K2: So Much More Than Sports Equipment

We’re not talking about snowboards and ski gear. Though it’s not the “first” vitamin K, vitamin K2 is hardly the first loser. Do you know about this essential ingredient for good health? Read on!

Vitamin K, in all its forms, is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps to protect your cardiovascular system (among several heart-related benefits, K may help to keep calcium out of your arteries). K also plays a role in bone health, something our osteoporosis-riddled nation certainly needs to work on. You need vitamin K for proper blood clotting, too. So, you could say it’s important! Fortunately, K is uber-prevalent in healthy foods, so you don’t have to supplement if you’re following a sensible diet. K the First is present in plants, while K2 is found in fermented foods and… your gut. (Remember, you have your very own fermentation factory in your gastrointestinal tract!)

Think about it: heavy use of antibiotics and excessive consumption of carbohydrates destroy beneficial bacteria in your gut. Hmm…why on earth do we have such obscene rates of heart disease and osteoporosis? A K-deficit can even disrupt insulin function! It’s one more reason why switching to a healthy diet is so critical for Americans.

This week’s Smart Fuel focuses on the best food sources of vitamin K2. Nearly every vegetable contains K the First, so if you’re eating plenty of plants (you know, those green things), you’re getting all your body requires and then some. Though it’s worth noting that you cannot possibly hope to overdose on K the First, you don’t need it in a daily multivitamin because the body stores it so efficiently. K2 is a little bit harder to get, but you can easily meet your K2 needs by eating fermented foods a few times a month. If your own body isn’t having a productive time of it (because of reduced immunity, hormonal imbalances, a run or twenty with antibiotics, or a friendly-bacteria deficit), you’ll want to do the following. Heck, do them regardless!

1. Eat enough fat (K is a fat-soluble vitamin)! Make sure you eat beneficial fats at every meal, and consider supplementing with fish oil.

2. Take probiotics if you’re dealing with any of the above parenthetical health issues. You only need to do this briefly, however.

3. Fuel up: eat fermented foods! These contain K2 in abundance (and fermented foods are just generally excellent for your health anyway).

Here are a few fermenty favorites:


Tempeh, tempeh!

Flickr Photo (CC)

Note: though Mark doesn’t espouse something as extreme as veganism, many vegetable proteins are very healthy. Tempeh is a very smart meat alternative that is chewy and delicious – it’s great for vegetarians and meatatarians alike.


Flickr Photo (CC)

Note: go with brown rice or grilled chicken instead of white rice! Soy phobes: fermented soy products like natto and tempeh do not contain phytic acid.

Tahini paste


Note: tahini makes a great sauce for vegetables. Thin it with water and lemon to make a terrific salad dressing, as shown.

Further reading:

More Smart Fuel Posts

Most Popular Posts

Healthy Recipes

Mark’s Carb Pyramid


The definitive book about K2 (Amazon)

All about vitamin K (Medline)

K2 and osteoporosis (Pubmed)

Even more about K (Mercola)

Subscribe to Mark’s Daily Apple feeds

About the Author

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

45 thoughts on “K2: So Much More Than Sports Equipment”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. “Take probiotics if you’re dealing with any of the above parenthetical health issues. You only need to do this briefly, however.”

    Why not take probiotics all the time? Whether dealing with a health issue or nut?

  2. Once the “good” bacteria are thoroughly in your system (for most people about two-three weeks), they reproduce on their own. You can save your cash! 😉

  3. You don’t want to buy those things from online discounters. They are usually discounted/old vitamins that are resold after sitting in storage for years. They are not the highest technology or even reliable.


    VIAGRA, CIALIS, PHENTERMINE, SOMA… and other pills!

    Welcome please: pills-prices.blogspot.com


    Welcome please: payday-d-loans.blogspot.com


  5. I want to thank for the time you have contributed in writing this post. I am hoping the same best blogpost from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to begin my own blog now. Truly the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good model of it.

  6. I do not mean to hijack this blog but I’d like to find a good lawyer in Las Vegas and I can’t figure out how to find one. Do you have any info on this attorney? They are in Vegas close to my house. I cannot find reviews on them – Burdman & Coston, 8440 W Lake Mead Blvd # 100, Las Vegas NV 89128 – (702) 387-2400

  7. These things look delicious. I do eat a lot of vegetables, but I wasn’t even aware of a K vitamin, and how much our body need it.
    I’m a passionate snowboarder, and need a lot of energy during the winter, so eating a lot of veggies does help me. It’s shame that it’s so hard to get to fresh and nice vegetables during the winter.

  8. Siteniz güzel gerçekten faydal? bilgiler var sürekli takip edebilece?im ender sitelerden. Yap?mc?lar?na te?ekkür ediyorum.

  9. One thing I would like to comment on is that weightloss routine fast is possible by the appropriate diet and exercise. A person’s size not simply affects appearance, but also the general quality of life. Self-esteem, depressive disorders, health risks, and physical skills are influenced in an increase in weight. It is possible to just make everything right and at the same time having a gain. If this happens, a problem may be the primary cause. While an excessive amount food and not enough exercising are usually responsible, common medical ailments and widely used prescriptions can easily greatly help to increase size. Thanks for your post here.

  10. I was drinking water from a cistern caught from a hillside unfiltered(theres my probiotics), and eating tempah like 4 times a week on this farm i was at over the summer.. i had two small cavities heal, and my psoriasis went away.. Also, organ meats, bugs, small fish whole(sardines), also great source of K2.

    the other thing i was doing while out there was more or less eating all day, this allowed a constant stream of material for those bacteria to do their thing on, eating 3 meals a day, i’m quite skeptical about creating the environment they require to flourish.