The news from the Southern Californian ingredients manufacturer follows PL Thomas' announcement last week that it too has secured an exclusive K2 dealis to distribute NattoPharma's vitamin K2 in the US. The timing could perhaps be an indication that awareness of vitamin K is starting to grow in the industry.
Both Blue California and PLT's products - as well as Natural Inc's Natto K2 which was previously available in the US - are derived from fermented soybeans, otherwise known as a natto.
Cecilia McCollum, Blue California's executive vice president said: "This natural form of Vitamin K2 has a higher rate of absorption than Vitamin K1 derived from vegetables. Millions of Americans suffer from the effects of osteoporosis and millions more have low bone mass.Supplementation with Vitamin K2 will help prevent loss of bone mass and will help restore healthy bone mass."
Some large human studies have tested the bone health benefits of calcium alone, calcium plus vitamin D and calcium plus vitamin D plus vitamin K. The latter has shown the best effect on osteoporosis; its mechanism is different from, but synergistic with, the other two. (Bolton Smith et al, Ann Nutr Metab 2001; 45, p 246; Braam et al, 2003, Calcif Tissue Int 72).
Vitamin K2 is also known by its chemical name menaquinone-7. While vitamin K1 (or plain vitamin K) is typically found in green leafy vegetables, K2 is produced by intestinal bacteria and is found in fermented foods.
There is evidence that K2 remains in the body for considerably longer than K1.
"Since the American diet is not rich in fermented foods, researchers recommend daily supplementation with Vitamin K2," said Blue California.
Natural K2 from natto, known as Natto K2, has previously been available in the US through Natural Inc, the US-based subsidiary of Norway's Natural group.