Bones are not static; they are made of metabolically active tissue that is constantly reinventing itself. Through the process of remodeling, old bone tissue is broken down and new bone tissue is formed through the deposition of minerals into the skeleton.
Vitamin K2 helps calcium attach to bone by helping maintain the proper level of carboxylated osteocalcin, a protein that helps regulate calcium binding. As a result, it supports healthy bone density and helps build strong bones.* menatto® vitamin K2 has been shown in double-blind, randomized clinical trials to support bone health in people of all ages, from childhood, a crucial time during which most bone formation occurs, to post-menopause.
Elastic blood vessels allow the free flow of blood through the body and are essential for overall cardiovascular health.
Vitamin K2 helps regulate MGP (Matrix GLA protein) in the blood vessel wall.* This action helps maintain blood vessel elasticity, supporting healthy blood flow and cardiovascular health.* Original clinical research using menatto® vitamin K2 shows it supports arterial flexibility in healthy post-menopausal women.*
Cartilage is an important element of synovial joints. By covering the bones that meet in a joint with a slippery, flexible surface, cartilage allows them to glide against each other seamlessly, thus creating fluid motion. Various factors — including overexertion, natural aging, and normal wear and tear — can affect the integrity of cartilage.
Vitamin K carboxylates proteins that support joint and cartilage health, such as matrix GLA protein and growth-arrest-specific-protein 6.* Preclinical research indicates this action supports collagen, the main component of cartilage, and helps chondrocytes (cartilage cells) differentiate and survive.*
Observational studies have noted that vitamin K status is associated with joint health.* Another reason for this link may be that vitamin K helps to regulate calcium deposits in soft tissue such as cartilage, which helps keep it flexible.*
Collagen is a component of connective tissue found in skin. It is well-established that collagen production declines with age, which can cause skin to become less firm and elastic.
Vitamin K2 has been shown to support collagen synthesis in human fibroblasts, the most common cells of connective tissue.* Through this action, it may support healthy skin.* When collagen is broken down, the amino acids are used to form new proteins. Theoretically, this could increase the production of keratin, thereby supporting healthy hair and nails.*
- Blood Coagulation and Anticoagulation
Vitamin K plays a role in normal blood coagulation by helping to regulate both coagulation and anticoagulation as needed.* Prothrombin is a vitamin K-dependent protein (VKDP) that converts to thrombin (a clotting agent) when blood coagulates. Protein C, another VKDP, breaks down proteins into polypeptides and acts as an anticoagulant. Without vitamin K, neither protein can be activated.*
K + D + Ca
How vitamin K, vitamin D, and calcium work together to build bone health
Just as a three-legged stool cannot balance without all three legs, bones cannot achieve optimal strength without all three of the following nutrients: vitamin K, vitamin D, and calcium.
- Vitamin K
Vitamin K activates at least 17 different proteins within the body. In terms of bone metabolism, the two most important VKDPs are:
- ・Osteocalcin, which helps calcium bind to bone*
- ・Matrix GLA protein, which directs calcium toward the bones and away from the soft tissues*
- Vitamin D
Vitamin D and vitamin K both play a role in delivering calcium to bone.* Vitamin D regulates calcium metabolism; it is necessary for the absorption and utilization of the mineral. In addition, vitamin D promotes the production of vitamin K-dependent proteins (VKDPs).
Calcium is the nutrient most associated with bone health, probably because just under two-thirds of bone tissue is made of calcium salts. Since bone is living tissue, it is always being resorbed (broken down) and ossified (reformed) — a process known as remodeling. Therefore, a constant supply of calcium is needed to support proper bone mineral density (BMD).
- Better Together
In order for osteocalcin to help regulate calcium binding, it must be in its carboxylated form. Taking calcium with vitamins K and D has been shown to support healthy levels of carboxylated osteocalcin and to support bone mineral density.*
In one study, researchers tested calcium + vitamin D supplements against calcium + vitamin D + vitamin K supplements. While both interventions supported overall bone mineral density, the supplement with vitamin K was effective in more parts of the body*
Mechanism of Action
How menatto® works
There are 17 different proteins in the body that rely on vitamin K for their activation. These are called vitamin K-dependent proteins or VKDPs. Nearly all the effects of vitamin K on the body — whether on blood clotting, bone mineralization, blood vessel elasticity, or the maintenance of healthy cartilage — are due to its role in carboxylating, or activating, VKDPs.
- Blood Coagulation and Anticoagulation
Prothrombin is a VKDP found in blood that converts to thrombin (a clotting agent) during coagulation. Protein C is another VKDP that acts as an anticoagulant by breaking down proteins into polypeptides. Playing a role in both coagulation and anticoagulation, vitamin K contributes to normal blood coagulation.*
- Bone Strength and Formation
In its carboxylated form, the protein osteocalcin helps calcium adhere to bone, thus maintaining bone strength.* Original clinical research on menatto® vitamin K2 shows it supports bone health in prepubertal children, adults 20-69, and post-menopausal women by supporting a healthy ratio of uncarboxylated, or inactive, osteocalcin (ucOC) to carboxylated, or active, osteocalcin (cOC).*
Vitamin K also supports endochondral bone formation (bone formation from cartilage in fetuses and children) by supporting the production of the VKDPs osteocalcin and matrix GLA protein.*
- Cardiovascular Health
Vitamin K2 activates matrix GLA protein, which supports healthy blood vessel elasticity.* When arteries are flexible, blood can flow freely throughout the body, supporting overall cardiovascular health.*
- Joint and Cartilage Health
Vitamin K carboxylates proteins involved in joint and cartilage health, such as matrix GLA protein and growth-arrest-specific protein 6.* Pre-clinical studies suggest this action supports collagen (which comprises about two-thirds of the dry weight of cartilage) and helps chondrocytes (cartilage cells) differentiate and survive, thus supporting joint health.*
In addition, pre-clinical studies indicate vitamin K helps to regulate calcium deposits into soft tissue, supporting joint health by keeping cartilage healthy and flexible.*
Vitamin K2 binds to the steroid and xenobiotic receptor (SXR). This action helps regulate gene activity related to the extracellular matrix (the noncellular components of tissue that act as scaffolding for cells).* One of the genes that vitaminK2 upregulates is involved in collagen production.* In fact, vitamin K2 has been shown to support collagen synthesis in human fibroblast and osteoblast cells.*