Vitamin K-2 can be found in meat, egg yolks, and fermented foods like cheese and natto (Japanese fermented soy beans). K-2 is also synthesized naturally in the gut by microflora ('good' bacteria) fermentation. While most of the benefits of vitamin K were previously attributed to vitamin K1, recent research has identified important benefits for vitamin K2. This product provides a unique form of vitamin K2 that allows for maximum tolerance by those sensitive to soy.*
Vitamin K2's Role in Cardiovascular Health
Research has shown that K-2 is the vitamin K form most beneficial for cardiovascular health. A paper published in 2004 reported on The Rotterdam Study, which involved 4,800 people over a 10-year period. The researchers found that the increased intake of Vitamin K-2 reduced the risk of coronary heart disease mortality by 50%.Vitamin K-1 had no effect at all.(1)
Most heart attacks and strokes are caused when plaque builds up on the inner walls of the arteries. Eventually a section of plaque can break open, forming a clot which then travels to the heart resulting in a heart attack, or to the brain resulting in a stroke. Standard treatment for patients at risk of a heart attack or stroke is usually aimed at thinning the blood so clots cannot form. Patients are instructed to take an aspirin every day or they are prescribed blood thinners like Coumadin or Plavix. The problem with those treatments is that, if the patient is injured, it may be difficult to stop the bleeding because the medications interfere with the blood's ability to clot.
Promoting Bone Health
Japanese women tend to have far fewer osteoporosis fractures than Western women. It is thought that their consumption of the popular Japanese food natto, which is high in Vitamin K-2, may have a lot to do with it. A 1995 study in Japan compared vitamin K levels in the blood of 24 women who had osteoporotic fractures and 36 elderly women who had no fractures. While vitamin K-1 levels were virtually identical in both groups, Vitamin K-2 levels were twice as high in the group with no fractures compared to the group with fractures.(4)