Kappa Bioscience Market Study
Vitamin K2 Stability/Label claim 2017 Report
The vitamin K2MK-7 market is growing rapidly. Vitamin K2 regulates calcium transport, essential to maintaining healthy bones and cardiovascular health. Unprotected MK-7 is not stable when combined with calcium, magnesium or in alkaline environments. These products are likely to miss label claim by a large margin.
Kappa developed protected, microencapsulated K2VITAL®DELTA and embarked on a 5-year market education program on K2 stability. Kappa launched a parallel testing program to measure progress. Each year Kappa publishes quality spot-testing results on K2 consumer products conducted over the previous year. Products are tested for K2 label claim and K2 quality/purity, and results are reported based on several market variables.
Products were sourced globally and included a variety of dosage formats. All products were available to consumers at the time of testing, and most were purchased at retailers or online. The 2017 sample focused on K2-plus-mineral formulations and K2 alone or in non-mineral formulations, with no sample stratification by market, producer or brand. Assay was completed utilizing a validated HPLC method for K2 MK-7 then compared to product label claim for K2content. 119 products were added to the 2017 edition of the study.
A minority of 2017 unprotected K2-plus-minerals products tested met K2 label claim. Two-thirds missed label claim by over 50%. One-in-three products contained zero K2. Protected/encapsulated K2 products performed well. While these results demonstrate a negative trend compared to 2016, positive developments in 2017 included an acknowledgment of K2 stability by some producers.
The 2016 study produced an unexpected finding, specifically that over half of K2-alone or K2 in non-mineral formulations performed poorly or contained zero K2 (33%). These formulations should pose no problem for K2 stability.
The 2017 study showed some improvement, but the sample was smaller and a new problem was identified. Isometric purity testing revealed high levels of non-bioactive cisMK-7 in some products in both the mineral and non-mineral samples. These products technically met USP requirements for MK-7 label claim, but with high percentages of biologically inactive MK-7.
The K2 MK-7 market is young, growing fast, and offers tremendous opportunity for the bone and heart health categories plus as many as eight related categories. K2 is an essential vitamin required in all stages of life. MK-7 instability-with-minerals is an inherent property, surmountable with commercial solutions, market education and transparency. Kappa Biosciences’ protected, microencapsulated K2VITAL®DELTA is a time-tested solution, and this 2017 study demonstrates some progress in the wider K2 market. The prospects for the K2 market are bright and likely on-target to follow the growth trend of vitamin D3
If you wish to confidentially participate in the 2018 study send us your K2 products for testing by following the link to our free Testing Program.