The Vitamin K family


Vitamin K are a family of fat-soluble compounds called napthoquinones. Vitamin K1 can be found in green leafy veg and vegetable oils. Vitamin K2 cannot be found in a typical diet.

K2 is associated with blood clotting, bone health and cellular function, particularly when it comes to the arteries. You can read more about K2 here

Vitamin K is a cofactor for y-glutamyl carboxylase and is needed for vitamin K dependant proteins, matrix GLA-protein and osteocalcin, which sends calcium out of the blood and back into the bones and teeth via activation and caroboxylation. Carboxylation of glutamic acid enables proteins to bind to calcium required also got coagulation (blood clotting).

Magnesium and zinc act as important cofactors for the functioning of vitamin K. Studies reveal a greater use of combined quinone use (K1 & K2) for addressing blood sugar. By using K1, the body can synthesise greater quantities of vitamin K2. Equally, whilst K2 gets a lot of attention for its roles in bone density, it is also K1 deficiency which is associated with increased risk of bone fractures. Vitamin K1 is mostly known for its role in bone health, and vitamin K2 gets better results in reducing blood vessel calcification than K1.



Choi H, Yu J, An J, et al. (2011) ‘Vitamin K2 supplementation improves insulin sensitivity via osteocalcin, metabolism: a placebo-controlled trial.’ Diabetes care.
Beulens J, Bots M, Atsma F et al (2009) ‘ High Dietary menaquinone intake is associated with reduced coronary calcification’. Atherosclerosis
Ehara Y, Takahashi H, Hanahisa Y, et al (1996) ‘Effect of K2 on bone metabolism on the femoral metaphyseal tissues of normal and skeletal-unloaded rats: enhancement with zinc’. Res Exp Med
Amizuka, Li M, Maeda T (2005) ‘The interplay of magnesium and vitamin K2 on bone mineralisation’. Clin Calcium
Ibarrola-Jurado N, et al (2012) ‘Dietary phylloquinone intake and risk of type 2 diabetes in elderly subjects at high risk of cardiovascular disease’. Am J Clin Nutr
Beulens J, et al (2010) ‘Dietary phylloquinone and menaquinones intakes and risk of type 2 diabetes’. Diabetes care.

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