Vitamin K2: The Neglected Essential Nutrient 

7 min read

key takeaways:
  • Modern diets are lacking Vitamin K2, an important and essential nutrient for bone and cardiovascular health.
  • Vitamin K2 deficiency has been linked with calcium build up in arteries and osteoperosis. 
  • Supplementing with Vitamin D3 + K2 is an important consdieration for all Americans, especially those on a vegan or plant-based diet.

Level Up your nutrition by understanding Vitamin K2 Benefits and why combining vitamin K2 with D3 should be a priority for health.

NEWS FLASH!!! The majority of Americans are failing to reach optimal levels for Vitamin K2 — an essential micronutrient for bone and cardiovascular health.

Recent publicity has put Vitamin D3 in the spotlight, but what's often overlooked is the synergistic nature and importance of getting Vitamin D3 + Vitamin K2.  

Without K2, the vitamin D3 that you consume is not able to effectively do its job, one of the most important being shuttling excess calcium out of your arteries and into bones where it belongs.

If you're serious about your health, it's time you get educated about vitamin K2 benefits and the important role this essential nutrient plays for bone and heart health.

Did you know?

95%A recent study looked at the Matrix GLA Protein of healthy adults to assess K2 status.  They found that 438 out of 452 had deficient or insufficient levels of Vitamin K2. 

What Is Vitamin K2?

Vitamin K2 is an essential element that functions as a signal to the bones by ensuring that bones get enough calcium.

Moreover, Vitamin K2 also activates two proteins (osteocalcin and Matrix-GLA) and helps to provide calcium to the arteries.

Thus, vitamin K2 contributes to the balance between calcium and cardiovascular health.

This important role shows that our body needs K2 to sustain healthy bones and heart. 

Now, you might be asking:

How does this play a role with Vitamin D?

Among other important health benefits, Vitamin D is a nutrient that is capable of controlling calcium absorption in the blood.

Vitamin K2, on the other hand controls where calcium ends up.

Without adequate amounts of Vitamin K2, Vitamin D is unable to perform its role in calcium regulation and bone building.

The risk here is that excess calcium gets stuck in the arteries, inhibiting proper blood flow and contributing to cardiovascular-related issues.

As a simple analogy, you can think of K2 as the traffic conducter that helps to regulate the appropriate distribution of calcium in the body.

vitmani k2 for osteoperosis

How Is Vitamin K2 different than Vitamin K1?

You're probably familiar with the role of vitamin K for blood clotting.

When most people hear the term vitamin K, this is what they think of, which is the primary role of K1 in the body.

What most people don't know is that "Vitamin K" actually refers to a group of nutrients that have different roles in the body.

Vitamin K1 is abundant in most diets whereas vitamin K2 is severely lacking.

Vitamin K1 can be easily consumed through green leafy veggies like kale and spinach.

Vitamin K2, however is a bit more tricky to get, especially for anyone following a vegan or plant-based diet.

The most common way to get Vitamin K2 in the diet is through fermented foods and certain types of animal products like butter and meat from grass-fed cows.

But, because most Americans don't eat fermented foods regularly and more are avoiding animal products and dairy, it shouldn't be a surprise as to why we're missing out on this important nutrient.

Another way of getting Vitamin K2 is that it can be produced by healthy gut bacteria.

Making things even more complex is that Vitamin K2 as a nutrient has a range of ten different subtypes.

These subtypes are known as menaquinones. Menaquinones range from MK-4 to MK-13.

The most well-known and widely studied form of vitamin K2 is MK-7.

Without getting too hung up on the terminology, what follows are the important differences between Vitamin K2 and K1.

Did you know?

Historically, consumed Vitamin K2 in sufficient quantities through the consumption of organ meats and fermented foods. 

Changing diets and food preferences have all but eliminated these nutrient-rich foods from modern diets.

Vitamin K2 vs. K1: What's the difference?

Vitamin K1Vitamin K2
Primary function is for blood clottingAn essential nutrient for bone & heart health
Poorly absorbed and utilizedStays in the body much longer
Easy to get from dietMissing from modern diets
Limited role in heart healthHelps to shuttle calcium out of arteries
Low bioavailability compared to K2MK-7 is three times more effective at activating the protein osteocalcin  

Benefits of Vitamin K2 + D3

In addition to the functions mentioned above, consuming Vitamin D with K2 has multi-benefits to the human body. Here are a few of the enumerated benefits.

Vitamin D

  • Supports bone health
  • A powerful hormone regulator
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Protects you from seasonal colds, cough, and flu
  • Has anti-inflammatory properties
  • Promotes intestinal integrity
  • Important factor in mental health

Vitamin K2

  • Increases bone durability and density
  • Helps in blood clotting
  • Activates protein to control calcium distribution
  • Shuttles calcium to the bones
  • May help to prevent heart diseases
  • Reduces the risk of osteoporosis
  • May improve dental health
  • May help fight cancer
  • Plays a role as an anti-aging agent
  • Enhances brain health

To get most of the benefits of Vitamin D and K2, it is suggested by experts to use them together and regularly, of course with the guidance of health professionals.

According to some experts, it is advisable to get vitamin D levels ranging from 40-80 ng/ml to be in the optimal range.

As for K2, there isn't a recommended daily intake, but most experts suggest 100-200 micrograms daily in the form of MK-7 as an effective dose.  

How Much Vitamin K2 Do I Need Daily?

With all these amazing health benefits, you're probably wondering why there isn't a recommended daily intake for vitamin K2.

The truth is that we're still learning about the benefits of K2 and regulatory hasn't yet caught up with the science.

Keep in mind that the main purpose for RDIs (Recommended Dietary Intake) is to prevent disease, not to optimize health.

Since vitamin K deficiency isn't common in developed countries, vitamin K2 gets very little attention.

But, since you're reading this, I'm guessing that your goal isn't just to prevent disease but also to optimize life!

As such, getting adequate amounts of K2 through diet and supplementation will play a critical role in your long-term health by helping to keep bone density high and your arteries clear from calcification.

Therefore, you might want to consider upping your intake of fermented foods and consider Vitamin D3 + K2 supplements as part of your health routine.

Vitamin K2 + D3 for Weight Loss

You are now familiar with the important role of vitamin K2 for optimal health and longevity, but there's one more topic that might interest you - weight loss.

The research on this topic is still emerging, but there are some interesting results that indicate a relationship between stubborn abdominal fat with vitamin D and K2.

Let's dive into the topic of vitamin D3 and K2 for weight loss.

These nutrients (D and K2) are capable of influencing weight, but not in the traditional sense.

The relationship is a little more abstract making it difficult to draw a clear connection.

One thing we do know is that the gut microbiome plays a critical role in weight and every facet of health.

This is an especially hot topic because obesity is rampant among both men and women today. 

vitamin k2 in fermented foods like kimchi

Gut Health for Weight Loss

One theory of Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 in regard to weight is linked with the gut and antiboitics.

The antibiotics we knowingly use in the form of prescriptions can have important benefits for killing off harmful infections, but this often comes with a price.

Antibiotics wreak havoc on our gut by destroying the healthy bacteria that play a vital role in health, wellness, and immunity.

When the microbiome becomes imbalanced, it can trigger numerous unwanted side effects, one of which is excess weight gain. 

Consider for a second, all the antibiotics used on animals that get passed through the food chain into the meat and dairy products consumed in a standard American diet.  

The majority of Americans are consuming massive quantities of these items, and as a result, the antibiotics used to treat the animals.

So, it's no wonder why our guts are a mess and that we see diet and lifesyle-related illness at such alarming rates.

To better understnd the role of gut health and weight, researchers have been studying the relation of vitamin D + K2 to body weight.

To date, they have found a deficiency of such vitamins destabilized the body and may be a leading cause in obesity.

Additionally, further research that looked at vitamin D supplementation in weight loss concluded that a link may exist.

In particular, these vitamins may play a role in the composition and breakdown of stubborn adipose tissue and abdominal fat.

So, if you're struggling to lose that stubborn belly fat, it might be time to consider supplementing with Vitamin D and K2.

So, how does this relate to weight loss and weight gain?

Obesity occurs when there is an imbalance of vitamins, nutrients, and minerals in the body and is a result of chronic inflammation.

Most of the time, obesity strikes when a person has Vitamin D deficiency or Kitamin K2 insufficiency.

Vitamin D, as we pointed out in a previous article, acts more like a hormone in the body than it does a vitamin.

Thus, to control fat-soluble materials and hormones in the body, one must understand the concept of vitamin intake and balance it. 

How to supplement with D3 + K2

In an ideal world, we'd get all the vitamin D that we need from the sun and plenty of K2 through diet by eating a wide variety of fermented foods, but that isn't the case today.

Industrialized food production has deteriorated the nutritional density of the food we eat making many food choices like beef and dairy more harmful than helpful.

While we can get vitamin K2 from egg yolks, grass-fed butter, goose liver, cheese, organ meats, and natto (fermented soy), most of these options don't work for plant-based dieters.

For this reason, most people turn to supplements to get their daily dose of vitamin D plus K2. 

However, as with anything, not all supplements are created equally and the difference is in the details.

Before choosing to take supplements, consider the following:

  • Your specific vitamin D and K2 intake needs
  • Your food choices – the foods might already high in vitamin D and K2.
  • Your daily routine or exercise – athletes will require higher levels 
  • Real foods vs. synthetic vitamins – choose natural, whole food based options for more benefit and less risk of contaminants
get your essentials
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Looking for an easy and complete solution without the hassle of popping pills?

Add our Essentials nutrition shake to your daily routine.

Unlike other meal replacement products, each scoop of the Essentials contains both vitamin D3 and K2 in the ideal ratio to ensure you're getting enough of these health-promoting nutrients.

Derived from fermented chickpeas, our K2 is whole food derived and soy-free so you get all the benefits without any nasty chemicals, fillers, or sketchy synthetic materials. 

Essential Nutrition is the Key to Optimal Wellness

There you have it! Now that you know all about vitamin K2 benefits, it's time to make this important nutrient an essential addition to your routine.

After all, if you're still reading this it's because you want the best for your health and to optimize life. Knowledge is power, but taking action leads to results.

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Disclaimer: The LYFE Fuel blog is for informational purposes only. The information does not serve as a replacement for professional medical advice or treatment. We kindly ask you not to ignore professional medical advice because of any information you’ve read on If you have any concerns about your health, please consult a physician or appropriate health care expert.