Top 8 Foods High In Vitamin K2

by   |   Jun 14, 2022

We have heard of vitamin C, vitamin D, as well as many others. But what about vitamin K2, and how familiar are you with it?

Although this vitamin is not one of the more talked-about ones, it plays a vital role in the human body. Over the upcoming few paragraphs, we are going to discuss vitamin K2, as well as answer some commonly-asked questions:

  • What is vitamin K2 good for?
  • Is too much vitamin K2 bad?
  • Which foods are high in vitamin K?

Are you ready? Keep scrolling now!

What is vitamin K2?

Vitamin K comes in two main forms, including vitamin K1 and vitamin K2.

Vitamin K2 is found in animal foods and fermented foods. It can be further separated into different subtypes, from MK-4 to MK-13. But the most important ones are MK-4 and MK-7.

  • MK-4 is present in animal products and is the only form that is not produced by bacteria. You can find it in butter, egg yolks, and liver.
  • MK-7 is often derived from a natural bacterial fermentation process. Natto is known as a great source of MK-7. Eating a teaspoon of natto per day is similar to a common dosage.

vitamin-k

What is vitamin K2 good for?

Let’s talk about the basics!

The primary role of vitamin K in the body is to boost blood clotting, heart health, and calcium metabolism. One of the most important functions is to adjust calcium deposition. In other words, it improves the calcification of bones and stops the calcification of kidneys and blood vessels. However, the roles of vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 are different. While vitamin K2 actually improves bone and heart health, vitamin K1 only supports the coagulation process.

We all know that calcium is a vital mineral of bone structure. Also, it is found in blood vessels and arteries, which might have negative health effects in high quantities.

Vitamin K2 has been stated to assist in the removal of calcium from the lining of your blood vessels and the redistribution of that calcium back to the bones. If you do not consume enough of this vitamin, the process will be useless and might lead to cardiovascular and bone health issues. That is why many health professionals suggest supplementing vitamin K2 together with bone health supplements like vitamin D and magnesium to make sure the calcium gets to bones effectively.

What is more, some studies have shown that higher vitamin K2 levels in the body help boost the overall bone density and reduce the risk of bone fractures.

Aside from supporting both heart and bone health, adding vitamin K2 to your diet also helps:

  • Since K2 might regulate blood sugar levels, it might help prevent anxiety and depression.
  • Consuming vitamin K2-rich foods offers plenty of anti-cancer properties. Some studies have shown that K2 helps prevent cancer cell growth for particular cancers like liver and prostate cancer.
  • Vitamin K2 helps trigger matrix Gla protein to get rid of calcium and stop kidney stones from growing.
  • When bone is absorbed again, vitamin K-dependent osteocalcin is discharged, which works like a hormone on many tissues to promote blood glucose and insulin sensitivity.

What are the symptoms of vitamin K2 deficiency?

If we do not pay attention to eating foods that are rich in vitamin K2, it might lead to diseases like diabetes, obstruction in the bile duct, digestive disorders, cystic fibrosis, and chronic kidney disease.

Below are some symptoms of vitamin K2 deficiency.

  • Bleeding too much or bruising easily
  • Blood clotting under the nails
  • Heavy menstrual periods
  • Weak bones and teeth
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Ulcerative colitis

Is too much vitamin K2 bad for you?

How much vitamin K2 is too much, or how much intake is suggested daily?

Adults should ensure they are consuming between 100 and 300 micrograms of vitamin K2 daily. Meanwhile, children under 12 need about 45 micrograms daily. Those with particular medical conditions might need more, as recommended by their physician.

Up to now, there are no known serious side effects from overusing vitamin K2. But it is sensible to stick to the suggested intake.

Which foods are high in vitamin K2?

The National Health Service (NHS) says that it is important and possible to get sufficient quantities of vitamin K2 by eating a healthy and balanced diet with food sources listed below.

top-8-foods-high-in-vitamin-k2

Natto

Natto is a popular Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans. It is high in many nutrients that boost good gut health and is the richest source of vitamin K2. Just one tablespoon of natto includes 150 micrograms of vitamin K2.

Eel

Most vitamin K2 sources are animal-based; however, eels give a seafood alternative. A 100-gram serving of eel provides 63 micrograms, satisfying your recommended level for the day.

Beef liver

Eating a 100-gram serving of beef liver offers 11 micrograms of vitamin K2. Moreover, it comes with other nutrients like copper, vitamin A, folate, and riboflavin, making it one of the most nutritious meat products.

Chicken

In case you are not a fan of liver, it is fine to turn to chicken to consume vitamin K2. With 10 micrograms per 100-gram serving, chicken has 5 to 10 times this vitamin content compared to pork or beef.

Egg yolk

An egg yolk has between 67 and 192 micrograms. But it should be noted that this amount might change depending on what the hen consumes. In fact, most chicken today is reinforced with vitamin K that might pass onto the egg. But chicken fed soy or corn-based diets are more at risk of vitamin K deficiencies.

Cheese

Cheeses are a terrific source of vitamin K2 along with other nutrients such as protein, calcium, and vitamin A. However, they are high in calories and saturated fats, so you need to moderate your portions. Also, vitamin K2 content changes based on the different kinds of cheese. For instance:

  • 12 micrograms of vitamin K2 in cheddar
  • 32 micrograms in aged Gouda and Edam
  • 34 micrograms in Camembert
  • 50 micrograms in Munster

Butter

Another simple way of taking vitamin K2 is to take 1 tablespoon of butter daily to supply your body with 2.1 micrograms. Just remember that butter is also rich in fat content. So, avoid relying on butter only, make sure you add other foods high in K2 for daily consumption.

Sauerkraut

Like natto, sauerkraut delivers many health benefits, like strengthening good gut health and improving immune function. A half-cup of sauerkraut has 2.75 micrograms of vitamin K2.

In conclusion

If these foods listed above are inaccessible to you, you should take supplements as a valid alternative. The benefits of this nutrient might be improved even further when combined with a vitamin D supplement. That is because two vitamins include synergistic effects, which means they might work together.

Now let’s know which source of vitamin K2 you prefer most! Have you ever experienced the health benefits since adding it to your diet? Do not mind leaving your questions in the box below.

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