Vitamin K2: Good for more than you think possible
Vitamin K2 plays a unique role in human health. Due to a lack of vitamin K2 in most people’s diets, supplementation with vitamin K2 may support health at many stages of life1
The Calcium Paradox
Heart and bone health are foundational to day-to-day living. While hearts and bones might commonly be thought of as separate body parts with distinct functions, the role of vitamin K2 in their functioning reveals how they are closely connected.
For years there has been a collective, public focus on the importance of calcium intake for bone health. The role of vitamin D in aiding calcium absorption has also long been common knowledge. Yet, there is still a major gap in understanding the importance of vitamin K2 in the body’s ability to effectively utilize calcium. But fear not; we’re here to catch everyone up to speed!
Bone and heart health are closely linked. To illustrate this, let's consider someone who consumes adequate amounts of calcium. While you'd probably assume they have healthy bones, it's actually possible that despite their calcium intake, they still lack adequate amounts in their bones. This could occur when instead of being directed to the individual's bones, calcium builds up in their arteries, instead. A lack of calcium in the bones and its storage in the vessel wall is what we call the ‘Calcium Paradox’. Vitamin K2 plays a vital role in this connection as it functions as a cofactor for the enzymatic activation of the crucial vitamin K dependent proteins (VKDP) Osteocalcin and Matrix Gla Protein, which are responsible for bone mineralization and reduced vascular calcification.2 Inadequate amounts of vitamin K2 in the body can result in these key proteins being ‘inactive’ and hence, they are ‘ineffective’.
In short, calcium needs two guides: one for absorption from the intestines into the bloodstream (vitamin D), and one for supporting it out of the bloodstream again (vitamin K2).
Vitamin K2 in bone health – For staying strong
Aging involves many physiological changes. A significant process associated with aging is a decline in bone mineral content, leading to reduced structural bone strength. This is particularly true for post-menopausal women. Vitamin K2 supports bone mineralization by activating osteocalcin, a calcium-binding protein involved in bone remodeling and calcium homeostasis. It can also work synergistically with vitamin D to support the activity of osteocalcin. Vitamin K2 plays a dual role in bone health by both supporting the bone building process, and by decreasing bone reabsorption.3 With the number of people aged 65 and older only growing, vitamin K2 is uniquely positioned to support this demographic group who are experiencing accelerated bone loss.4
A novel and natural approach to support bone mineral density
Bone health facts5:
- It is estimated that 10 million Americans experience bone loss.
- Half of all Americans aged 50 or older – 54 million – are at risk of bone fracture.
- One in two women and up to one in four men, will fracture a bone in their lifetime due to loss of bone mineralization.
- Bone health trumps heart health as a predictor of quality of life and life extension in women.
- Broken bones cost patients, their families, and the US healthcare system $19 billion annually.
Research on K2 and bone health
Vitamin K2 helps the body to properly utilize calcium to build healthy tissue bone.
Several human clinical studies have confirmed the effectiveness of vitamin K2 in supporting bone mineral density.6,7,8,9,10,11
In a recent meta-analysis, the hypothesis that vitamin K2 prevents bone fracture was supported in post-menopausal women.12
Get deeper into the K2 market with our K2 market report
Vitamin K2 in heart health – For staying strong so more time can be spent keeping up with the next generation
Vitamin K2 supplementation may be considered as a new and supportive approach in heart health through supporting arterial plasticity and blood flow.13
Heart health facts
- 80 million Americans experience loss of arterial plasticity.14 With an aging population and suboptimal eating habits, it is estimated that healthy living won't increase as fast as life expectancy.15
What the research says
By inhibiting calcium deposits in the arteries and blood vessels, vitamin K2 may contribute to improved heart health.
- Several studies have demonstrated beneficial effects within heart health.16,17,18
Vitamin K2 in sports health – For staying strong so more champions are made
Vitamin K2 isn’t only associated with preventative measures in relation to modern lifestyle health challenges. Emerging science also indicates vitamin K2 may add benefit in relation to physical activity and in sports performance.
The latest research
A recent proprietary study demonstrated that vitamin K2 may have beneficial effects on sports performance.19
Vitamin K2 in nerve health – For staying strong for the good moments
Vitamin K2 may be good for more than you think possible. With age, people may experience occasional nerve discomfort such as nerve aches, numbness, tingling, and complexities conduction simple tasks such as wiggling toes and fingers. It is well known that vitamin deficiencies, such as B12 and folate, have been associated with poor nerve health. Emerging science indicates vitamin K2 could also have benefits for people with nerve health challenges.
What the research says about the role of vitamin K2 in nerve health
Our proprietary research has demonstrated that vitamin K2 may reduce nerve arches, numbness, and tingling.20, 21, 22, 23, 24
At Novozymes OneHealth our business and culture is focused on creating deep partnerships to collaborate on unique products that make a real difference to the lives of consumers. Sound good? To find out more contact us.
Aggarwal S, Gupta S, Sehgal S, Srivastava P, Sen A, Gulyani G, Jain A. Vitamin K2: An emerging essential nutraceutical and its market potential. J Appl Biol Biotech, 2022; 10(02):173–184.
Geleijnse, J. M., Vermeer, C., Grobbee, D. E., Schurgers, L. J., Knapen, M. H., van der Meer, I. M., Hofman, A., & Witteman, J. C. (2004). Dietary intake of menaquinone is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: the Rotterdam Study. The Journal of nutrition, 134(11), 3100–3105. https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/134.11.3100
REGULATION OF BONE REMODELING BY VITAMIN K2 (nih.gov)
Plaza S et al Altern Med Rev 2005;10(1):24-35
National Osteoporosis Foundation. Osteoporosis fast facts. www.bonehealthandosteoporosis.org
Emaus N et al Osteoporosis Int 2010;21:1731-40
Knapen MH et al Osteoporosis Int 2013;24:2499-507
Huang ZB et al Osteoporosis Int 2015;26:1175-86
Ushiroyama T et al Maturitas 2002;41:211-21
Iwamoto J et al J Orthop Sci 2000;5(6):546-51
Shiraki M et al J BoneMiner Res 2000;15(3):515-21
Shiraki M et al J BoneMiner Res 2000;15(3):515-21
Knapen, Marjo HJ, et al. “Menaquinone-7 supplementation improves arterial stiffness in healthy postmenopausal women.” Thrombosis and haemostasis 113.05 (2015): 1135-1144.
Lloyd-Jones D et al Circulation 2009;119(3):e21-e-181
A comparative, correlate analysis and projection of global and regional life expectancy, healthy life expectancy, and their GAP: 1995-2025 – PMC (nih.gov)
Geleiinse J et al J Nutr 2004;134:3100-3105
Gast GCM et al Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis 2009;19:504-510
Riphagen, I., Keyzer, C., Drummen, N., de Borst, M., Beulens, J., Gansevoort, R., … Bakker, S. (2017). Prevalence and Effects of Functional Vitamin K Insufficiency: The PREVEND Study. Nutrients, 9(12), 1334. doi:10.3390/nu9121334
Oral Consumption of Vitamin K2 for 8 Weeks Associated With Increased Maximal Cardiac Output During Exercise – PubMed (nih.gov)
Mehta et al 2018: A Novel Potential Role of Vitamin K2‑7 in Relieving Peripheral Neuropathy. Journal of Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics. DOI 10.4103/jpp.JPP_72_18
Badmaev et all 2021: Randomized Controlled Trial of the Antinociceptive Effect of Menaquinone-7 (MK-7) in Patients with Peripheral Neuropathy. EC NEUROLOGY.
Mehta et al 2021: Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Pilot Study of the Antinociceptive Effect of Menaquinone-7 (Vitamin MK-7) in Patients with Peripheral Neuropathy. EC NEUROLOGY.
Kulkarni et al 2013: The effect of vitamin K2-7 in peripheral neuropathy due to Vitamin B12 deficiency and/or diabetes mellitus: A Preliminary Study. The Indian Practitioner.
Bhave et al 2019: Vitamin K2-7, a Promising Solution to Peripheral Neuropathy aroused due to Multiple Myeloma Treatment. The Indian Practitioner.