Vitamin K2 MK4 and K2 MK7
Vitamin K2 MK4 (Menatetrenone) MK-4 CAS No: 863-61-6
Vitamin K2 MK7 (Menatetrenone 7) MK-7 also known as Menaquinone CAS No: 27670-94-6
History of vitamin k
Vitamin K was identified in the 1930s by scientist Henrik Dam, while doing research relating to blood coagulation in farm animals. The “K” comes from the Danish word “Koagulation.” Vitamin K was later synthesized by Albert Doisy. In 1944 Dam and Doisy we co-award winners of the Nobel Prize; Dam for “discovery of Vitamin K,” and Doisy for “discovery of the chemical nature of Vitamin K.”
Function and characteristics of Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 (Menaquinone, Menatetranone) is essential for the carboxylation of glutamate residues in certain proteins, resulting in carboxyglutamate. This modification allows the protein to bind calcium, an essential step in the blood clotting process. Carboxylation of glutamate is also important in other proteins involved in the mobilization or transport of calcium. Vitamin K2 is also a known activator of SXR. Currently, in Japan, Vitamin K2 is being used to treat osteoporosis.
Natural Vitamin K2 is a mostly animal based product. It is a fat soluble material present in foods, such as nattokinase (soy based), some chicken parts, goose liver, cheese, egg yolks and butter. However, the amount of Vitamin K2 from some of these sources can vary based on factors such as; what dairy cows are fed (grass or grain), or how the cheese culture processes. These considerations, along with active duration in the body, make synthesized K2 the most practical way to achieve maximum benefit.
Vitamin K2 MK4 is absorbed into tissues quickly and has a shorter span of time in the body (a matter of hours), than MK-7 which will remain in the body for several days. This makes daily supplementation of MK7 the most efficient method to maintain optimal levels. Each version, however, has its own specialized characteristics and effects. Based on some studies, MK4 may be better at protecting tissues from calcium deposits and cancer development. MK7 is more effective in reaching the liver and bones. Overall, the most common applications are bone building and preservation relating to osteoporosis and other bone health issues, as well as arterial and cardiovascular health.
Technically; the 4 in MK4 represents four repeating isoprene units, with MK7 containing seven isoprene units. The chain length, four or seven, affects degree of lipid solubility, with seven being more soluble.