Understanding Vitamin K2’s Role
- Distinction: Vitamin K2 is different from Vitamin K1, primarily known for blood clotting.
- Functions: Plays a critical role in bone metabolism and heart health.
Bone Mineralisation and Strength
- Action: Activates osteocalcin, a protein that binds calcium to bone.
- Consequence of Deficiency: Inadequate Vitamin K2 can lead to weak bone formation.
Fracture Risk Reduction
- Research Findings: Higher Vitamin K2 intake linked to lower fracture risks, especially in postmenopausal women and older adults.
- Role in Bone Health: Enhances bone mineralisation, crucial for fracture prevention.
Synergy with Vitamin D
- Complementary Function: Vitamin K2 directs calcium absorbed by Vitamin D to bones, preventing soft tissue accumulation.
- Result: Effective calcium utilisation for bone strengthening.
Preventing Unwanted Calcification
- Benefits: Reduces calcification in arteries, teeth, and other soft tissues.
- Cardiovascular Health: By directing calcium to bones, Vitamin K2 supports heart health and prevents vascular calcification.
Benefits for Postmenopausal Women
- Target Group: Especially beneficial for postmenopausal women to maintain bone density and reduce fracture risk.
Dietary Sources and Supplementation
- Sources: Fermented foods, dairy, organ meats, beef, pork, eggs, fatty fish, chicken.
- Gut Bacteria: Also produced by intestinal microbes.
- Supplementation Need: May be necessary due to limited dietary abundance and absorption issues.
- Professional Consultation: Essential for tailored supplementation advice.
- Caution for Certain Individuals: Those on blood thinners, undergoing kidney dialysis, or with G6PD deficiency should consult healthcare professionals before taking Vitamin K2 supplements or making significant dietary changes.
Vitamin K2 is crucial for bone and cardiovascular health, with unique benefits distinct from Vitamin K1. It plays a key role in bone mineralisation and works synergistically with Vitamin D. Personalised consultation with healthcare professionals is advised for safe and effective supplementation.