Article provided courtesy of Examine.com
This is information only, please consult your medical professional before taking Vitamin K or any other supplement.
Vitamin K is known to interact significantly with warfarin usage, and tends to suppress the effects of warfarin. Your medical professional should be notified of any vitamin K usage if currently using warfarin.
Vitamin K is an essential vitamin. It is one of the four fat-soluble vitamins, along with Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E. It was named vitamin K after the German word koagulation, because vitamin K’s role in blood coagulation was first discovered in Germany. Vitamin K can be found in dark green vegetables, matcha tea and natto (fermented soybeans). Vitamin K2 can also be found in animal products, since it is a result of bacterial fermentation.
The Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) of vitamin K is sufficient to support healthy blood coagulation. Higher levels of vitamin K, however, provide benefits for cardiovascular and bone health. Unfortunately, it is difficult to obtain high levels of vitamin K from food alone. Most people don’t like natto enough to eat 50g a day, so supplementation of vitamin K is a popular option.
Optimal levels of vitamin K are associated with improved bone circumference and diameter. Vitamin K can also protect cardiovascular health. It reduces the calcification and stiffening of arteries, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular-related mortality. Vitamin K may have a role to play in cancer therapy and anti-aging treatments. It may also help with regulating insulin sensitivity and reducing skin reddening, but more research is needed to determine if vitamin K has an active role to play in these areas.
Vitamin K’s main mechanism is through the vitamin K cycle, which is a cyclical metabolic pathway that uses vitamin K to target specific proteins. When a protein expresses glutamate, it is targetted by vitamin K, which causes it to collect more calcium ions. Calcium ions are removed from the blood stream, which prevents buildup in the arteries.
Vitamin K is often supplemented alongside Vitamin D, since vitamin D also supports bone health. In fact, taking both together will improve the effects of each, since they are known to work synergistically. Excessive vitamin D can lead to arterial calcification, but vitamin K reduces this buildup.
** Vitamin K is fat soluble (and the longer chain a menaquinone gets, the more fat soluble it becomes) and needs to be ingested either with a fat-containing meal or with a capsule containing fatty acids
** Menadione (Vitamin K3) tends to actually have a toxicity associated with it rather than the pretty safe menaquinones and phylloquinone
How to Take
Recommended dosage, active amounts, other details – from Examine.com
Vitamin K comes in a variety of different forms, known as vitamers. Forms of vitamin K are either phylloquinones (vitamin K1) or menaquinones (vitamin K2). There are different vitamers within the vitamin K2 class, abbreviated as MK-x.
The minimum effective dose for phylloquinone (vitamin K1) is 50mcg, which is enough to satisfy the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for vitamin K. The maximum dose for vitamin K1 is 1,000mcg.
The minimum effective dose for short chain menaquinones (MK-4) is 1,500mcg. Doses of up to 45mg (45,000mcg) have been safely used in a superloading dosing protocol.
The minimum effective dose for longer chain menaquinones (MK-7, MK-8, and MK-9) is between 90-360mcg. Further research is needed to determine the maximum effective dose for MK-7.
A topical application of vitamin K should contain at least 5% phylloquinone.
Vitamin K should be supplemented alongside fatty acids, even if the vitamin is coming from a plant-based source, so consider taking vitamin K at meal time. Microwaving plant-based sources of vitamin K will increase the absorption rate of the vitamin.