion: They must take bile salt supplements when consuming vitamin K to ensure absorption of this vitamin.

Drug Interactions of Vitamin K2

Vitamin K interacts with warfarin; (in English: Warfarin), and reduces its effect; Vitamin K helps blood clotting, while warfarin contributes to slowing blood clotting, so it is recommended to consult a doctor due to the possibility of needing to change the medication doses.

Related :

Zaheer Ahmad

I am Zaheer Ahmad. Currently I am doing P.hd on Human Nutrition and Dietetics from Sorbonne University. Previously, I have also done masters in Molecular Nutrition and Food Technology.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button