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What are the health benefits of Vitamin K?

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble nutrient that plays a role in the production of various proteins in your body. These proteins are essential precursors to the pathways involved in bone and cardiovascular health and blood clotting. 

There are two major types of naturally occurring Vitamin K: Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2. Vitamin K1, also called phylloquinone, is well known for its role in blood clotting. It's primarily found in plant foods and is most abundant in leafy greens, including kale, spinach, collards, as well as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage.  

Vitamin K2 refers to a group of compounds called ‘menaquinones’, ranging from MK-1 to MK-13. Vitamin K2 is important for calcium regulation in your bones, cartilage and blood vessels. Vitamin K2 is found in animal products such as eggs, dairy, meat, and fermented foods like cheese, natto (fermented soy) or yoghurt. Bacteria in the intestines can also convert Vitamin K1 into K2 (another great reason to keep your gut microbiota fuelled with live bacteria!)

Health benefits of Vitamin K 

Health benefits of Vitamin K for your bones 

Vitamin K is needed for the formation and activation of osteocalcin, an important protein secreted by your body’s bone-building cells. Vitamin D3 is vital in this process as it ensures that calcium is easily absorbed into the bloodstream and available for use by Vitamin K2. Without Vitamins D3 and K2, Calcium can't do its job effectively which is why they're often combined in supplements.

A study in postmenopausal women found that those who took Vitamin K2 supplements had much slower decreases in age-related bone mineral density. Another study showed that a low intake of Vitamin K foods was associated with reduced bone mineral density in women.

Vitamin K’s role in blood clotting

Vitamin K plays an important role in regulating the systems that are involved in blood clotting and keeping the blood fluid. These systems are the anticoagulant system, which prevents blood clots from forming, and the coagulant system, which supports blood clotting. 

Clotting factors are dependent on Vitamin K in the coagulation cascade, a pathway that leads to the formation of blood clots during tissue injury and helps stop bleeding. There are also anti-clotting proteins that all depend on sufficient amounts of Vitamin K to function and prevent blood clotting.

Health benefits of Vitamin K for your heart 

Vitamin K2 triggers the activation of another protein called matrix GLA protein (MGP), which is responsible for binding and removing excess Calcium that builds up in soft tissues like arteries and veins. This promotes healthy blood flow and arterial flexibility.

Vitamin K’s role in insulin production 

Another health benefit of Vitamin K is the role it plays in insulin production and supporting blood sugar levels.


The health benefits of Vitamin K are numerous, with the benefits themselves depending on the form of Vitamin K. Vitamin K1, which is commonly found in plant foods as well as leafy green vegetables plays an essential role in blood clotting, and Vitamin K2, found in animal products and fermented foods like meat, dairy and natto, supports bone and heart health. 


  1. Vitamin K nutrition, metabolism, and requirements: current concepts and future research

  2. Vitamin K deficiency is associated with incident knee osteoarthritis

  3. Three-year low-dose menaquinone-7 supplementation helps decrease bone loss in healthy postmenopausal women

  4. Vitamin K intake and bone mineral density in women and men




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