What you need to know about Vitamin K2
1. What are the differences between vitamin K1 and vitamin K2?
Vitamin K is a collective term for fat-soluble compounds. That said, K1 (phylloquinones) and K2 (menaquinones) have little in common, as their functions and source foods are all different. Vitamin K1 is typically found in organ meat and green leafy veggies, whereas vitamin K2 is found in fermented products like aged cheeses or the Japanese superfood, natto. They also diverge in terms of their mechanisms of action: While K1 primarily plays a role in blood coagulation (by activating certain processes in the liver), K2 works in the bloodstream, playing a key role in multiple health functions. As
things stand, scientists have found 18 unique vitamin K2-dependent proteins in our bodies!1
2. Are there differences between natural and synthetic versions of vitamin K2?
Natural vitamin K2 is what exists in nature. Natural vitamin K2 is produced through the fermentation of bacteria, has a higher bioavailability2 and is backed by scientific evidence. Synthetic K2 is produced through chemical reactions, at a lower cost. Our natural vitamin K2 is only trans isomers, the purest form available. It is inherently impossible to have 100% trans synthetic K2.3
3. What do you mean when you say MenaquinGold® is “soy-free”?
Many manufacturers claim to be “soy-free” but MenaquinGold® truly is, because it's born of another legume all together! This means no contact with from outset through production. Many companies have turned to soy but rising consumer concerns about soy products drove us to search for other sources. Our journey led us to an alternative bacterial strain that can produce vitamin K2 using chickpeas, which comes with huge benefits. We see two key reasons why non-soy matters: In certain markets, consumers are acutely concerned about GMOs4 and increasingly, individuals are recognizing their allergy to soy products.5
4. What are the benefits of proprietary research?
At Novozymes OneHealth, we are committed to helping people live healthier and better lives by solving profound health challenges related to modern lifestyles. This stands true for our MenaquinGold® natural vitamin K2. We want to expand the benefits of vitamin K2 as we truly believe it is good for more than you think possible. But how is our proprietary science valuable to you? Fundamentally, it provides a wealth of inspiration for your next concept addressing a variety of lifestyle-related issues. It also means that where applicable, customers can reference our science, with confidence.
5. MenaquinGold® claims it is FDA GRAS – what does this mean?
At Novozymes OneHealth, we are a partner, not just a supplier. So, when a customer requested that we file our self-affirmed GRAS with the FDA, we did! The response was an FDA “No Questions” letter to the GRAS Notification (GRN000887), which confirms the agency has no questions regarding the basis for the GRAS determination. The application and response refer to an intended use of natural vitamin K2 (MK-7) as a food ingredient, and as a nutrient in oral nutritional supplement products or foods for special dietary uses intended for children aged one to 13.
6. Does natural vitamin K2 have challenges with stability?
You may have come across claims that natural vitamin K2 is “unstable”, and there is some truth to those sentiments! Vitamin K2 is sensitive to light, alkaline environments, and aggressive minerals. This is precisely why we have different formats and concentrations of MenaquinGold®, including one with “enhanced stability”. Having produced vitamin K2 for more than 15 years, we are happy to guide you through selecting the MenaquinGold® format and concentration that meet your needs.
7. What are the benefits of producing MenaquinGold® in-house, using Novozymes OneHealth facilities?
Manufacturing MenaquinGold® in our own facilities means customers aren't dependent on a long supply chain with potentially redundant partners. In addition, our factory is GMP, ISO 22000, and HACCP certified, and the products have Halal and Kosher approval.
8. Is there a Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin K2?
Not yet! But research suggests vitamin K2 meets the criteria for establishing a bioactive RDI recommendation6 and we are confident that it will come as the international market starts to pick up this novel vitamin. Choosing to work with MenaquinGold® now means when an RDI is in place, you’ll already have an established, trusted product on the market.
9. Do people really need to take a vitamin K2 supplement?
You might wonder why a vitamin key to optimal metabolic functioning isn’t easily sourced in our diet. This likely comes down to changing dietary patterns, an increasing consumption of processed food, and the simple fact that as a global population, we are living longer than ever before.7 A proprietary study conducted on Indian and UK populations found 90% of participants to be insufficient in vitamin K2.8 This means nine out of 10 people entering a physical or virtual store are potentially insufficient in vitamin K2.
Vaidya, R., A. D. B. Vaidya, J. Sheth, S. Jadhav, U. Mahale, D. Mehta, J. Popko, V. Badmaev, and S. J. Stohs. 2022. “Vitamin K Insufficiency in the Indian Population: Pilot Observational Epidemiology Study.” JMIR Public Health Surveill no. 8 (2):e31941. doi: 10.2196/31941.
Schurgers, L. J., and C. Vermeer. 2000. “Determination of phylloquinone and menaquinones in food. Effect of food matrix on circulating vitamin K concentrations.” Haemostasis no. 30 (6):298-307. doi: 10.1159/000054147
Marles, R. J., A. L. Roe, and H. A. Oketch-Rabah. 2017. “US Pharmacopeial Convention safety evaluation of menaquinone-7, a form of vitamin K.” Nutr Rev no. 75 (7):553-578. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nux022.
Messina, Mark PhD, MS; Venter, Carina PhD, RD. Recent Surveys on Food Allergy Prevalence. Nutrition Today: 1/2 2020 – Volume 55 – Issue 1 – p 22-29 doi: 10.1097/ NT.0000000000000389
Nutrients | Free Full-Text | Vitamin K2 Needs an RDI Separate from Vitamin K1 (mdpi.com)
Bruno, E. “The Prevalence of Vitamin K Deficiency / Insufficiency, and Recommendations for Increased Intake.” (2016).