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Getting Enough K2 On a Vegan Diet, AKA Activator X & The X Factor


Many vegans may not realize they are deficient in this vitamin. Read on for simple tips on keeping your diet well rounded and getting adequate amounts!

Vitamin K2 is very important for clear arteries and healthy, strong bones and teeth. Often confused with K1 found in leafy greens, it is a different vitamin altogether. Vegans in particular are susceptible to deficiencies of this vitamin due to dietary restrictions. However, there are several things vegans can do to ensure they get adequate amounts of this important nutrient.

Getting Enough K1

Though K1 and K2 are different vitamins, the body does convert a small amount of K1 into K2. The amount that it converts is not sufficient for the body's needs, however. It is speculated that adequate amounts can't be converted because the K1 in food is bound up in a large amount of fiber.
To make sure they get enough K1 to convert into at least a small amount K2, vegans should eat plenty of green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli, and greens (turnip greens, collard greens, etc.) But, as stated earlier other measures will have to be taken to ensure there are adequate amounts of K2 in the body.

Support a Healthy Digestive System

Microflora in the digestive tract can actually manufacture K2. Microflora refers to the healthy bacteria that should be living in the gut. These bacteria are important for good overall health. Intestinal bacteria balances can be upset or wiped out by various circumstances(such as a course of antibiotics), so replenishing and maintaining them is a good idea.
One way to replenish the good bacteria would be to take a vegan probiotic supplement. Vegans can also choose specially made products that include probiotics, such as GoodBelly juice. Good intestinal bacteria can also be obtained by eating fermented foods, such as sauerkraut.

Natto, the Best Source of K2

Natto, a vegan food, is THE best source of K2. However, studies have shown that the type of K2 that it contains (MK-7) cannot perform all of the functions as the K2 that is obtained from foods such as pasture butter and cheese(MK-4).
Natto is a traditional Japanese food that is actually cooked soybeans fermented in friendly bacteria. Natto is very stringy, and has a thick cheese like consistency. Some have claimed the smell is not all that pleasant, but Westerners have made it more edible by mixing it with barbecue sauce.
Natto can be found at health food stores or Asian grocery stores. Care should be taken to make sure that it is organic if one does not want to consume genetically modified soybeans. If it can't be found locally, starter mix can be bought online so that people can make their own natto at home.


Finally, vegans can take vitamin K2 supplements if they want to make sure they are consuming adequate amounts of K2. A thorough online search will uncover many companies that sell vegan K2. Vegans should do their research and choose the safest option available.
Vegans do indeed have a bit of a challenge when it comes to getting enough K2. Getting enough of this important nutrient is a bit easier for vegetarians, as there are many vegetarian sources of K2. However, armed with knowledge and determination, vegans can make sure they get enough K2 as well.
NutraIngredients-USA, “Vitamin K1-rich diet linked to better heart health“, 10-13-10
Vegetarian.LoveToKnow.com, “Types of Probiotics”, 10-13-10
GoDairyFree.org, “GoodBelly Organic Probiotic Fruit Drinks (Vegan, Soy-Free, Wheat-Free) “, 10-13-10
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