Why vitamin K2 is so important for calcium absorption

Why vitamin K2 is so important for calcium absorption

Calcium is critical to bone health. Inadequate calcium consumption is believed to cause a decline in bone mineral density, raising the risk of fractures. Contrarily, too much consumption of calcium supplements may cause calcium deposition in blood vessel walls. Additionally, it poses a risk of heart disease. On the other hand, vitamin K2 is believed to inhibit arterial calcification and stiffening of arterial walls. Its adequate consumption activates matrix GLA protein or MGP.[1] This further helps inhibit calcium deposition and reduce the risk of vascular damage.

How Vitamin K Helps Calcium Absorption

Vitamin K deficiency may result in an inadequate activation of MGP, thus posing a high risk of calcification. By increasing the vitamin K2 intake, you may lower the risk of calcium-related health issues.

Research finds that the right balance between the consumption of calcium and K2 may reduce the risk of osteoporosis and prevent arterial calcification and stiffening. According to a recent clinical study, vitamin K2 supplementation helps with better arterial elasticity while lowering the risk of regression in age-related arterial stiffening. Additionally, when K–dependent proteins are activated, vitamin K2 can assist the absorption of calcium, thus preventing any potential risks of too much calcium intake.[2]

Research reveals the need for calcium supplementation for better bone health and osteoporosis prevention. Further, calcium is believed to lower blood pressure and blood cholesterol. However, there are mixed messages from different studies with regard to calcium and its role in cardiovascular health.

Some studies even point toward the correlation between increased levels of blood calcium and blood clotting and calcium accumulation. This is a risk factor for arterial hardening and heart attack.

Heart Health & Vitamin K

Adequate intake of vitamin K2 is known to reduce the risk of vascular damage by activating MGP, thus inhibiting calcium deposition in the arterial walls. This helps with proper calcium absorption, ensuring use for multiple functions in the body. As a result, there are no calcium deposits, leaving arteries healthy and flexible.

On the other hand, there is inadequate activation of MGP due to vitamin K deficiency, which adversely affects the process of calcium removal from the body. It results in an increase in calcification of blood vessels. Several studies show that a high intake of natural vitamin K2 helps prevent cardiovascular events, reducing the risk of coronary heart disease significantly. Another study on postmenopausal women revealed that vitamin K2 was associated with reduced calcification in the arteries compared to vitamin K1.[3]

A clinical trial done on a group of postmenopausal women for 3 years found that a daily dose of vitamin K2 supplementation was enough to support bone health and improve bone mineral density. Additionally, the study showed significant improvement in cardiovascular health.

If a diet is supplemented with at least 32 mcg of vitamin K2, then there is a significant lower risk of blood-vessel calcification and cardiovascular ailments. Besides, vitamins D and K have beneficial effects on the elasticity of vessel walls in postmenopausal women.[4]

Too Much Calcium Intake Concerns

Studies illustrate the risk of high calcium consumption on heart health. While calcium benefits cardiovascular health, a high intake of the same could pose a risk of arterial calcification and health disease.

A sufficient amount of vitamin K2 is required by the body to render active the inactive proteins regulating calcium. Vitamin K1 is not as effective as K2 in activating MGP, as it travels to the liver and activates coagulation proteins.

Suboptimal levels of vitamin K2 could result in the inadequate activation of specific proteins dependent on vitamin K2. In that case when those proteins cannot perform optimally, there is a high risk of calcium deposition in soft tissues and arterial walls due to high calcium intake. As a result, cardiovascular health may suffer.


Dietary calcium is necessary for optimal functioning of the body. However, too much supplementation could result in health problems. It is here that vitamin K2 supplementation can help lower elevated levels of calcium in the body. Vitamin K2 prevents accumulation of arterial calcium. Therefore, vitamin k2 supplementation could correct calcium balance and promote arterial flexibility.

In order to derive the benefits of calcium, it is important to supplement the diet with adequate amounts of vitamin K2 and reduce the risk of cardiovascular ailments.[5]



[1] Katarzyna, Maresz, (2015) Proper Calcium Use: Vitamin K2 as a Promoter of Bone and Cardiovascular Health. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal. 14(1): 34–39.

[2] Huang, Z.Bb1., et.al.(2015). Does vitamin K2 play a role in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis for postmenopausal women: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Osteoporosis Intrnational. doi: 10.1007/s00198-014-2989-6. Epub 2014 Dec 17.

[3] Wasilewski, G. B., Vervloet, M. G., & Schurgers, L. J. (2019). The Bone-Vasculature Axis: Calcium Supplementation and the Role of Vitamin K. Frontiers in cardiovascular medicine, 6, 6. doi:10.3389/fcvm.2019.00006

[4] Katarzyna, Maresz, (2015) Proper Calcium Use: Vitamin K2 as a Promoter of Bone and Cardiovascular Health. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal. 14(1): 34–39.

[5] Katarzyna, Maresz, (2015) Proper Calcium Use: Vitamin K2 as a Promoter of Bone and Cardiovascular Health. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal. 14(1): 34–39.

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