Vitamin K was discovered more than 70 years ago by the Danish Henrik Damm, who later received the Nobel Prize for his research. He found that the vitamin was essential for the blood to clot, or solidify. It therefore got the name K vitamin. However, it is only in recent years that one has become aware of the health importance of Vitamin K2 for bone and heart health.
Vitamin K2 (Menaquinone) is produced by various bacteria and is found in fermented cheeses, some dairy products and fermented foods. The dish that contains the most K2-vitamin is the Japanese dish natto, while the largest K2 source in the Norwegian diet is «old-cheese».
It can be challenging to get enough vitamin K2 in our western diet, and therefore daily supplementation will be a good starting point for a healthier everyday life. Vitamin K2 is important for blood coagulation, as well as for better bone health. It also has an important role in the development of good heart health.
K2 activates two important proteins in the body:
- Osteocalcin which improves bone health by increasing the calcium supply to the skeleton.
- MGP (Matrix gla protein) which helps reduce calcium in the artery walls, thus giving us cleaner and more elastic blood vessels and better heart health.