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Vitamin K2, Serum

Vitamin K2, also known as menaquinone, is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in several important bodily functions. It is a relatively lesser-known vitamin when compared to other vitamins like vitamin C or vitamin D, but it is essential for maintaining good health.

Vitamin K exists in two main forms, vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin K2 (menaquinone). While K1 is primarily found in leafy green vegetables and is essential for blood clotting, K2 has a wider range of functions and is primarily found in animal products and fermented foods.

Vitamin K2, like vitamin K1, is essential for blood clotting. It helps in the synthesis of several clotting factors in the liver. Without sufficient vitamin K2, a person can be at risk of uncontrolled bleeding.

Calcium Regulation: One of the key functions of vitamin K2 is its role in calcium metabolism. It helps to ensure that calcium is properly deposited in bones and teeth while preventing its accumulation in soft tissues such as arteries, where it can lead to calcification and cardiovascular issues.

Bone Health: By facilitating proper calcium utilization, vitamin K2 plays a significant role in maintaining bone health and preventing conditions like osteoporosis.

Cardiovascular Health: The ability of vitamin K2 to prevent the buildup of calcium in arterial walls can contribute to cardiovascular health by reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and related heart problems.

Dental Health: Vitamin K2 also plays a role in ensuring the proper mineralization of teeth.

Potential Cancer Prevention: Some studies suggest that vitamin K2 may have a role in cancer prevention, particularly for certain types of cancer such as liver and prostate cancer.

Vitamin K2 is found in fermented foods like natto (a Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans), cheeses, and animal products such as liver, egg yolks, and butter. It can also be synthesized by gut bacteria (microbiome) to some extent.

Vitamin K2 deficiency is relatively rare, but it can lead to an increased risk of bleeding and potential issues with calcium metabolism. Those at risk of deficiency may include individuals with malabsorption disorders, liver diseases, or those on long-term antibiotics.

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