Menaquinone supplement vitamin K2 health benefit
Feb 19 2016 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

There are various forms of vitamin K
Phylloquinone is vitamin K1
Menaquinone is vitamin K2
Menadione is vitamin K3

Br J Nutr. 2013. The role of menaquinones (vitamin K) in human health. Recent reports have attributed the potential health benefits of vitamin K beyond its function to activate hepatic coagulation factors. Moreover, several studies have suggested that menaquinones, also known as vitamin K2, may be more effective in activating extra-hepatic vitamin K-dependent proteins than phylloquinone, also known as vitamin K1. Nevertheless, present dietary reference values (DRV) for vitamin K are exclusively based on phylloquinone, and its function in coagulation. The present review describes the current knowledge on menaquinones based on the following criteria for setting DRV: optimal dietary intake; nutrient amount required to prevent deficiency, maintain optimal body stores and/or prevent chronic disease; factors influencing requirements such as absorption, metabolism, age and sex. Dietary intake of menaquinones accounts for up to 25% of total vitamin K intake and contributes to the biological functions of vitamin K. However, menaquinones are different from phylloquinone with respect to their chemical structure and pharmacokinetics, which affects bioavailability, metabolism and perhaps impact on health outcomes. There are significant gaps in the current knowledge on menaquinones based on the criteria for setting DRV. Therefore, we conclude that further investigations are needed to establish how differences among the vitamin K forms may influence tissue specificities and their role in human health.

Menaquinone and prostate cancer
Dietary intake of vitamin K and risk of prostate cancer in the Heidelberg cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Heidelberg).
Am J Clin Nutr. 2008. Division of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg, Germany.
Anticarcinogenic activities of vitamin K have been observed in various cancer cell lines, including prostate cancer cells. Epidemiologic studies linking dietary intake of vitamin K with the development of prostate cancer have not yet been conducted. We evaluated the association between dietary intake of phylloquinone (vitamin K1) and menaquinones (vitamin K2) and total and advanced prostate cancer in the Heidelberg cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. Our results suggest an inverse association between the intake of menaquinones, but not that of phylloquinone, and prostate cancer. Further studies of dietary vitamin K and prostate cancer are warranted.

Menaquinone and cancer
Effect of vitamin K2 on the recurrence in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.
Hepatogastroenterology. 2007. Hotta N, Ayada M, Sato K, Ishikawa T, Okumura A. Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Aichi Medical University School of Medicine, Aichi, Japan.
Menaquinone appears to have a potent inhibitory activity for cell growth including HCC cells. We investigated whether Menaquinone could reduce incidence of tumor recurrence after treatment of HCC. Forty-five patients with cured or possibly cured HCC were randomly selected, assigning patients to treatment (n=21) or control group (n=24) with randomization list. For the treatment group, forty-five mg of Glakay was given orally every day after therapy for HCC. No patients complained of adverse effects. Abdominal ultrasonography and dynamic CT were performed at 3-month intervals. Our findings suggest that menaquinone does not appear to prevent recurrence of HCC after curative treatment.

Dietary intake of vitamin K and risk of prostate cancer in the Heidelberg cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-Heidelberg). Am J Clin Nutr. 2008. Division of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg, Germany.
We evaluated the association between dietary intake of phylloquinone (vitamin K1) and menaquinones (vitamin K2) and total and advanced prostate cancer in the Heidelberg cohort of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition. DESIGN: At baseline, habitual dietary intake was assessed by means of a food-frequency questionnaire. Dietary intake of phylloquinone and menaquinones (MK-4-14) was estimated by using previously published HPLC-based food-content data. During a mean follow-up time of 8.6 years, 268 incident cases of prostate cancer, including 113 advanced cases, were identified. We observed a nonsignificant inverse association between total prostate cancer and total menaquinone intake. The association was stronger for advanced prostate cancer. Menaquinones from dairy products had a stronger inverse association with advanced prostate cancer than did menaquinones from meat. Phylloquinone intake was unrelated to prostate cancer incidence. Our results suggest an inverse association between the intake of menaquinones, but not that of phylloquinone, and prostate cancer.

Metabolic syndrome
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015. Association Between Vitamin K and the Metabolic Syndrome: A 10-Year Follow-Up Study in Adults. The Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of metabolic abnormalities and is associated with increased risk of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Phylloquinone, menaquinones, and vitamin K status are associated with several components of MetS, but the association with MetS has hardly been studied to date. This study shows that a high intake of menaquinones and high vitamin K status are associated with a lower occurrence of MetS.