What is the Difference Between Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2?

by Nakita Valerio, B.A, CSN, BMSA Technician on April 29, 2013
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This is a relatively new addition to the shelves of most health food stores and anybody who hears of someone else touting the next “miracle vitamin” is sure to tune out to what sounds like a scam. However, K2 really is a bit of an anomaly that is worth a few sentences to understand its importance.

First of all, the biggest question we get from clients is this: what is the difference between K1 and K2? Basically, K1 is produced by plants and is used in the human body for regulating blood viscosity, particularly for monitoring clotting factors. That being said though, human beings cannot produce K2 from consuming K1: only herbivores can do that. Vitamin K2 is what we call an “Activator” vitamin meaning that it stimulates the production of osteocalcin - a protein that basically puts minerals where they are supposed to go. That's why at our stores, you will find Vitamin K2 as the bridge between the vitamin and mineral sections.

This vitamin is produced by omnivore animals from the consumption of K1 in grassy foods. As humans, we cannot produce it ourselves, but have to consume it from the organ meats and tissues of those omnivore animals such as cattle, chicken and so forth. With the industrialization of the food system and the advent of feeding animals GRAINS instead of GRASSES, this vitamin was lost in our modern diet. But it took FOREVER to figure that out, and even longer to finally get this information in the public eye.

In 1945, Dr. Weston A. Price described "a new vitamin-like activator" that played an influential role in the utilization of minerals, protection from tooth decay, growth and development, reproduction, protection against heart disease and the function of the brain.
Using a chemical test, he determined that this compound—which he called Activator X—occurred in the butterfat, organs and fat of animals consuming rapidly growing green grass, and also in certain sea foods such as fish eggs.

Dr. Price died before research by Russian scientists became known in the West. These scientists used the same chemical test to measure a compound similar to vitamin K.

Vitamin K2 is produced by animal tissues, including the mammary glands, from vitamin K1, which occurs in rapidly growing green plants. A growing body of published research confirms Dr. Price's discoveries, namely that vitamin K2 is important for the utilization of minerals, protects against tooth decay, supports growth and development, is involved in normal reproduction, protects against calcification of the arteries leading to heart disease, and is a major component of the brain.

Vitamin K2 works synergistically with the two other "fat-soluble activators" that Price studied, vitamins A and D. Vitamins A and D signal to the cells to produce certain proteins and vitamin K then activates these proteins.Vitamin K2 plays a crucial role in the development of the facial bones, and its presence in the diets of nonindustrialized peoples explains the wide facial structure and freedom from dental deformities that Weston Price observed.

The average capsule of Vitamin K2, such as that from Natural Factors, will contain 120 to 200mcg of K2 from natto and often in a base of coconut oil. As it is fat-soluble, this is the way to go! Even if you take a multivitamin, chances are your mix doesn't contain this miracle vitamin, so you'll want to supplement, especially if vegetarian.

Nakita

 

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Disclaimer: The above information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your physician.

 

 

Topics: Minerals, Research, Vitamins

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