Ingredients Matter - Is there any Vitamin K2 left in your multi?
Today I'm going to help you avoid wasting money on non-existent vitamins.
I’m obsessed with finding the best quality nutrient forms in supplements. Something that really bugs me is that some products claiming to contain K2 actually contain little to none. They’re not outright lying, they put K2 in to begin with, but this vitamin degrades under the wrong conditions.
First - why take K2?
K1 and K2 were wrongly thought to be a variation of the same vitamin, having the same functions in the body. And the only function much considered was blood clotting - which the body does indeed use K1 to promote. Now, we know that K2's big function is depositing calcium where it should be (bones and teeth) and preventing it being deposited where it shouldn’t be - and this has a major impact on cardiovascular health. Calcification of the arteries is highly associated with heart disease; people with the highest intake of K2 have a much lower risk of developing heart disease, and of dying from it.
Of course this calcium control also makes K2 vital for bone mineralisation and is particularly important for women at risk of osteoporosis.
It’s quite likely you don’t get much vitamin K2 in your diet, because most people in the UK don’t! I’ve yet to meet anyone who routinely eats natto which is the best source of the most effective form of K2, MK-7. In case you’re not aware, natto is a gloopy fermented soybean monstrosity from Japan. You can also get K2 from other fermented foods (it’s synthesised by the bacteria starter cultures) including cheese, but natto is best. Just look at this: I bet you don’t want to eat it.
Do you want to eat this?
Maybe I’m being a wimp, but really… I eat with my eyes first.
Why K2 vanishes from certain supplements
Vitamin K2 (MK-7) is a fat-soluble vitamin and can degrade under the wrong conditions - in particular, when combined with calcium and magnesium. Kappa Bioscience carried out a market study to draw attention to this issue, finding that it’s common for such formulas to miss their label claim for K2 quantity (in some cases having practically none left at all). Since a lot of products containing K2 are aimed at bone health, they tend to be based on calcium and magnesium - something of a problem!
I use a vitamin K2 MK-7 with a difference
I was concerned, although my multivitamin Pollution Protection doesn’t have magnesium and calcium, about the risk of degradation given the formula’s complexity. The K2 manufacturer couldn’t say for sure whether the standard K2 would be stable after 2 years on the shelf because Pollution Protection is a unique formula, with no directly comparable tests available. Thankfully, although it delayed manufacture for several months (and cost more, natch) I was able to use a new microencapsulated K2 that ensures product stability. So, I get to benefit from a good dose of K2 without eating bacteria-beans. Perfect!
Thanks for reading and if you’d like to share any tips about making natto visually or aromatically appealing, please share below ;)
Picture credit: Gleam - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Natto_mixed.jpg