For the most part, we all know which vitamins are essential when it comes to keeping our bodies healthy. However, there’s one little-known vitamin that can play a huge role in our health, and most of us aren’t getting enough.
Allow us to introduce you to vitamin K2. This rare and important nutrient offers a variety of health benefits that you don’t want your body to miss out on. Fortunately for vegan vitamin K2 supplements, you won’t have to.
Vitamin K2 is a nutrient rarely found naturally in the western diet. It provides many health advantages our bodies can benefit from such as improved bone and heart health and a reduced risk of disease.
In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about the elusive vitamin K2, including what exactly it is and which vegan sources it can be derived from. For a comprehensive look into everything you have to gain from a vegan K2 supplement, we’ve got you covered.
What is vitamin K2?
Let’s start with the basics - K2 is a member of the vitamin K family that simply does not get the recognition it deserves. Despite research suggesting the many benefits and uses of K2, it’s K1 that tends to be discussed and consumed far more than its counterpart. But why?
K1 versus K2: What’s the difference?
While there are many different variants of vitamin K, it’s K1 and K2 which are most commonly found in our diets. One major difference between these two, however, is the amount and type of food sources from which they can be derived.
Vitamin K1 comes from plant-based sources, making it fairly easy to obtain enough of as long as one is eating their leafy greens. Vitamin K2, however, can be found primarily in certain animal products and usually in much smaller quantities in comparison to K1.
This explains why vitamin K2 is lesser-known and more difficult to incorporate into our diets, particularly for vegans. However, there are sources from which we can consume vegan vitamin K2, whether it be from the food itself or a K2 supplement.
Sources of Vegan K2
The majority of K2 vitamin sources come from animal products such as eel, beef liver, chicken, cheese, and butter. This diet does not work for anyone adhering to a plant based lifestyle.
The list of vegan vitamin K2 sources is scarce, but it consists primarily of the following:
- Natto (Japanese dish consisting of fermented soybeans)
- Fermented soy
To further add to the complications of consuming enough vegan K2, many of these vegan food sources listed are only offering trace amounts of this vitamin.
But no worries! Vegan K2 supplements are a viable option and the most effective way to make sure we’re consuming enough K2 to reap its rewards.
In fact, FuelOrganics offers a high-quality Vitamin K2 that vegan!
This means that not only are vegans able to consume K2 in an animal-friendly way, but we can also benefit from the immune-boosting and antioxidant effects of Vitamin C. Win-win!
So what exactly are the advantages of taking vitamin K2 supplements? While this vitamin affects many of our bodies functions for the better, here’s four of the most interesting benefits of adding vegan K2 into our diets:
1. Reduced risk of heart disease
Vegan K2 supplements can work wonders in supporting our cardiovascular system. One of the primary benefits of this vitamin is its role in activating the protein that helps with calcium metabolism.
This is how vitamin K2 helps to stop the buildup of calcium in the arteries surrounding the heart, allowing it to function at optimal capacity. The ability to metabolize calcium is also the reason vegan K2 supplements help with blood clotting and coagulation, lowering our bodies risk of heart disease and other heart-related issues.
2. Stronger and healthier bones
Incorporating vegan K2 supplements into our diet can also significantly support healthy bone growth and function. This is because the protein vitamin K activates to regulate calcium is extremely important for building and maintaining the bones in our bodies. After all, calcium is the number one mineral that our bones and teeth are made of.
It is for this reason that the intake of vegan K2 supplements has been thought to help counteract osteoporosis, decrease the breaking or fracturing of bones, and promote dental health.
3. Potential anticancer properties
That’s right - vitamin K2 supplements are being studied for their potential ability to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
After testing the effects of vitamin K2 on disease recurrence and survival in patients, one study concluded that this vitamin may help to suppress recurrence and improve survival rates(1).
While more research is needed to confirm the effectiveness of vitamin K2 on cancer patients, the potential of vegan vitamin K2 supplements to protect our bodies feels more exciting than ever.
4. Improved skin health
Who doesn’t want a glowing healthy complexion? Luckily, taking vegan K2 supplements can help to improve the look and quality of our skin by reducing wrinkles and encouraging anti-aging.
How does it work? It all comes back to K2’s calcium regulation abilities. By reducing the buildup of calcium in the elastin of our skin, vegan vitamin K2 supplements help our skin to retain collagen and elasticity, resulting in a healthy and youthful appearance.
Final thoughts on vegan K2 supplements
It’s a shame that vitamin K2 isn’t more widely discussed considering the list of impressive benefits it has to offer. From supporting a healthy heart and bones to minimizing the risk of illness, this nutrient is certainly worthy of much more praise.
But remember - just because vitamin K2 is rare in the everyday person’s diet doesn’t mean our bodies have to go without it. The advantages of this vitamin are just a bottle of vegan K2 capsules away.
- Mizuta T, Ozaki I, Eguchi Y, Yasutake T, Kawazoe S, Fujimoto K, Yamamoto K. The effect of menatetrenone, a vitamin K2 analog, on disease recurrence and survival in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma after curative treatment: a pilot study. Cancer. 2006 Feb 15;106(4):867-72. doi: 10.1002/cncr.21667. PMID: 16400650.