In a recent post on vitamin K we explored its benefits, the potential dangers of deficiency, and its different forms. In this blog we are going to dig a little deeper into vitamin K2 and help you to determine if the K2 supplement you are taking is actually delivering what it claims. Are you taking a multivitamin that also contains calcium or magnesium? Maybe you take a bone health supplement that contains these important nutrients. Well, the truth is that you may not be getting what you paid for! We were as shocked as you may be to learn the latest research concerning vitamin K2 stability – both by itself and in combination with minerals like calcium and magnesium.
READ ON TO FIND OUT WHAT WE DID ABOUT IT!
As you may know, vitamin K2 is a major player in the bone-building and heart-health scene, despite the slow rollout of scientific research about its effectiveness, safety, and supplementation and its relative newcomer status (compared to vitamin A, vitamin D, calcium, or magnesium). This critical micronutrient was imperative in reversing Mira’s osteoporosis, and remains part of her regimen to maintain strong bones today! While we feel great about the efforts we have taken to guarantee the safety and stability of the vitamin K2 in our products, we can’t speak for other manufacturers. We want you to be both informed and confident in your choices!
Read on to learn more about this enlightening study that exposed problems with most K2-containing supplements. You really can’t afford to miss this one! Let’s dive right in.
Defining the Problem: The Market Study
As you may remember, vitamin K2 comes in two forms: MK-4, which breaks down within a few hours, and a longer-lasting form called MK-7, which we and others prefer for supplementation because it has a longer half-life and is easier to absorb (is more bioavailable). This means you can take it once per day and reap the benefits you deserve. If that were the end of the story, simple enough: the American diet is woefully deficient in vitamin K2, so most Americans would benefit from supplementing it. Given the likelihood of age-related problems (like hardening of the arteries and osteoporosis) with long-term K2 deficiency, we firmly recommend supplementation to cover your bases.
It all began when scientists wanted to check the stability of vitamin K2 in multivitamin/mineral formulations. They first discovered that MK-7 form of vitamin K2 from fermentation had major stability flaws and degraded in multi-mineral formulas…like your multivitamin or bone building supplement. They determined that MK-7 made by organic synthesis is far more stable than the MK-7 from fermentation.
But the story doesn’t end there. These same scientists then decided to study MK-7—even the more stable MK-7 from organic synthesis – to see how it reacted in formulations. They were shocked by their discovery! They discovered that supplements containing MK-7, even that from organic synthesis, did not deliver the MK-7 levels they claimed on their labels! Despite initially improving on what was out there, they still had a problem to solve.
The researchers then conducted a market survey of 101 samples of different formulations containing MK-7, both in mixtures with minerals (calcium and/or magnesium) and alone (just the MK-7 form of K2). To their surprise, regardless of where the MK-7 was sourced from, levels in the supplements they tested were mostly inadequate. Only 19 of the 101 tested samples matched the claim on their labels! That means 8 out of 10 were insufficient. On average the samples delivered only 42% of the vitamin K2 they claimed to contain; some samples contained as low as 10% of what was promised!
Results We K-ouldn’t Ignore
Micronutrient stability- problems with degradation- are nothing new. As the makers of the twice-per-day nutreince multivitamin, we are pioneers in reducing micronutrient competition and do everything we can to ensure micronutrient stability in our formulations, which you can read more about on this blog and in our book Micronutrient Miracle.
In Micronutrient Miracle, we shared with you the 4 types of competitions that can occur with in a multi-nutrient formulation. The first type we discuss is called Chemical competition. It occurs during the manufacturing of all nutritional supplements, including multivitamins. When manufacturers combine competing micronutrients in one formulation, a chemical battle can ensue within the formulation itself, leaving the competing micronutrients unable to be absorbed. For example, vitamin B9 (folate) forms an insoluble complex with zinc when they are put together in a nutritional supplement or multivitamin. When this happens, the absorption of both is compromised.
Well, chemical competitions are now becoming clear for MK-7 as well. Luckily, we can and have solved this problem in the products we offer to you!
Solving the Problem: Enter K2Vital Delta
Faced with the inevitable conclusion that they needed to solve this problem, those same researchers created a new form of MK-7 that was protected during manufacturing and also stable in a formulation with alkaline minerals (specifically calcium and magnesium). They developed a double-coated, microencapsulated, all-trans form of MK-7 called K2Vital Delta to solve these stability issues. This form is stable during processing due to resistance to high temperature and pressure, it’s easy to handle, and keeps well over time. Moreover, because the double coated microencapsulation protects the MK-7 from other nutrients in the mixture, mixing K2Vital Delta with calcium or magnesium is no longer a concern.
When researchers tested their new product, they were thrilled to see almost perfect recovery of almost all of the vitamin K2 in a formulation with calcium compared to the about 80 percent recovery in products they tested for comparison, and that number further dropped to about 65 percent after just 3 months. But not K2Vital Delta- after three months, researchers were still able to recover over 95 percent of the MK-7 in this new microencapsulated form. A star was born!
What does this mean for you? WE HAVE YOUR BACK!
In our most recent re-formulation of our multivitamin – nutreince, we took into account these scientific findings. Our nutreince now contains 120 micrograms of vitamin K: 40 micrograms of vitamin K1, 40 micrograms of vitamin as MK-4, and, of course, 40 micrograms of vitamin K2 as the K2Vital Delta form of MK-7! Sparing no expense, we have ensured that we include this important K2Vital Delta form of MK-7 in what we offer to you to improve your health now and as you age. Remember, K2Vital Delta is the only form of vitamin K2 on the market that has been shown to stay stable after months on the shelf, even in the presence of alkali minerals such as calcium and magnesium. We believe in your highest good and nothing less.
As with our other products, we only make a product when we feel we can improve upon what is already available, and in this case, we certainly have! Not only will you get the longer half-life of MK-7 and the stability of double-microencapsulated K2Vital Delta, you also get the peace of mind that we have separated vitamin K from its natural competitor for absorption, vitamin D.
That’s three ways that we have avoided micronutrient absorption problems with vitamin K2- a longer half-life, more stability, and reduced competition for absorption. We wonder, can the other multivitamins you have, claim as much thought, love, and attention went into making sure you get the health benefits you paid for?