itamin K2 as MK-7 is an essential fat-soluble, a highly bioavailable vitamin that was originally identified for its role in blood coagulation (‘K’ coming from the German word ‘koagulation’), (‘MK’ stands for menaquinone and K stands for vitamin K). Vitamin K is a generic name for a family of compounds with a parent chemical structure of 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone. Vitamin K includes phylloquinone (vitamin K1), a series of menaquinones (vitamin K2) and menadione (vitamin K3).
Vitamin K2 or Menaquinones are a group of homologues that have unsaturated isoprenyl units in their side chains and are designated as MK-4 through MK-13, based on the length of their side chain. MK-4, MK-7, and MK-9 are the most well-studied long- chain menaquinones.
FOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN K
Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is found in green leafy vegetables, vegetable oils and some fruits. Meat, dairy foods, eggs contain low levels of phylloquinone but modest amounts of vitamin K2 (menaquinones). Natto (fermented soybeans), fermented foods from bacteria, cheese also contain menaquinones.
The different variety of vitamin K dietary supplements are available such as vitamin K1 as phylloquinone or phytonadione (a synthetic form of vitamin K1) and vitamin K2 as MK-4 or MK-7. Menadione, also called vitamin K3 is yet another synthetic form of vitamin K.
ZENITH NUTRITION VITAMIN K2 as MK-7
Zenith Nutrition vitamin K2 as MK-7
is a vegetarian dietary supplement that provides 55mcg of vitamin K2 as MK-7 (a superior form of vitamin K per serving). The supplement is highly bioavailable, manufactured in a GMP-certified unit and has gone through strict quality control procedures for the confirmation on purity, quality and potency. The dietary supplement does not include sugar, preservatives, soy, dairy, yeast and gluten.
Vitamin K2 MK-7 is suitable for both men and women.
WHY SHOULD ONE SUPPLEMENT WITH VITAMIN K2?
Vitamin K2 supplements are a more reliable way to secure an adequate intake of vitamin K2. The below information support this statement.
- Menaquinone although is synthesized by bacteria in our gut, it appears to contribute minimally to overall vitamin K status.
- Our body stores very little of this fat-soluble vitamin and it’s rapidly depleted without regular dietary intake.
- Although vitamin K is present in green leafy vegetables, only 10% of the total amount is absorbed from that source.
- Our diets might not provide vitamin K in amounts sufficient to address the body’s demands, especially true with older adults and menopausal women.
- Due to modern manufacturing processes, the vitamin K content, particularly vitamin K2 content of food has significantly dropped.
- Supports mobility goals.
- The intake of vitamin K2 supplements in postmenopausal women may reduce the age-related decrease in bone mineral density.
- Can prevent calcification and stiffening of arteries.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF DEFICIENCY OF VITAMIN K?
- Bleeding and haemorrhage are the classic signs of vitamin K deficiency.
- Reduced bone mineralization and occurrence of osteoporosis.
- Non-activation of matrix GLA protein.
- Increased risks of blood vessel calcification and stiffening.
HOW TO CONSUME VITAMIN K2 SUPPLEMENT?
Since vitamin K absorption appears to occur through the common pathway like most dietary lipids, the bioavailability of vitamin K supplement is positively associated with dietary fat and the integrity of the food matrix.
IS IT SAFE TO SUPPLEMENT WITH VITAMIN K2 ?
Yes, it is safe to supplement with vitamin K2. Unlike other fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin K does not get stored in any significant quantity in the liver.
DOES ANY MEDICATION OR OTHER CONDITIONS INTERFERE WITH VITAMIN K ABSORPTION?
Antibiotic use (longer than 10 days), consuming low-fat diet or fat-blocking supplements, anticoagulants like warfarin, GI tract diseases, bile acid sequestrants (which prevent fat absorption) such as cholestyramine interfere with vitamin K absorption, leading to depletion of vitamin dependent clotting factors.
VITAMIN K1 Vs VITAMIN K2 – HOW ARE THEY DIFFERENT?
1. Vitamin K1 chemically differs from K2
Although both share the same chemical ring structure, they have varying side chain lengths. Vitamin K1 has a monounsaturated tail with 4 isoprene units, whereas vitamin K2 forms have polyunsaturated tails with anywhere from 4 to 11 isoprene units and are called menaquinones.
2. With respect to MGP-activation
MGP regulates arterial calcification. Although vitamin K1 can activate MGP, it is much less efficient because it is transported to the liver first to activate coagulation proteins. A sufficient amount of vitamin K2 must be present in the body to render MGP in regulating calcium.
The absorption rate of phylloquinone in its free form is approximately 80%, but its absorption rate from foods is significantly lower. Research studies suggest that long-chain Menaquinones (K2) have higher absorption rates than phylloquinone from green vegetables.
IS VITAMIN K2 –MK-7 BETTER THAN OTHER FORMS OF VITAMIN K?
Yes. While there are many forms of vitamin K, their bioavailability varies as described below.
Vitamin K1 is well-absorbed but is less active than K2- MK-7, vitamin K2 –MK-4 is well absorbed but less active than K2-MK-7.
Long-chain menaquinones like MK-10-MK-13 are poorly absorbed and provide little vitamin K activity. Vitamin K2-MK-7 is well-absorbed and provides the highest vitamin K activity.
VITAMIN K2 IS A MAJOR PLAYER IN OPTIMIZING BONE HEALTH
- The human skeleton undergoes constant turnover so that it is completely replaced every 7 to 10 years. During the remodelling process of our skeleton, our body releases calcium from bone into the bloodstream to meet an individual’s metabolic needs. This remodelling process is regulated by osteoblasts (cells that build up skeleton) and osteoclasts (cells that break down the skeleton).
- Osteoblasts produce osteocalcin (non-collagenous protein), which helps take calcium from the blood circulation and bind it to the bone matrix.
- Osteocalcin is considered a bone formation biomarker. Through its ability to bind to calcium ions in hydroxyapatite, it contributes to bone mineralization, makes the skeleton stronger and less susceptible to fracture.
- The role of vitamin K2 comes here, the newly made osteocalcin is inactive and need vitamin K2 to become fully activated and bind calcium.
- Vitamin K2 works as a major cofactor for the gamma-carboxylation of many proteins, including osteocalcin.
- As per research, high serum levels of undercarboxylated osteocalcin are associated with lower bone mineral density, hip fracture, osteoporosis (characterized by porous, fragile bones).
- A subsequent clinical trials have found that MK-7 supplementation helps decrease the loss in vertebral height of the lower thoracic region in postmenopausal women.
VITAMIN K2 IS A CRITICAL NUTRIENT FOR CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH
- Inadequate calcium intake is directly associated with decreased bone mineral density and increased risks of bone fractures. Supplemental calcium promotes bone mineral density and can prevent the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. But, Did you know? Recent scientific research suggests that elevated consumption of calcium supplements can be connected with accelerated deposit of calcium in the blood vessel and soft tissues increasing the risk for cardiovascular health. Vitamin K2 has a major role in the inhibition of arterial calcification and arterial stiffening.
- Not having adequate vitamin K status leads to undercarboxylated MGP, which could increase vascular calcification, impair arterial elasticity and increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
- Vitamin K2 supplementation has been shown to lower the risk of vascular damage because it activates matrix GLA protein (vitamin K-dependent protein), which inhibits the deposits of calcium on the walls.
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