The main role that vitamin K plays is transporting calcium to the bones, improving their mineral density and also preventing calcium accumulation and deadly blockages.
Not to mention that having low levels of vitamin K can cause uncontrollable bleeding and that sounds terrifying!
Basically, vitamin K1 is responsible for blood coagulation and clotting, while K2 deals mainly with the prevention of bone and heart diseases.
With that being said, it’s safe to say that it is really important we get enough of it.
However, as far as meeting your daily requirement is concerned, it might be really difficult to achieve this through your diet alone.
As a result, a great solution is to start taking vitamin K supplements, especially if you are vegetarian or vegan or you just can’t stand certain greens such as kale or spinach.
Naturally, you can find vitamin K1 in foods such as broccoli, eggs, kale, green beans and strawberries.
As for vitamin K2, it is mostly found in animal products and fermented foods such as dark meat chicken, some types of cheeses such as blue cheese, gouda, and cheddar as well as eggs and natto.
So, as mentioned before, if you don’t eat animal products, taking vitamin K supplements becomes even more essential than otherwise.
Aside from being great for your bones, vitamin K comes with other benefits as well, namely for your skin (there are plenty of vitamin K creams on the market), blood vessels and teeth.
Basically, this vitamin really helps the body thrive so do not underestimate its properties!
Vitamin K is really good for you on its own but when combined with vitamin D, it becomes even better for your health thanks to vitamin D being a facilitator for the proper absorption of calcium.
Vitamin K2 also makes sure to direct calcium to your bones where it belongs and not to your arteries where calcium can be an actual health risk.
Other reasons why you should take vitamin K supplements:
- If you are a heavy alcohol drinker.
- If you have GI disorders that hinder your natural absorption of vitamin K.
- If you take medicine known to interfere with the process of absorption regularly.
It’s quite common that newborn babies receive a shot of vitamin K right after birth since they are usually born with really low levels and getting that boost helps lower the risk of them experiencing internal bleeding.
In this guide, we are going to only focus on vitamins K1 and K2, providing you with an extensive list of supplement brands and some necessary details that can help you pick the one most suitable for you.
But before that, here are some more things you should pay attention to:
When it comes to the appropriate dose of vitamin K, it is vital to know that it is usually dictated by things like age and gender as excessive doses can actually be ]dangerous.
More precisely, the recommended doses are as follows:
- Adult men need around 120 micrograms per day.
- Adult women need about 90 micrograms daily.
- Teenagers are recommended to consume even less; 75 micrograms per day.
- Children between the ages of 9 and 13 should take no more than 60 micrograms of vitamin K per day.
- People dealing with bleeding disorders such as hypoprothrombinemia are advised to take between 2.5 and 25 micrograms of K1. But even though the dose seems small, they should still consult a medical specialist before deciding on a quantity.
Of course, many people out there need to supplement their vitamin K intake but if you’re already eating foods naturally rich in it, there may not be a necessity for more!
After all, while rare, there are some side effects you can encounter, such as:
- Itching or swelling,
- Difficulty breathing,
- Risk of internal bleeding, especially when combined with some antibiotics.
Type of Vitamin K
- Before committing to a supplement, you should know that there is also a third form of vitamin K, known as vitamin K3 but you’re better off avoiding it since it is a synthetic type that might just have some pretty harmful effects on your overall health so be very cautious. Remember to talk to your doctor before you start taking anything.
- While the first two forms of supplements are entirely safe for you, vitamin K3 is considered toxic when taken in high doses.
- Taking a lot of this synthetic form of the vitamin can lead to allergic reactions, cytotoxicity in the liver, and anemia.
To receive as many health benefits as possible, it is ideal to consume foods rich in both vitamin K1 and K2 and supplement them if still needed.
And if you are unsure which brand of vitamin K supplements you should go with, here are some of the best on the market in no particular order!
Thorne Research 3-K Complete
The manufacturer of this product is well known for how pure their supplements are which is why this is ideal for you if you deal with sensitivity and allergies.
After all, it does not contain any colorants, artificial flavors, preservatives, stearates, gluten, rye, eggs, barley, soy, dairy or nuts.
Thorne actually makes sure to run no less than four rounds of testing for purity and the facility is also certified by a third party so you can rest assured that your purchase is high quality and safe in every way.
This vitamin K supplement contains three different forms of the vitamin with an emphasis on MK-4.
Zhou Nutrition K2 + D3
This supplement features both vitamin K2 and D3, to make sure that your heart and bone health remain in peak condition!
More precisely, it contains no less than 5000 IUs of vitamin D3 and 90 mcg of K2.
The Zhou Nutrition K2 + D3 has a super pure formula, the only additional ingredients being the cellulose that makes up the capsules and some rice flour.
Finally, if you want to make sure you provide your body with an adequate amount of vitamin K, this is a great option for you.
Life Extension Super K with Advanced K2 Complex
Life Extension Super K with Advanced K2 Complex is also a solid choice since they use third-party testing labs regularly to ensure their product is safe and efficient.
The said labs analyze both the raw ingredients as well as the final product in order to verify its purity and potency.
The supplement contains K1 as well as two types of K2 but also a small dose of vitamin C!
The only downside is that the pills are made from gelatin and also contain beeswax which means that they are not vegan.
Furthermore, it also contains soybeans so it is not the best choice for people with allergies and those who are trying to limit their soy consumption.
Sports Research Plant-Based K2+D3
These K2+D3 supplements are really special due to the fact that they are certified vegan!
This is rather rare even on the oversaturated market of vitamins because many vitamin K supplements actually contain gelatin, which, as you might know, is made by grinding down animal bones.
Not only that but, vitamin D, which is also found in this product and enhances its properties, is usually made from sheep’s wool.
But, as mentioned before, the Sports Research Plant-Based K2+D3 is an exception.
Furthermore, aside from being certified vegan, it is also certified by the Non-GMO Project and does not contain any gluten either!
It contains coconut oil, which improves absorption.
On the other hand, the downsides can be that the dosage is too high (more than 6 times the daily recommended intake) and for those allergic, that it contains tree nuts and tapioca starch.
Peak Performance Advanced Vitamin D+ Vitamin K
These supplements contain a mix of 2000 IUs of vitamin D and three forms of vitamin K (both 1 and 2)
Furthermore, to improve absorption, they also contain black pepper extract BioPerine.
It comes in cellulose capsule form, each of them containing 225 mcg, which is a perfect dose for most people.
Athletic Greens Vitamin D3 and K2
This product comes in liquid form, which only improves the absorption even more than just the addition of the D3 vitamin.
Furthermore, it also contains vitamin E as a natural preservative as well as medium chain triglycerides, which contributes to improving absorption as well.
If you want to make sure whatever supplement you choose is effective, this one will certainly satisfy you given the fact that its vitamin D dosage is 250 percent of the advised intake while there are also 200 micrograms of K2.
As a slight downside, especially for those who can’t take unflavored supplements, the taste of this one is neutral and fatty.
Furthermore, since the recommended serving is only two drops but the dropper contains about three times more, it is rather easy to mistakenly take more than intended.
Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw K-Complex
The Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw K-Complex manages to supply all the vitamin K and other nutrients you would naturally find in leafy greens.
It contains 120 mcg of vitamin K dissolved in cold-pressed flax oil but also extracted from Brussel sprouts, kale, spinach, and many more vegetables and fruits.
Basically, this is the product for you if you are looking for something that takes a completely holistic approach.
Jarrow Formulas MK-7 120 Softgels
The Jarrow Formulas MK-7 uses vitamin K derived from natto, which is a fermented form of soybeans and a much more bioactive source of vitamin K.
It’s a good supplement to try out for the first time if you are not too sure you really need to add more vitamin K to your daily intake.
This is because it contains a rather low dosage at just 90 mcg per capsule.
NOW MK-7 Vitamin K-2
Another similar example is MK-7 Vitamin K-2, a supplement that is also quite middle of the road when it comes to its dosage.
It contains 100 mcg of vitamin K2 in each capsule, which is sufficient but still not the best in terms of effects.
The ingredients used are also quite simple which is great but at the same time, the capsules are cellulose based and also contain silica.
When compared to many other products on this list, this supplement does not exactly shine but it is sufficient if you are looking to take only introduce a small dose in your daily intake of vitamin K.
Bronson Vitamin K Triple Play
The Bronson Vitamin K Triple Play supplement contains a triple sourced combination of vitamin K and while it is not the highest possible dosage out there, a total of 550 mcg of vitamin K is not bad at all!
Furthermore, it comes in capsule form and they are gelatin based so if you are vegan or vegetarian, this product is not really for you.
Not only that but it also contains some additives and fillers, something some buyers might not be happy about.
At the end of the day, however, the content of vitamin K is enough to make up for it and might not be a dealbreaker.
Solaray Vitamin K
They come in capsule form and they are vegetarian friendly.
Furthermore, each capsule contains 100 mcg which is not exactly a lot but if you just want to test them out for the first time, they are definitely a decent choice.
Just keep in mind that there are also a few fillers and binders featured in it so if you are a purist, you might want to redirect your attention to another option on this list.
Otherwise, the Solaray Vitamin K supplements will not disappoint you if you still choose to purchase them.