What is vitamin K2?
Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) is a fat-soluble vitamin that your body needs to build strong bones. It activates two key proteins. The first, osteocalcin, attracts calcium into bones and teeth, where it belongs. The second, matrix gla protein (MGP), removes calcium from blood vessels and other soft tissues. K2 is produced by animals and bacteria. It works together with vitamins D and A.
How much K2 should you consume?
According to Chris Masterjohn, PhD in Nutritional Sciences, healthy adults need 100-200 micrograms (mcg) per day. Please consult your healthcare provider for advice on your particular needs.
Which foods are rich in vitamin K2?
In 2015, VitaK Laboratories tested several foods for vitamin K2 content – two samples of each. The tables at the end of this post show the results, converted to micrograms per ounce. Note the variation in the amount of K2, even in samples of the same product from the same company.
Raw, organic, 100% grass-fed dairy is rich in vitamin K2. However, it is difficult to find, especially in Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. In these states, raw milk is not yet legal. To increase the amount of vitamin K2 in my diet, I searched locally and online for 100% grass-fed raw cheese, ghee (clarified butter), and butter. Health food stores carried cheese, not my local grocery store. Ghee and butter were more widely available.
I use A Campaign for Real Milk (www.realmilk.com) for sources of raw dairy. The Weston A Price Foundation has chapter leaders in many cities who can help you find nutrient dense foods. Local Chapters (www.westonaprice.org/find-local-chapter/)
Recipes rich in vitamin K2
Where have you found foods rich in vitamin K2?
Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-known Vitamin Could Save Your Life by Kate Rheaume-bleue
Start Here for Vitamin K2 & searchable database Chris Masterjohn’s blog
VitaK Laboratories vitamin K2 test results Weston A Price Foundation
Vitamin K2 Content of Selected Foods Weston A Price Foundation
Elder SJ, Haytowitz DB, Howe J, Peterson JW, Booth SL. Vitamin K Contents of Meat, Dairy, and Fast Food in the U.S. Diet. J Agric Food Chem. 2006; 54: 463-467.
Schurgers LJ, Vermeer C. Determination of Phylloquinone and Menaquinones in Food. Haemostasis. 2000; 30: 298-307.
Results of VitaK Laboratories vitamin K2 tests in micrograms/ounce
|Organic egg yolks||10.74|
|Conventional egg yolks||9.17|
|Chicken liver (Farm)||3.11|
|Chicken liver (Conventional)||1.95|
|Little Milk Company aged raw cheese Mature||15.55|
|Little Milk Company aged raw cheese Vintage||13.80|
|Cabot Extra Sharp Aged cheddar||14.65|
|Nature’s Promise Organic sharp cheddar||10.37|
|Kraft Processed cheese slices||2.33|
|Pure Indian Ghee||12.39|
|Purity Farms Ghee||10.52|
|Nature’s Promise Butter||8.61|
|Land O Lakes Butter||8.35|
|Organic Valley Butter||7.90|
|Amish Raw Cultured Butter||7.17|
|Trickling Springs Butter||6.68|
|Kerry Gold Butter||6.20|
|FarmFriend Goat Butter||5.66|
|Amish Raw Butter||5.04|
|Duck Fat, Free range||33.26|