Vitamin K2 MK-7 has been marketed to seniors in the context of bone and heart disease. This ‘glass-half-empty’ positioning sells short the potential of this essential vitamin. K2 is needed throughout life to achieve full health potential – from children to mothers, athletes to seniors. It is critical during the rapid bone growth phase from childhood to adolescence, to build optimal Bone Mineral Density (BMD) before the onset of menopause, and to grow and maintain bone into senior years (yes, bones grow in response to both K2 and resistance training all through life).
Products and market categories that target bone or heart health provide natural opportunities for K2 product extension or upgrade – introducing a fresh marketing narrative firmly rooted in science. Beyond the well established bone and heart health categories, there is significant potential for innovation in the multivitamin, cardiovascular, women’s health, healthy ageing
and sports nutrition market categories. K2 is also a perfect fit for the children’s category, for example in gummy format. In fact, any product that contains calcium or D3 is a candidate for K2 inclusion.
K2 is a fat-soluble vitamin and like all others it can degrade in certain formulations and environments. Unprotected K2 is particularly susceptible to degradation in combination with calcium or magnesium salts. A recent market study published by Kappa Bioscience showed that only 2 of 39 K2 plus calcium or magnesium products met label claim, and half failed to meet label claim by 50% or more.
The inherently poor stability characteristics of unprotected K2 is problematic because calcium and magnesium are central to many bone and heart health formulations. To date this problem has limited the use of K2 in these market categories, as well as extension categories where calcium or magnesium salts are present such as multivitamins.
Protected, microencapsulated K2VITAL® DELTA, has been proven stable when formulated with calcium and magnesium salts. The proprietary dual layer K2VITAL® DELTA beadlet protects the K2, achieving excellent stability with minimal overage. In fact, K2VITAL® DELTA is the only form of K2 with proven stability, backed by years of empirical stability data that is suitable for formulation with calcium or magnesium salts.
In 1948 it was recognised that vitamin D was unstable in the presence of calcium salts. The K2 market has been slower to act upon the science of K2 stability – as the results of the recent Kappa Market Study clearly demonstrate. Though K2VITAL®DELTA should stand peerless on the playing field, brands still knowingly and unknowingly launch K2 products that will fall
short on promises to consumers.
Market education is the key to products that deliver brand value, and product testing is the key to market education.
Calcium relies on vitamin K2 MK-7 and vitamin D3 to regulate optimal calcium function in the body. Vitamin D3 aids calcium absorption into the bloodstream where it can be put to work. K2 activates osteocalcin proteins that integrate calcium into bone. Throughout all stages of life, healthy bones are dependent on sufficient K2 intake – something rarely achieved in the western diet.
K2 activates matrix Gla proteins (MGP) which bind excess calcium in blood to prevent deposit in vessels and arteries. K2 can even reverse existing calcification and reduce arterial stiffness.
Author: Kappa Bioscience
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