Of all the vitamins you may have heard of or supplemented, K2 is one of the least-known. Yet it’s looking like one of the most effective for long-term good health. Some are even arguing that K2 is more important than vitamin D for your health. Of course, it’s not an either/or choice, since they work so well together, so make sure you’re getting enough of both.
What Is Vitamin K?
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin that is found primarily in dark leafy greens. When taken as a supplement, it’s usually in the form of K2, which is derived from animal-based or fermented foods. People who use blood-thinning medications, such as Warfarin, or Coumadin, should not start supplementing vitamin K without first consulting their doctor.
What Does Vitamin K2 Do?
K2 is essential for blood clotting, bone metabolism, and regulating blood calcium levels. Its job is to work in combination with vitamin D, magnesium and calcium to ensure that calcium is getting to your bones, rather than the tissues or coronary arteries. It’s critical for prevention of osteoporosis, brittle bones and teeth. Seniors low in K2 have higher rates of falling injuries and fractures. K2 levels have also been linked to improved cognitive performance in seniors, and it seems to help blood pressure and heart health. Dr. John Whitcomb calls K2 a “super vitamin” and goes into great detail about why in this video:
Who Needs K2?
Whether to supplement K2 depends on your diet, age, medical conditions, and even location. If you live in northern latitudes you will probably need to supplement vitamin D, so also supplementing K2 is generally a good idea. If, like 80% of Hong Kong residents, you don’t eat enough vegetables, especially leafy greens… K2 could be a very good choice. If you’re going to supplement, be sure to get liquigels. Like vitamin D, K2 is a fat-soluble vitamin and absorbs better in a liquigel format. The RDA for Vitamin K2 is 120 mcg for adult males, or 90 mcg for adult females. Most supplements are 100 mcg, which is a reasonable amount. K2 is so important that newborn babies are typically treated with it at birth.
“A study suggested that older adults who lack sufficient amounts of vitamin K in their system are highly likely to develop mobility issues. It also increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis.
As with any supplement, talk to your doctor about adding Vitamin K2, especially since it can interact with medications. If you look into its benefits, and new research into it being related to reduced all-cause mortality, it’s a great choice for many people.