Marcq-en-Baroeul, France, and East Brunswick, NJ—Children has published a review paper that documents vitamin K2’s role in various physiological processes, its safe history of use, and that children show the greatest need for K2 supplementation, according to a press release from Gnosis by Lesaffre.

The paper presents the data showing the differences between vitamins K1 and K2, as well as between K2 as menaquinone-4 (MK-4) and as MK-7; factors contributing to the prevalence of K deficiency; and how child populations can benefit from correcting the deficiency.

"Vitamin K2 activates K-dependent proteins that support many biological functions, including bone mineralization, the inhibition of vascular stiffness, the improvement of endothelial function, the maintenance of strong teeth, brain development, joint health, and optimal body weight," explained Dr. Katarzyna Maresz, President of the International Science and Health Foundation, and co-author of the paper. "Due to the transformation of food habits in developed countries over the last five decades, vitamin K and, specifically, vitamin K2 intakes among parents and their offspring have decreased significantly, resulting in serious health implications. The therapeutics used in pediatric practice (antibiotics and glucocorticoids) are also to blame for this situation."

Related: Review Paper Bolsters Effort to Petition for a K2-Specific RDI Study Shows Benefits of Prenatal Choline for School-Aged Children Why Are We K2 Deficient?

Dr. Maresz and a nutritionist colleague at Jagiellonian University Medical College, Dr. Agnieszka Kozioł-Kozakowska, further discussed in the review the use of MK-7 supplementation for pregnant people. "The lack of adverse effects of MK-7 makes it the ideal choice for supplementation by pregnant and nursing women and children, both healthy and suffering from various malabsorptions and health disorders, such as dyslipidemia, diabetes, thalassemia major (TM), cystic fibrosis (CF), inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), and chronic liver diseases," they wrote.

"As we continue our pursuit of a K2-specific Recommended Daily Intake (RDI), this review serves as a substantial argument," said Dr. Hogne Vik, Chief Medical Officer with Gnosis by Lesaffre. "Particularly as it illustrates the overwhelming impact K2 deficiency has on child populations, and it illustrates how parents' deficiencies feed into the state of their children's health. We have stressed for more than a decade the impact that Vitamin K2 can have on children's health. As thrilling as it was to see the first child-specific formulas featuring MenaQ7 K2 hit the market a few years ago, we have so much more to do to improve the health of our children."