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Vitamin k2

The main function of all types of vitamin K is one of the basic vitamins that contribute to blood clotting by contributing to the activation of proteins important for that and promoting heart and bone health. Vitamin K1 is considered; The primary form of the vitamin, vitamin K2 has many subtypes, which are named according to the length of their side chain. These subtypes are known as menaquinones or MKs for short, and scientists have given them numbers from MK-4 to MK-13.

vitamin k2

The difference between vitamins K1, K2, and K3 Vitamin K1 and K2 are natural vitamins important for blood clotting; This is because of their essential role in the production of the clotting factor called prothrombin. They are fat-soluble vitamins, and vitamin K has three forms; Vitamin K1, also known as phytomenadione or phylloquinone, is the only type of vitamin K that is naturally available in plants, specifically in green leafy vegetables. By bacteria in the intestinal tract, and the bacteria in turn produce several isotopes of it, and there is also vitamin K3, also known as menadione; It is the synthetic, water-soluble isotope of vitamin K, which can be converted to vitamin K2 in the intestine by enzymes in mammalian tissues.

Vitamin K1 is less absorbed 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 2019 review published in the International Journal of Molecular Science indicated that of all vitamin K2 analogs, MK-7 is absorbed more by the body than other analogs because it is the most bioavailable, and the extent of absorption of this isotope is 10 times greater than that of vitamin K2. K1, as is believed, according to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition in 2013, that because 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, and therefore vitamin K2, which is It is available in animal products and fermented foods. It rises in meat organs and milk products because they are high in fat content. On the other hand, fat-free meat; Like poultry, it is not a good source of it, and it is worth noting that the body stores this vitamin in high concentration in the brain and kidneys. That is, different from 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 phytomenadione; 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 to cause damage to liver cells, according to laboratory studies.

Foods rich in vitamin K2 

Some food sources of vitamin K2 are mentioned in addition to what was mentioned above in its absorption section:

  • sauerkraut.
  • Dairy products; Especially hard or dry cheese, such as Parmesan cheese, and others.
  • Liver, and other meat organs.
  • beef.
  • yolk.
  • chicken.
  • fatty fish; Salmon.

Scientific studies on Vitamin K2

The following points explain the potential benefits of vitamin K2, which still need more studies to prove them, and we mention the following:
  • A study published in the journal Osteoporosis International in 2013 indicated that taking vitamin K2 supplements, specifically the type MK-7, may help postmenopausal women reduce the risk of low bone density, while 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 a vitamin K2 analog, MK-4, may reduce the risk of recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma and increase survival. These results, however, require more studies to prove them.
  • A study published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis in 2015 indicated that the use of MK-7 supplements for up to 3 years improved arterial stiffness in women who did not suffer from any health problems and had menopause, and this effect was observed Also in women who suffer from a significant increase in this stiffness.
  • A study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2004 indicated that consuming an adequate amount of vitamin K2 may be important in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and the risk of death resulting from it, in addition to reducing the risk of atherosclerosis. This vitamin is associated with the activation of proteins that inhibit arterial calcification.

Vitamin K2 damage

Degree of safety of vitamin K2 used

Taking both types of vitamin K is considered; Vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 are often safe for most people when consumed appropriately, as their consumption does not cause any side effects when taking this vitamin in the daily recommended amount. However, some people may suffer from stomach upset or diarrhea, as pregnant or breastfeeding women. Consuming vitamin K during these two periods is often considered safe when taken in the recommended amount daily, but it is worth noting that you should avoid consuming high amounts of that without consulting a doctor.

Cautions for using vitamin K2

Vitamin K is associated with certain precautions when consumed by some groups. Some of them are mentioned below:

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

Vitamin K2 drug interactions

Vitamin K interferes with warfarin and reduces its effect. Where vitamin K helps blood clotting, while warfarin contributes to slowing its clotting, and therefore it is recommended to consult a doctor for the possibility of the need to change drug doses.