5 min read
Meet Egril Greve from Kappa BioScience, our Vitamin K2 Producer
6 min read
Broadly, what’s the function of vitamin K?
First, it’s important to know that there are two types of K. K1 is easily taken into our diet from green leafy vegetables like spinach and broccoli. Only ten percent of what we ingest of it is really absorbed and it has an incredibly short hold life (it doesn’t stay in the body very long). This is pretty poor for a vitamin. However, it’s enough to do one very important task, which is to activate blood clotting factors in the liver so our wounds can heal when we get hurt. K2 is a different story. The body can absorb much more of it, and it has a much longer hold life (72 hours in the kind we use), which means it can not only help with blood clotting, but also in cardiovascular and bone health.
How does K2 help our bones and our heart?
The two things are actually integrally connected. When the body takes in calcium, that mineral first makes its way into the bloodstream. Ideally, from there, it should get absorbed into the bones, where it binds to them to keep them strong. But not a lot of the calcium we eat gets absorbed without the help of a protein called osteocalcin. And osteocalcin is only activated by K2, which is why K2 is so essential in preventing osteoporosis. Going back to the arteries, when we get a lot of calcium and it doesn’t get absorbed in the bones, that calcium stays in the arteries. Over time, this buildup causes them to narrow, called arterial calcification, which can lead to cardiovascular disease. So pulling calcium out of the blood vessels and into the bones, K2 both keeps our heart pumping and our bones strong.
Are we getting enough K2?
The problem here is that K2 is produced by bacteria, which we used to get a lot more of as a population when we would ferment foods to preserve them. But now, because we have refrigerators, we eat more fresh food—and most of us are quite deficient in K2. This puts more of us at a high risk of osteoporosis and arterial calcification.
Why did you choose to make K2VITAL in a lab instead of finding a source in nature?
We wanted to make something that was 100 percent identical to what you’d get from food. It sounds counterintuitive, but the only way of doing that was through organic synthesis. That’s because when you start with a natural source, it still has to go through a lot of changes to get put in a pill—and in the case of K vitamins, the result was so different from the original product that it wasn’t as well absorbed. For K2VITAL, we actually start with plant sources and extracts, and then we use synthesis to ensure that we keep the end result entirely identical to the start.
Anything else that’s unique about your manufacturing?
All K2 vitamins are not the same. K2 is fat-soluble, and when you mix fat-soluble vitamins with minerals (especially calcium and magnesium), you risk rapid deterioration because you introduce alkalinity. But we’ve developed a patented double-coated capsulation process called the delta formulation, that circumvents that problem entirely. We’re also free from all known allergens, metals, and organic solvents.
Why aren’t we already seeing more K2 in supplements?
It’s coming. And it’s coming rapidly. We are currently involved in a large clinical trial here in Europe. The hospitals and the doctors involved are so enthusiastic; they’re seeing bone mass improvement and big cardiovascular benefits. What I think is also notable is that we’ve have conducted studies to document what the maximum amount of K2 you should take might be, and we’ve found no upper limit. We can’t find a toxic limit whatsoever, and you don’t have a buildup like what you have for other fat-soluble vitamins. It’s incredible stuff.