What is Vitamin K2 (MK-7)
Vitamin K2, also known as menaquinone, is a fat-soluble nutrient found primarily in animal products, cheese, butter, and fermented soybeans. There are several vitamin K2-dependant enzymes in the body, making it essential for a variety of metabolic functions.
Research shows that the vitamin K2 analog known as MK-7 is the most bioavailable form of this nutrient with a longer half-life in the body.
Benefits of Vitamin K2 (MK-7)
- Essential for the function of 17 vitamin K-dependent enzymes in the body
- Vitamin K2 MK-7 has enhanced bioavailability and absorption
- Essential for the activation of prothrombin for healthy blood clotting
- Regulates calcium metabolism for strong bones and teeth
- Supports cardiovascular health by preventing calcification of the blood vessels
How it Works
Vitamin K2 is essential for proper blood clotting, calcium metabolism, strong bones, and heart health. It works by activating several proteins in the body via vitamin K-dependent carboxylase enzymes.
Unfortunately, low vitamin K2 levels are incredibly common because it can be tricky to get enough from the diet. Additionally, vegan and vegetarian diets, low-fat diets, pregnancy, digestive conditions, and antibiotic use further increase the risk for low vitamin K2. You may benefit from vitamin K2 supplements if you struggle with increased bruising, poor blood clotting, brittle bones, or markers of cardiovascular disease.
Low levels of vitamin K2 may present as frequent bruising and excessive bleeding because of its involvement in the blood clotting cascade. It's necessary for the activation of a protein called prothrombin, responsible for stopping internal and superficial bleeding. By binding to calcium at the site of an injury, prothrombin initiates a "coagulation cascade" to form a clot.
Vitamin K2 plays a key role in maintaining strong bones. It activates the protein osteocalcin produced by bone cells responsible for binding to calcium in the blood and depositing it in bone tissue. This ensures healthy bone mineral density and reduces the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
Additionally, K2 supports cardiovascular health by regulating calcium metabolism. It activates Matrix GLA Protein (MGP), which binds to calcium and prevents it from depositing in blood vessels and causing hardening of the arteries and tissue calcification.
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