Foods Containing Vitamin K2 Are Common And One Is A Powerhouse
Where can you find foods containing vitamin K2? It plays such a vital role in ensuring that calcium stays in the bones and out of the arteries.
It may also protect the heart and inhibit cancer, which adds to the value of this vitamin.
An effective osteoporosis prevention program will include vitamin K2 as well as vitamin K1.
But getting those vitamins in your food is not as easy as it sounds... unless you live in southern France where there are foodstuffs unique to the region.
Foods Containing Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 is really a compound that includes several forms of the vitamin. Research has shown that vitamin K2 in the form of MK-4 and MK-7 are of most value when creating an osteoporosis prevention or treatment program.
The best known food containing vitamin K2 in the form of MK-7 is natto... a fermented soy product that is popular in Japan. Natto contains 1103 mcg of MK-7 in 100 grams of fermented soy.
Vitamin K2 in the form of MK-4 is found primarily in products from animals that have fed on fast growing grass... which is no longer common in North America except perhaps on organic farms.
The richest source is fois gras (goose liver paste) that is so loved by gourmets and is a common part of meals in the Perigord region of southern France. The amount of vitamin K2 (MK-4) in 100 grams/3.53 oz is reported as follows:
- Fois Gras: 369 mcg
- Egg Yolk (Netherlands): 32 mcg
- Goose leg: 31 mcg
- Egg Yolk (US): 15.5 mcg
- Butter: 15 mcg
- Chicken liver: 14 mcg
- Chicken breast: 8.9 mcg
- Chicken leg: 8.5 mcg
- Ground beef: 8.1 mcg
- Bacon: 5.6 mcg
- Calf liver: 5 mcg
- Whole milk: 1 mcg
- Milk 2%: .5 mcg
The above list of foods gives us an idea of how difficult it is to add enough of this important vitamin to a North American diet.
Research has shown benefits from vitamin K2 intake as low as 32.7 mcg per day (which provided protection against cardiac disease in a Rotterdam study) to as high as 45 mg a per day, which is the prescription dose of MK-4 used to treat osteoporosis.
Note that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Center does not provide data on foods containing vitamin K2. The nutrient data listed above was gathered from the following two studies:
- 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.
A year's supply of vitamin K2 (MK7) will cost approximately $80.