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Types of Vitamin K

As you know, vitamin K is a type of fat-soluble vitamin needed by the bone to create strong bones, help the blood clot, and battle heart disease. It’s tied to vitamin D, and neither works that well without the other. However, did you know that vitamin K comes in a few different forms, and that there’s one type you actually need to avoid?

The first type of vitamin K, simply called K1, is found in plants. If you’re looking for phylloquinone, as it’s scientifically known, just eat some green vegetables. Vitamin K1 is used by the liver, and it’s the type of vitamin K that helps the blood clot as it should. You can get some K1 simply by eating your green vegetables.

Then there’s vitamin K2. This second type of vitamin K is classified as a menaquinone. It’s actually created in the body—the bacteria found in the walls of the gastrointestinal tract create K2 on a regular basis. The vitamin is absorbed directly by the walls of the blood vessel, your bones, and other tissues. Vitamin K2 isn’t absorbed by the liver like K1 is.

Finally, there’s a vitamin K3, but it’s not found in nature at all. It’s called menadione, and it’s a synthetic type of vitamin K. While there have been no harmful side effects in adults, infants who were given K3 showed signs of toxicity, so most people steer clear of this synthetic type of vitamin K.


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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any diseases.