Vitamin K-2 the next big thing: Innova

Related tags Nutrition

As evidence grows for its beneficial role in bone and cardiovascular health, vitamin K-2 is becoming ‘the next big thing in functional foods’, according to Innova Market Insights.

Innova said that their database shows that vitamin K-2 product launches rose by more than 40 per cent in 2010.

To date, the key focus has been in dietary supplements, including lines in sports nutrition. However the review by Innova has also a growing range of products appearing that focus on the use of natural vitamin K-2 derived from the traditional Japanese soy-based health food natto.

Market growth

Concerns over deficiency, coupled with increased consumer awareness of the potential benefits, have contributed to the recent upsurge in vitamin K formulations for supplements and functional foods.

Innova said it is already finding increasing use of vitamin K-2 in dietary supplements, adding that recent GRAS status for dairy foods in the United States, following on from EU Novel Foods approval in 2009, along with the rising number of natural and synthetic branded ingredients now appearing on the market points towards an upward trend for vitamin K-2.

Whilst, according to Francis Foley from Xsto​, the US distributor of Kappa’s K2Vital Vitamin K Product Line, the current K market in the US is valued at $10 million in raw material sales (vs finished product sales).

“What is really impressive is the growth in vitamin K supplementation, estimated to be (my personal estimate) over 15 percent year. We feel the K2 market can double to $20 million in less than five years,”​ he said.

Meanwhile, Innova says that an increasing number of vitamin K-2 ingredient suppliers have been actively promoting its use and benefits.

According to Lu Ann Williams, Research Manager, Innova Market Insights, launches of vitamin K-2 fortified food and drink product launches are imminently likely in the U.S. following the recent GRAS approval of Nattopharma's MenaQ7​ for use in dairy foods.

“Dairy is an excellent starting point, appearing to be well suited as a delivery system for vitamin K-2 because of the strong existing links between dairy products and bone health, and the natural levels of calcium and vitamin D in many dairy lines, which can act synergistically with vitamin K,”​ said Williams.

“Meanwhile in Europe, work is still ongoing on a heart-health claim for vitamin K-2, which will extend its potential still further if it is granted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), as hoped, during 2011,”​ she added.

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