GN Health Line Vitamin K2
The essential vitamin for healthy bones and a healthy cardiovascular system that can protect against osteoporosis, atherosclerosis and cancer and reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes.
- Promotes the maintenance of stable and resistant bones
- May reduce the risk of bone fractures by 60 to 80% according to studies
- Without vitamin K2, calcium and vitamin D cannot help maintain healthy bones
- May reduce the risk of osteoporosis and reduce or even prevent bone loss in existing osteoporosis
- May improve the elasticity of blood vessels
- May reduce the risk of developing atherosclerosis or dying from cardiovascular disease by 50%.
- May significantly reduce the risk of developing certain cancers
- May reduce the risk of death in cancer patients by up to 30%, according to one study.
- Can significantly reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes
- May relieve inflammation
- May improve blood lipid levels.
- Promotes healthy blood clotting without increasing the risk of thrombosis
- Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
What is vitamin K2
Vitamin K2, which is also known as menaquinone, belongs together with vitamin K1 to a group of fat-soluble vitamins known as vitamin K. Vitamin K2 represents by far the most active vitamin from this group and is exclusively responsible for many positive effects.
There are different variants of vitamin K2, which include menaquinone-4 derived from animal sources and menaquinone-7 derived from plant sources. At GN Health Line Vitamin K2, we only use menaquinone-7 derived from non-GMO soybeans, making it suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Vitamin K2 plays important roles in various vital body processes, which include healthy blood clotting and the activation of GLA proteins, which play very important roles in the calcium metabolism of the human body.
Although healthy calcium metabolism function may not sound very exciting at first glance, it hides both better cardiovascular health by reducing atherosclerosis and maintaining elastic blood vessels, as well as maintaining healthy bones and teeth and preventing osteoporosis.
In addition to this, according to scientific studies, vitamin K2 appears to reduce the risk of certain cancers and could also significantly reduce the risk of diabetes. We will discuss all of these interesting health benefits in more detail below and also cite the most important studies.
How does a vitamin K2 deficiency manifest itself and what are its consequences?
Vitamin K2 deficiency can occur quite quickly in a less than perfectly balanced diet, due in no small part to the fact that even the best natural sources of vitamin K, such as meat, offal, egg yolks, cottage cheese, and certain cheeses that undergo a bacterial ripening process, contain only small amounts of vitamin K2. It is therefore not surprising that health experts assume that vitamin K2 deficiency is very widespread.
The insidious thing about a vitamin K2 deficiency is that it often becomes noticeable relatively late, when severe and sometimes irreparable damage has already occurred. This is due to the fact that vitamin K2 is involved in many long-term processes and diseases promoted by a vitamin K2 deficiency, such as osteoporosis or arteriosclerosis, only become noticeable in the final stages, when successful treatment is difficult or impossible. Initial indications of vitamin K deficiency include an increased tendency to bruise, as well as unusually prolonged bleeding after injury, because vitamin K deficiency inhibits the blood's ability to clot.
Long-term consequences of vitamin K2 deficiency include a greatly increased risk of osteoporosis, bone loss, arteriosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and kidney stones, to name a few.
The daily requirement of vitamin K is given as 65 to 80 µg per day. If you want to be on the safe side, then you can take a high-quality vitamin K2 product like GN Health Line Vitamin K2 daily to eliminate any risk of vitamin K2 deficiency. There is no need to fear overdosing, as many experts consider the recommended daily intake of 65 to 80µg to be the absolute lower limit, and vitamin K2 is safe even in high doses. Even though vitamin K2 promotes healthy blood clotting, high vitamin K2 dosages cannot lead to an increased risk of thrombosis, as vitamin K2 only has a natural regulating function.
Who can particularly benefit from vitamin K2 supplementation?
Adequate vitamin K2 intake is important for everyone. However, there are some people who may particularly benefit from vitamin K2 supplementation. These groups of people include:
People who suffer from a blood clotting disorder may particularly benefit from vitamin K2 supplementation, as vitamin K2 plays a critical role in regulating blood clotting
Elderly people and especially women after menopause have a greatly increased risk of osteoporosis and bone loss. These people can particularly benefit from the osteoporosis-counteracting and bone-building effects of vitamin K2 if they also ensure an adequate supply of vitamin D and calcium.
People who are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease or already suffer from atherosclerosis may particularly benefit from vitamin K2 supplementation, as this vitamin can counteract atherosclerosis and plaque formation in blood vessels and keep veins more elastic.
- Because vitamin K2 is primarily found in animal foods, vegetarians and vegans are at increased risk for vitamin K2 deficiency and may therefore particularly benefit from vitamin K2 supplementation.
People who are at increased risk of diabetes may particularly benefit from vitamin K2 supplementation, as vitamin could significantly reduce the risk of diabetes.
Vitamin K2 for healthy bones and protection against osteoporosis
Although the first things that come to mind when most people think of vitamins and minerals for bone health are vitamin D and calcium, vitamin K2 is at least as important. More specifically, no matter how much vitamin D and calcium you consume, without vitamin K2, neither can exert its effects in terms of bone formation.
To understand this, one must know that vitamin D stimulates the formation of osteocalcin, which is responsible for storing calcium in the bones. This osteocalcin, however, can only be activated by vitamin K2, and is ineffective without vitamin K2. In other words, this means that all the calcium and vitamin D in the world will not be able to reduce osteoporosis and a decrease in bone density if you are deficient in vitamin K2. Instead, your bones will become thin and fragile, and the risk of fractures will continue to increase over time.
Scientific research has shown that vitamin K2 can increase the strength and density of bones and also promotes the formation of collagen, which makes bones more elastic and can protect against fractures. In fact, an evaluation of different studies has shown that vitamin K2 can reduce the risk of bone fractures by 60 to 80%.
When it comes to bone health, osteoporosis is also an important topic. Osteoporosis is said to occur when bone loss exceeds 1 to 1.5% per year from the mid-30s onwards. Women are particularly affected after menopause, as they have significantly less estrogen, which promotes calcium storage in the bones. Osteoporosis does not only affect women, however, and in Germany almost 10 million people suffer from this disease, also known as bone loss.
Interestingly, scientific studies have shown that vitamin K2 levels in osteoporosis patients are up to 70% lower than in healthy individuals and that vitamin K2 deficiency leads to lower bone density and an increased risk of fractures (1). Another study showed that vitamin K2 is able to prevent bone loss in osteoporosis and even stimulate bone formation (2).
Vitamin K2 to promote cardiovascular health and protect against atherosclerosis
Arteriosclerosis, which is also known as calcification of the veins, is a degenerative change in the veins and coronary arteries that progresses slowly over years or even decades and is responsible for numerous cardiovascular diseases such as angina pectoris, heart attack and stroke. Shockingly, over 50% of all deaths in Western civilization are attributable to cardiovascular disease.
The insidious thing about atherosclerosis is that its symptoms only become noticeable at a very advanced stage, through narrowing of the blood vessels or vascular occlusions, when cardiovascular health is already severely compromised.
Atherosclerosis occurs when rising blood pressure causes tiny cracks to form on the inner walls of the arteries and, due to a lack of important vital substances, the body plugs them with so-called LDL cholesterol, which binds calcium. By removing excess calcium from the blood, vitamin K2 can significantly reduce such dangerous calcium deposits (3).
The best known study is the so-called Rotterdam Heart Study, which investigated the relationship between the amount of vitamin K2 consumed and atherosclerosis (4). This study concluded that people with a higher vitamin K2 intake have significantly less calcium deposits in the arteries and that adequate vitamin K2 intake can reduce the risk of atherosclerosis or death from cardiovascular disease by 50%.
It is likely that the effects of vitamin K2 could be much more far-reaching. In animal studies, vitamin K2 was shown to be able to reverse artificially induced calcification of the veins and reduce calcium deposits by 50% (5).
Calcification of the veins also causes the walls of the blood vessels to stiffen, which can cause further microcracks in the area of the inner walls of the veins with all their negative consequences. An interesting study conducted with 244 postmenopausal women over a 3-year period (6) clearly demonstrated that vitamin K2 can improve blood vessel elasticity even in the presence of pre-existing vascular stiffening. Thus, vitamin K2 can also significantly improve vascular elasticity.
Vitamin K2 to protect against cancer
Although this branch of research is still in its infancy, there are clear indications that vitamin K2 could protect against cancer by activating the self-destruction mechanism of cancer cells. This has already been demonstrated in leukemia cells in an in vitro study (7).
In addition to these more theoretical studies, there are also studies conducted directly in humans that can show that vitamin K2 can protect against cancer (8). A study conducted with subjects who had an increased risk of liver cancer was able to show that only 10% of the subjects who supplemented vitamin K, but 47% of the subjects in the control group developed liver cancer during the study period. This means in numbers that Vitamon K2 was able to reduce the risk of cancer by almost 80%, which is quite a dramatic reduction in the risk of cancer.
However, vitamin K2 seems not only to be able to protect against cancer, but also to have a positive effect on an already existing cancer. A study conducted in Heidelberg and published in the renowned American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that vitamin K2 can reduce the risk of death in cancer patients by 30% (9).
Vitamin K2 to reduce the risk of diabetes
A study conducted in the Netherlands in 2010 concluded that there is a direct relationship between the level of vitamin K2 intake and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes (10). This study analyzed the diets of nearly 40,000 study participants for vitamin K2 content.
In this study, a practically linear relationship between vitamin K2 intake and diabetes risk was observed. A detailed analysis of the results showed that every 10µg increase in vitamin K2 intake reduces the risk of diabetes by 7%.
In addition to this, higher vitamin K2 intake has also been associated with improved blood lipid levels and lower levels of C-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation. This suggests that vitamin K2 may reduce inflammation in the body.
Recommended intake: Take one capsule of vitamin K2 after a meal that contains a certain amount of fat. Since vitamin K2 is a fat-soluble vitamin, some dietary fat is needed for adequate absorption by the body.
Warning: Please discuss supplementation with vitamin K2 in advance with the treating physician if taking blood thinning medications such as coumarin, as vitamin K2 supports healthy blood clotting. It is possible that the medication needs to be adjusted.