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Different Forms of K

The Different Vitamins in the K Family

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The different Vitamins in the K Family - Basic Principals

See what CEO Egil Greve from Kappa Bioscience has to say about K2


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The understanding of vitamin K family

The understanding of vitamin K family has evolved, with the recognition of two primary forms of vitamin K, each with very different contributions to human health. The two primary vitamin K forms are vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin K2  (menaquinone). All the vitamin K analogs have a similar  structure as they share a „quinone“ ring and an isoprenoid side chain. Menaquinones are further classified according to the length of their side chain. Vitamin K2 comprises a group of molecules with side chains of 4 - 14 isoprenoid units. These are designated MK-n, where ‚n‘  represents the number of isoprenoid residue in that chain.

Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is considered as the major dietary source of vitamin K, accounting for approximately 90% of total vitamin K intake. K1 is found in green leafy vegetables such as green salads, broccoli, kale, and spinach. Based on different studies of content in food worldwide, Suttie has estimated the intake of vitamin K in the general population to be between 70 - 250 μg / day. However, the bioavailability of vitamin K1 from food is low; less than 20% is absorbed.

Vitamin K2, menaquinones, differ in their chain length and their biological activity.

The most important types of K2 are MK-4 and MK-7. They are found in animal products such as meat, dairy, eggs (mainly MK-4) and fermented food such as cheese, yogurt, and natto, a fermented soybean product (mainly MK-7). Western diets are deficient in vitamin K2. The MK-4 and MK-7 forms are shown to be the most powerful of the K2s, and most important to health.

The market has adopted MK-7 as the standard for dietary supplementation.

Due to an understanding of the superior biological activity of MK-7, it has become the ingredient of choice in clinical health trials. With a half-life of about 72 hours, MK-7 remains biologically active in the body longer, compared to a half-life of about 1.5 hours for MK-4.

This allows for a better distribution in the body and activation of extra-hepatic K2-dependent proteins.

Although all vitamin K forms are Comparison of different K vitamins absorbed to varying degrees in the presence of fat, vitamin K1 and MK-4 quickly disappears from circulation in the body (half-life of 1 to 2 hours) whereas MK-7 has a very long half-life (2 to 3 days).

The reason for this considerable difference derives from their distribution and breakdown in the body. Vitamin K1 and MK-4 are mainly transported in the blood via triglyceride-rich lipoprotein fractions whereas MK-7 (and other longchain menaquinones) is transported by low-density lipoproteins. Due to the large difference in uptake and half-lives, MK-7 reaches bones and vessel walls more easily, resulting in more effective activation of osteocalcin and MGP. Only 90 μg to 120 μg of MK-7 once a day meets the daily requirement compared to 45,000 μg of MK-4 three times a day.

K2VITAL® is 100% pure MK-7 and is, therefore, one of the best supplements to combat K2 deficiency regardless of age and life-stage or gender.

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Scalable capacity for mass-market production demands: Kappa’s current production capacity already exceeds the total projected yearly global vitamin K2 demand through 2020.
Industry-leading pricing: Kappa continuously reinvests in R&D and manufacturing processes to drive ingredient price points to levels that support commercial adoption. In 2017, Kappa led the market with a 45% price reduction – marking a significant step on the path to mass-market commercialization of K2.

Purity: all-trans vitamin K2 MK-7 (USP).
Quality: GMP, HACCP, ISO 22000:2005 manufacturing and distribution standards.
Stability: Patent-pending microencapsulation technology ensures stability in challenging formulations.
Long shelf life in finished products: 36 months shelf life on all ingredients; supported by extensive stability data on ingredients and finished formulations.
Approvals: Novel Food (EU), TGA (AUS), GRAS (USA), drug registration in India (2017). Application processes are initiated in countries including China, Thailand and others. Kosher and Halal certifications.

Kappa developed the K2 Formulation LookBook, including more than 120 ready-to-use product formulations and dosage forms targeted towards all K2 health applications and a wide range of consumer groups.

Kappa’s on-going ExperienceCard Program develops innovative vitamin K2 formulations in collaboration with industry leaders. Each ExperienceCard concept represents a novel product formulation that is specifically designed to solve an existing market problem or to address a health segment or consumer group in a new way. K2VITAL® vitamin K2 MK-7 provides the central ingredient in each of the products. Partners provided synergistic co-ingredients, innovative dosage or manufacturing technology, or other elements that make these forward-looking products possible.

K2 Introduction

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The History of K2

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The Different Vitamins in the K Family

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All-trans Means All-bioactive

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K2 Deficiency

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