Are you supplementing the right type of vitamin K?

If you’re taking a vitamin K supplement, do you know if it’s the right type of vitamin K?

There are two main forms of vitamin K: Phylloquinone, which is more commonly referred to as “vitamin K1”; and menaquinones, which is more commonly referred to as “vitamin K2.”

Phylloquinone/K1 can be found in green leafy vegetables and makes up approximately 90% of the vitamin K consumed in the western diet.

Menaquinones/K2 is more complicated, as it is itself make up of different types. These types are denoted by “MK-n” with the “n” representing the prenyl side chains.

It sounds complicated, but the important issue is to remember that a wide variety of food sources are necessary to provide all the types of vitamin K2.

For example, the MK-4 type of vitamin K2 is found in animal meats, while the MK-7, MK-8 and MK-9 types of vitamin K2 is found only in fermented foods.

The reason these distinctions are important is because while some people don’t get enough K1 (i.e. not eating their veggies), almost everyone eating a western diet does not get enough K2.

For this reason a supplement that contains K2, rather than K1, is likely to be more beneficial to you.

If you consume a wide variety of fermented foods this may not be the case. But for most people this is a supplementing truism!