This is page 6 of an 8-page Article. Please begin at Page 1 here, to fully understand how vitamin K2 gives you strong bones & teeth.
Food Sources of Vitamin K2
The next-best food sources of vitamin K2 for vegans and vegetarians [after (1) on the previous page]:
(2) Acquire a taste for a daily dose of slimy smelly natto — 3/4 ounce (20g) a day of natto will give you 200 mcg of K2 daily. You can make it yourself if you’re happy to boil soya beans for nine hours! A 2000 study found 1,103.4 mcg per 100g in natto. Absorption of K2 from natto is virtually 100%.
(3) Trust that a pound a day (600g) of blended, juiced, and lightly steamed greens will give you enough K1 for your body to convert to K2. It’s *very hard* to eat that many greens a day! I wonder if the people who advise it, actually do it themselves?
(4) Take a daily K2 supplement. Hopefully you already take vitamin B12 in a B-multi, and DHA/EPA algae oil. Now you can add K2. It goes well with the algae oil because K2 needs fat to be absorbed. See Which Supplement Is Best?
Women in Tokyo have stronger bones and fewer wrinkles (and higher blood levels of K2) compared with US women, and even compared to other Asian women in Shanghai and Bangkok. Research points to a single difference in their diet. In Tokyo they eat natto for breakfast., 
In regions of Japan where natto is not part of the daily diet, hip fractures are more common.
If you’re making your own natto, use small soya beans and a fresh batch of spores each time. Cultures for Health mention it on their site.
Body Ecology website told me of their veggie starter culture (which has not been tested for K2): “We do not recommend reusing veggies from a previous batch to make a new batch as we do not find that the probiotic cultures transfer well.”
If you make natto, it’s best to give yourself a natto break for 2 days over the weekend. Never eat the same food or supplement every single day! Ann Wigmore advised, even with wheatgrass juice, to give yourself a break of two consecutive days a week.
When you limit your diet, that’s when problems arise. The more you limit your diet, the more likely you’ll suffer from deficiencies. That’s why raw vegans and fruitarians are at highest risk of deficiency.
Dr. Fuhrman now advises to give children an animal product once or twice a week, such as liver (for vitamin A) and fatty fish like sardines (for DHA/EPA & vitamin D) and eggs (for vitamins A, D, K2 & B12). He does not mention it in his book Disease-Proof Your Child: Feeding Kids Right (#ad), but I’ve heard him say it in a later interview.
Fermented Dairy: Vegetarian Source of Vitamin K2
|Dairy food (100g)||Vitamin K2 in mcg|
|Hard Cheese (like Dutch Gouda)||76.3 (mostly MK-7)|
|Soft Cheese (like French Brie)||56.5 (mostly MK-7)|
|Curd Cheese||24.8 (mostly MK-7)|
A 2007 study found that Norwegian Jarlsberg and Swiss Emmental are highest in K2, while Gruyère cheese has virtually none.
You see how you simply don’t know? Three hard cheeses, two with K2 and one with none. Actually their K2 isn’t that hot — 20-65 mcg per 100g (200-650 ng/g). Three and a half ounces (100g) is a LOT of cheese to eat just for 20 mcg of K2. That’s one-tenth your daily K2 need.
Rather stick to 1.5 ounces (43g) of fermented veggies made with Kinetic Culture (#ad), where you get 209 mcg of vitamin K2!
Since Dutch Gouda and Brie have K2, it follows that Brie’s close cousin, Camembert, may have K2 too. US cheddar has virtually none — 10.2 mcg per 100g.
Cheese really doesn’t have that much K2, compared to natto. Even at 76 mcg K2 per 100g, you’d need to eat 9 oz or half a pound (1/4 kg) of Emmental or Gouda a day to meet your K2 needs of 200 mcg a day!
That’s far too much animal protein. This is the problem with dairy products. Milk is made by Nature to rapidly grow a baby calf of 30 kg (66 lbs) into a 700 kg cow or steer (1,540 lbs) in 3-4 years. Is your goal to weigh 1,540 lbs in four years time?
The longer the milk is fermented, the more K2 it’s likely to have. Yogurt, like milk itself, has almost no K2 (1 mcg per 100g). That’s because it’s fermented for only 24 hours. I’m guessing it’s the same for kefir, it won’t have much K2 — though probiotically it’s a healthier choice than yogurt.
Hard cheese is fermented the longest, typically two months or more. I buy hard cheese locally that’s fermented for a year!
The cheese can be from free-range grass-fed cows or from confined grain-fed cows (hopefully you avoid confined). This is because the K2 is from the bacteria fermenting the cheese, not from the original milk.
Vitamins K1 and K2 are heat stable, though K2 may be sensitive to light. The K2 in butter, cream, and cheese is still present after it’s pasteurized. Ditto for K1 in steamed leafy greens.
Non-fermented Dairy: Vegetarian Source of Vitamin K2
The fat in butter, cream, and egg yolk is a source of K2 (MK-4 form) so long as the animal is grass fed.
They must be from free-range, grass-fed cows and chickens because the K2 is synthesized by the animal from the K1 in greens like grass and lucerne.
They store their K2 in fat-rich tissue such as organs (especially the brain) and milk. The K2 is in the fatty cream, very little is in the milk.
|Dairy food (100g)||Vitamin K2 in mcg, |
|Egg Yolk||32.1 (mostly MK-4)|
|Butter||15.0 (100% MK-4)|
|Whole Milk||1.0 (100% MK-4)|
Do you see you’d need to eat six eggs a day? I heard Dr. Mercola say in an interview that he eats 7-8 raw egg yolks a day.
It’s best to eat egg yolks raw. The worst is scrambling them. This oxidizes their cholesterol. Susan Schenck advises to whip the raw yolk into freshly squeezed orange juice. I tried it but my body doesn’t enjoy egg. I stopped eating eggs in 1972, more than 40 years ago.
With pure undyed butter, the more richly yellow or orange it is, the more K2 it has.
The studies do not list cream. I calculate a half-pint (250 ml) of cream will give you just on 13 mcg of K2. Butter is churned-up cream. One gallon of cream gives 3 pounds of butter.
To avoid additives like coloring, flavoring & salt, you can easily whip up your own butter with an electric mixer, and freeze it for up to three months.
Dr. Kate mentions that the animal needs to be out in pasture for only a few hours a day for it to get enough K1 to convert to K2.
Problem is pasture-raised does not mean 100% grass fed. Most dairies milk their cows twice a day and at the same time may feed them a soya-corn-grain mix to produce more milk — just as free range chickens are given layer mash to produce more eggs.
Then the good dairies let their cows out to pasture. But the cow is already full of grains from breakfast so may not eat that much grass.
You really need to visit the farm, before you trust labels like free range, organic, pasture raised, and grass fed.
These are marketing labels to sell more product. Find out the truth behind the label.
Take a few moments to read John Robbins article: The Truth About Grassfed Beef, where he writes that organic is not grassfed, and:
“The sad reality is that almost all the organic beef and organic dairy products sold in the U.S. today comes from feedlots.
…Grass-fed does not mean organic. Pastured animals sometimes graze on land that has been treated with synthetic fertilizers and even doused with herbicides. … It also comes to you via the slaughterhouse. … their deaths are often just as terrifying and cruel.”
I’ll be honest with you. I go through stages when I crave cream. I’ll have it in my daily cup of chicory-coffee (half-chicory half-coffee, both organic).
Then I feel bad for the mother cow. I know I’d never crawl under her and suck on her breast. And I’d never steal her calf from her, to make room for me to suckle.
I go back to making cashew milk. That’s one cup of water blended with half a cup of soaked cashews. If it ferments before you drink it all, it’s even better!
Should You Supplement?
Dr. Kate believes every vegan or high-vegan person should either eat natto daily, or take a K2 supplement.
Since she wrote her book, we now also have the option of Dr. Mercola’s Kinetic Culture (#ad) for fermented vegetables rich in K2.
Dr. Kate advises pregnant women to definitely supplement, to avoid teeth and dental arch problems in your child. At the other end, menopausal and post-menopausal women have a higher need for K2.
Children metabolize bone at a quicker rate than adults, so they need K2 in bigger quantities. Adequate intake of K2 during infancy may protect against mental retardation, seizures, and cerebral palsy.
The problem with supplements:
- You don’t know what dose to take for your unique biochemistry.
- You don’t know what ratio is needed in relation to other co-factors, both known (like A and D to K2) and unknown. Women with high vitamin D but low vitamin K intakes have a greater risk of hip fracture.
- Supplements cause excesses and deficiencies in your metabolic pathways — deficiency when co-factors are stolen from other pathways to help absorb & utilize the supplement you just took.
- They make your body lazy and hence weaker. If you take K2 your body may stop converting K1 to K2, or if you take DHA/EPA your body may stop converting ALA (in chia, flax and hemp) into DHA.
- The supplement is only part of the story. Scientists estimate there may be 10,000 undiscovered phytochemicals we need for our health (phyto=plant). Who knows? It could be ten million!
Does any supplement contain a whole living leafy green? No!
Dr. Cursio and I found that blended leafy greens heal and prevent cavities, and build strong bones, in young children and myself, a senior woman — the very categories who are not able to do conversions easily.
What’s going on with leafy greens? We don’t know. We just know they work! Countless species of animals know they work too.
What co-factor will we discover next? When you eat whole living plants, you know you’re getting every nutrient you need in perfect synergistic balance.
Let’s not forget, you’re also eating information when you eat a living plant. Energy carries information. The energy of a living plant carries information to your living cells. Dr. Gabriel Cousens discusses one way this could work in his 2005 book, Spiritual Nutrition: Six Foundations for Spiritual Life and the Awakening of Kundalini (#ad).
Phew, we know just a fraction of what’s going on in a single human cell, so tiny it’s invisible to your naked eye. Millions of metabolites are interacting with each other. What do we know of an entire human being?
Or what about the molecules swirling around every metabolite? Do you know, water constitutes 99% of the molecules in your body? Most of the water is in a structured crystalline form, H3O2, if your cells are in a healthy negatively-charged state. Raw living plants contain this same crystalline water. So does glacial melt.
No one has studied this water yet. I’m going to repeat that. Virtually no research has been done on 99% of the molecules in your body. Dr. Gerald Pollack believes these molecules are the very basis of health. Read my discussion with Dr. Pollack here.
Shall we bring a dead supplement into such a miraculous living complexity? Yes, I do. But understand it’s a nano-fraction of the story.