May 24, 2022

Eggs and Vitamin K2

President's Blog
Margaret Hudson
President, Burnbrae Farms
4th Generation Farmer

Eggs are a source of important vitamins and minerals, including selenium, folate, and vitamin D. But one nutrient that recently is getting a lot of attention is vitamin K2, which is found in eggs.

Vitamin K was discovered in 1929 and is a vital nutrient to ensure normal blood coagulation and clotting. In fact, the “K” was chosen since it represents the word " k oagulations” , the German term for coagulate. The term ‘vitamin K’ actually encompasses a group of compounds , including vitamin K1 and vitamin K2.

After years of research, it was discovered that while vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 have similar structures, they have different uses in the body. Vitamin K1 , which is found in leafy greens, avocado, banana, kiwi, and soybean oil, plays an important role in blood clotting.

But it’s vitamin K2 that’s the more important story these days. Vitamin K2 helps make osteocalcin, which helps produce healthy bone tissue. It is beginning to be understood that Vitamin K2 is also vital for heart health. Interestingly, there may even be overlap in vitamin K2’s roles in bone and heart health, since both rely on interactions between K2 and calcium. This phenomenon is known as “ bone-vascular crosstalk .” In addition, studies show that having a vitamin K2 deficiency has actually been linked with vascular calcification (a precursor of heart disease) and osteoporosis (a bone disease).

A 2021 study published in the journal Nutrients describes how vitamin K2 studies should continue because preliminary research shows that it may have a positive impact on osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, parathyroid disorders, cerebral palsy and sperm motility. Vitamin K2 remains an up-and-coming area of research, and I think we’ll be hearing a lot more about it over the years. I will definitely be paying attention since egg yolks are a source of vitamin K2 !

How much do we need?

While standard daily recommended intakes have not yet been established in Canada, one study showed that 100 ug of vitamin K2 daily was beneficial for bone health in post-menopausal women.

Vitamin K2 is made in the intestines with our body’s natural bacteria, and some comes from foods we eat, including egg yolks, dairy, meat and fermented foods, such as natto (fermented soy) and sauerkraut.

Note: As Vitamin K2 is fat-soluble and too much of it can build up in your body, you should consult your physician before making any changes to your diet. Note: Since vitamin K is involved with blood clotting, talk to your doctor if you are taking  anti-coagulants such as warfarin (Coumadin). You’ll be advised to maintain a consistent intake of vitamin K because sudden changes can increase or decrease the anticoagulant effect.

Eggs and Vitamin K2

Eggs contain about 32mcg of Vitamin K2 and the fat in the egg yolk helps boost absorption of Vitamin K1 found in leafy greens. They are better together! (Note: we are currently doing additional lab testing to validate more specific K2 amounts) Here are some delicious ways to get the best of both:

Interested in more details about vitamin K2 and eggs? Here’s an article written by a Registered Dietitian with more information and research.

Margaret Hudson,

President and CEO, Burnbrae Farms