No doubt you’ve heard of vitamin K. It’s well known for its blood-clotting ability and for supporting bone health, heart health and healthy blood sugar levels.†
Vitamin K refers to fat-soluble compounds called anphthoquinones. Vitamin K1, also called phylloquinone, is the natural, plant form of this nutrient, while vitamin K2, which goes by the name menaquinone, comes from healthy bacteria in the human gut as well as certain foods, including natto. Vitamin K3, called menadione, is the synthetic version of vitamin K.
But it’s vitamin K2 we want to focus on.
Vitamin K2 can be further categorized, including the MK-4 or the MK-7 variety. Most vitamin K found in the Western diet is of the MK-4 variety, but MK-7 is the most readily metabolized form of K2.
As mentioned, it can be found most abundantly in natto, a fermented soy dish that’s part of the traditional Japanese diet. Interestingly, not only does natto provide a great source of vitamin K2, but it also helps to increase healthy intestinal bacteria so that K2 is properly assimilated in the body.†
And it’s good to know that among the variety of fermented foods, natto has consistently proven to have the highest concentration of MK-7 vitamin K2 available.
Additionally, vitamin K2 is an excellent calcium regulator, which moves excess arterial calcium into bone tissue where it belongs and is needed, but removes it from the arteries where it doesn’t belong. That’s a big deal, too, because calcium off course can lead to high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes and arthritis.†
Likewise, a study published in the Journal of the American Society of Hematology—Blood, indicates that K2 in the form of MK-7 outperformed K1 in the area of osteocalcin—the protein in bones that is used as a marker for the bone formation process—three times more powerfully than the K1 did. It states, “At the end of the study, the change in the cOC/ucOC ratio was 3 times higher for MK-7 than for K1, suggesting that the higher serum levels of MK-7 reflect higher tissue levels and better utilization of MK-7.”
Vitamin K2 MK-7 really is a pretty special K, huh?
†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.