Vitamin K2 may be a vitamin that’s not talked about as much. Should it get more attention? Let’s take a look at vitamin K2 benefits,* vitamin K2 foods, and the best vitamin D3 and K2 supplements.
Then you can decide for yourself about this vitamin. Or, better yet, talk to your doctor about it. A vitamin K2 patch may be something to consider.
What Is Vitamin K2?
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. The other fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A, D, and E. Being “fat-soluble” means that it’s stored in your body fat - but unlike the other fat soluble vitamins, not much is stored in your body. Instead, a portion of it is recycled many times.
Vitamin K was named after the German word, “koagulation.” It was first identify as a factor that was needed for proper blood clotting, or coagulation. That's the process that happens when you cut or bruise yourself. Without coagulation, the bleeding can continue.
These are the forms of vitamin K.
- Vitamin K1 is the most common form in the diet. It’s also called phylloquinone. Plants make it.
- Vitamin K2 is also a natural form of vitamin K2. Another name for it is menaquinone. It’s made by gut bacteria. You can also get it from some animal sourced foods and fermented foods.
- Vitamin K3 is also called menadione.
Vitamins K1 and K2 are active forms of the vitamin. Vitamin K3 is a provitamin. Your body needs to convert it to vitamin K2 for it to be active.
Vitamin K is used for these functions.
- Proper blood clotting to prevent hemorrhage.
- Binding calcium to make strong bones and teeth.
- Binding calcium to prevent calcification of the arteries.
- Enabling vitamin D to do its job regulating calcium and related hormones.
Vitamin K2 Benefits: Blood Clotting
Vitamin K2 was first discovered as an essential factor in the process of blood clotting. It’s not surprising that vitamin K2 benefits include supporting the proper blood clotting process. Blood clotting takes place in a series of steps. Many of them require vitamin K2. Without vitamin K2, blood clotting, or coagulation, cannot take place properly. The result may be hemorrhage, or uncontrolled bleeding.
Vitamin K is so important for blood clotting that it’s actually an issue in newborn babies. It’s recommended that all newborns get an injection. That’s because breast milk is low in vitamin K compared to needs. Also, vitamin K doesn’t transport well across the placental barrier, so babies are born without high enough stores to last until they can start eating solid foods and get their own vitamin K.
Vitamin K2 Benefits: Bone Health
Healthy bones need strong mineral to prevent osteoporosis, or a high risk for fracture. Calcium is a major component of that mineral. It is bound by a protein called osteocalcin, which is also known as bone Gla protein. Vitamin D regulates osteocalcin synthesis, but vitamin K is needed for osteocalcin to be activated and to work properly. Without vitamin K, osteocalcin does not allow for normal production of a type of bone mineral called hydroxyapatite.
These are some tips for bone health.
- Engage in weight-bearing exercise and strength-training exercises.
- Consume calcium and vitamin D.
- Limit carbonated soft drinks and animal proteins.
- Avoid smoking.
Ask your doctor how else to protect your bones!
Vitamin K2 Benefits: Dental Health
Similarly to bones, teeth need proper mineral structure to be strong and healthy. While osteocalcin stimulates bone mineral formation in bones, it may stimulate the formation of dentin. Dentin is the hard tissue that contains calcium and is under the surface enamel of your teeth.
These are some other ways to take care of your teeth.
- Consume calcium and vitamin D.
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
- Floss your teeth daily.
- Keep sweets and refined carbs to a minimum.
- Visit a dentist 2 to 3 times a year for a checkup and professional cleaning.
Be sure to ask your dentist about any tooth concerns.
Vitamin K2 Benefits: Heart Health
As vitamin K allows for bones to take calcium into the bones and teeth for normal use in making them strong, this calcium is taken from the blood. That’s good for heart health because too much calcium in the blood leads to a process called calcification.
Calcification of the arteries is associated with atherosclerosis and the development of heart disease. Plaque formation can increase the risk of stroke. As plaque in blood vessels grows and becomes unstable, it can break off and travel in the blood vessel. It can get stuck and lead to a blockage. Blockage of the blood supply to the brain is a stroke, while blocking the blood supply to the heart is a heart attack.
You can support the benefits of vitamin K2 for your heart with choices such as these.
- Exercise regularly, according to your doctor’s recommendations.
- Eat plenty of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and fish.
- Limit sugar, saturated fats, fatty meats, and processed foods.
- Get enough sleep each night.
Talk to your doctor about any health concerns you may have.
More Vitamin K2 Benefits
Vitamin K2 is important for so many processes in the body that the benefits may extend throughout the body. A major reason is its interaction with calcium. Calcium is needed for bones, nerves, muscles, and the heart. That means vitamin K2 is needed, too.
These are some more potential benefits of vitamin K2.*
- Lower risk for kidney stones if you have kidney disease. Calcium-based kidney stones can form when you have too much calcium in the body. People on dialysis and people with chronic kidney disease can have low vitamin K2 levels, leading to extra calcium. That can lead to painful kidney stones.
- Possible reduction in cancer risk. This is just a theory based on the role of vitamin K2 in growth arrest-specific gene 6 protein (Gas6). Gas6 protein needs vitamin K2. Cancer happens when cells grow uncontrollably, so it’s possible that a lack of vitamin K2 would limit Gas6 activity and increase uncontrolled cell growth.
- Potential to improve athletic performance. Muscles need calcium for normal contraction and release. Vitamin K allows for normal energy use during exercise.
Vitamin K2 Foods
Many of the food sources of vitamin K have vitamin K1, or phylloquinone. That’s the version of vitamin K that’s produced by plants. These are some examples.
- Leafy green vegetables, such as spinach, parsley, chard, and kale
- Soybean, cottonseed, olive, and canola oil
- Broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower
Animal source foods and some fermented foods can have menaquinone, or vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 foods include these.
- Beef liver, which is one of the most nutritious foods, containing vitamin A, copper, and B vitamins.
- Cheese, which has calcium and sometimes is fortified with vitamin D. Muenster, camembert, Gouda, and cheddar cheese are examples.
- Natto, which is a Japanese dish with fermented soybeans.
- Eel, which is a seafood source of vitamin K2.
- Chicken, which has more vitamin K2 per serving than beef or pork.
- Sauerkraut, which is a fermented cabbage dish.
- Egg yolk, which has every essential nutrient except for vitamin C.
Since vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, you can increase absorption by eating vitamin K2 foods with a source of fat.
Vitamin K2 Deficiency
Vitamin K2 deficiency is rare in healthy adults who eat a normal diet. That’s because vitamin K is in a lot of foods and the body is good at reusing it. Risk factors for deficiency include these.
- Taking medications, such as warfarin, that impair blood clotting.
- Having a fat malabsorption disorder, such as some bariatric surgery patients may have.
- Having inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), liver disease, or cystic fibrosis.
Symptoms of deficiency can be related to excessive bleeding.
- Bleeding gums
- Blood in the urine or stool
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
Newborn babies are at risk for excessive bleeding if they don’t get a vitamin K injection. That’s because a low level of vitamin K increases the risk for vitamin K deficiency bleeding (VKDB). It can be fatal. Premature babies are at higher risk for vitamin K deficiency since they haven’t had time yet to store up vitamin K to high enough levels before birth. Newborns whose mothers were on anticonvulsant medications can also be born with low amounts.
Vitamin K2 Side Effects
Water-soluble vitamins, which include the B vitamins and vitamin C, are not stored in your body in high amounts. Excess amounts of water-soluble vitamins are excreted in your urine.
In contrast, your body can store higher amounts of fat-soluble vitamins for longer. That’s why it’s important to choose the best vitamin D3 and K2 supplements. However, your body doesn’t store all that much vitamin K compared to other fat-soluble vitamins.
You’ll want to avoid vitamin K side effects, and vitamin K2 is a safer form than vitamin K3. In fact, there aren’t any known toxic effects of vitamin K2.
Vitamin K2 Patches
A vitamin patch with vitamin K2 can be a way to get vitamin K without taking the synthetic form. That's vitamin K3, or menadione.
Taking vitamins D and K together may make some sense. After all, they’re both important for bone health and regulation of calcium. In addition, vitamin D is related to vitamin K because it increases the need for it. So, if you’re one of the many people who is low in vitamin D and is planning to take a vitamin D supplement, you might want to ask your doctor if your vitamin K needs will increase, too.
The Vitamin D3 with K2 Patch by PatchAid is among the best vitamin D and vitamin K supplements if you are looking for an easy way to get these nutrients along with calcium and magnesium. The patch includes these nutrients. .
- 5300 IU vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is what regulates osteocalcin and some other functions related to bone health and calcium absorption and use in the body. Most Americans are low in vitamin D3!
- 300 mg magnesium. Magnesium is needed for normal metabolism and energy production. It’s also need for normal muscle and nerve function, and it’s part of healthy bone mineral structure.
- 290 mcg vitamin K2. This is not known to have any potential for toxicity, and it’s the form of vitamin K that’s less common in the diet.
- 105 mg of calcium. Calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth, as well as for energy production.
The Vitamin D3 with K2 Patch by PatchAid may:*
- Support normal metabolism.
- Promote bone and tooth health.
- Support heart and bone vessel health and function.
- Promote normal blood function.
The best vitamin D3 and K2 supplements are easy to use and convenient. That’s true of the Vitamin D3 with K2 Patch by PatchAid. This is how to use them.
- Decide where to place the patch. It will stick better on an area without hair, lotion, or oil residues, such as your shoulder, back, or hip.
- Clean and dry the skin where you will place the patch.
- Remove the vitamin patch from the release liner. Notice that it’s easy to remove and will not tear the patch!
- Adhere the vitamin patch to your skin, pressing firmly.
- Leave your PatchAid vitamin patch on for up to 8 hours. Then remove the vitamin patch, fold it in half, and discard.
- Repeat with a new vitamin patch the next day.
The Vitamin D3 with K2 Patch by PatchAid is available in a 30-day supply, as well as a 3-month, 6-month, or 1-year supply. You can opt for the subscribe and save choice for extra savings and the peace of mind that you’ll never run out.
The Vitamin D3 with K2 Patch by PatchAid is one way to get your vitamin K without inconvenience. Vitamin K is needed for healthy bones, teeth, heart, and more. Ask your doctor if a Vitamin D3 with K2 Patch by PatchAid may be right for you!
*The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated these statements. The Vitamin D3 with K2 Patch by PatchAid is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Anyone with a medical condition should seek the advice of a licensed medical practitioner. Individual results may vary.