The Benefits of Vitamin K and Omega-3 for Heart Health‡
Learn how these essential nutrients may help keep your heart healthy‡
Your heart health is essential to your overall health and wellness. Your heart is an essential organ. If your heart stops beating, essential functions stop. You cannot live without your heart.
Your heart does not take a break. It’s always working to keep you alive. And this is exactly why we want you to know what we know about essential nutrients and heart health.‡
In this blog, we focus on the benefits of vitamin K and benefits of omega-3 for your heart health. These two essential nutrients, may along with healthful lifestyle habits, play an essential role in keeping your heart healthy.‡
Keep reading to learn more about heart health, including:
- Lifestyle habits and factors to support heart health
- Benefits of vitamin K for heart health‡
- Benefits of omega-3 for heart health‡
- Best sources of vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids
Before making changes to your diet, nutrition, and exercise routine, consult your healthcare practitioner. Always discuss any vitamin and mineral supplements you are taking or plan to take, since these may interact differently with medications and health conditions.
As always, feel free to contact us with your questions about our vitamins, supplements, and other products.
The Benefits of Vitamin K for Heart Health
Vitamin K is not a nutrient that many people know or even think about. However, this fat-soluble essential vitamin plays a critical role in your heart health, bone health, and blood vessel function.1 ‡
There are two categories of vitamin K:2
- Vitamin K1 (Phylloquinone): Found primarily in plants like leafy greens, this form of vitamin K is used by the liver to support blood vessel function.9 ‡
- Vitamin K2 (Menaquinone): Vitamin K2 consists of several different forms (for example, MK-4 or MK-7). It is primarily found in animal foods or fermented products.9
Vitamin K, especially K2, can help send calcium to your hard tissues — like bone and teeth — instead of soft tissues like your arteries. As a result, it may help support calcium metabolism in your arteries.8 ‡
Vitamin K also acts as a cofactor along with vitamin D for building these hard tissues. So not only does it help with calcium metabolism in your arteries, but vitamin K may also help with the vital task of strengthening bone and
Recent studies into the benefits of vitamin K for heart health reveal how this essential nutrient supports your heart:‡
- Vitamin K may support vascular elasticity.4 5 ‡
- Vitamin K may also help maintain cytokine balance, an important factor in vascular health.6 ‡
What Are the Best Sources of Vitamin K?
Our dietary intake of vitamin K1 is in general 10 times higher than K2. The good news is our bodies can convert vitamin K1 to vitamin K2. However, your body likely doesn't make enough, so getting it through diet or supplementation is often necessary.8 9
The best sources of vitamin K include:7 8
- Leafy greens including kale, mustard greens, swiss chard, spinach, and collard greens
- Cruciferous vegetables including broccoli and Brussels sprouts
- Lean proteins including natto, pork chops, beef, egg yolk and chicken
- Organ meats including liver and kidney
- Dairy including whole milk and hard and soft cheeses such as blue cheese, edam, Jarlsberg
- Fruits including prunes, kiwi, avocado, blackberries, blueberries, and pomegranate
- Nuts and legumes including green beans, green peas, soybeans, and sprouted mung beans
While K1 is relatively easy to get from your diet, K2 is more challenging, especially if you limit your intake of animal products. And while natto, a fermented soy product, is one of the best sources of vitamin K2, the texture or taste is an acquired preference for many.9
Supplements do not replace optimal food choices, but they may help you reach ideal daily requirements for vitamin K2.10
The Benefits of Omega-3s for Heart Health
There are several forms of omega-3 fatty acids, but EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) are especially supportive for heart health. These two fatty acids are found primarily in fish. While your body can make small amounts of EPA and DHA from other sources, it's a small amount, so food or supplements are needed to get enough.21
Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids may benefit heart health in a variety of ways. One of their functions is to help the body properly transport and metabolize lipids. An extensive review of more than 80 studies found that, on average, omega-3 supplementation effectively promoted healthy lipid metabolism.23 ‡
What Are the Best Sources of Omega-3 Fatty Acids?
The 3 main categories of omega-3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), EPA, and DHA. Your body cannot make essential fatty acids and must get this nutrient from your diet.11
Your body can convert ALA into EPA and DHA, but not in the amounts required to meet recommended daily amounts. Along with your diet, one of the best ways to get enough omega-3 fatty acids is from supplements.25
The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids include:25
- Fish and seafood including salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, herring, and other cold-water fatty fish
- Nuts and seeds including walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds
- Plant oils including soybean oil, canola oil, and flaxseed oil
- Fortified foods including milk and dairy milk alternatives, eggs, yogurt, and juice
To support your dietary choices, omega-3 fatty acid supplements may ensure you get the recommended daily amount of this essential fatty acid. As always, discuss any supplements with your healthcare practitioner since they may interact differently with medications and health conditions.25
Supporting Your Heart Health
Congratulations for being invested in your heart health and taking steps to better support your overall health and wellness. Eating a balanced diet and taking supplements that support heart health can go a long way in giving your body what it needs for optimal health.‡
Use our Purely For You personalized supplement plan to provide you with tailored wellness recommendations to meet your specific nutritional needs.
1. Vitamin K2: Everything You Ned to Know: Healthline.org (Accessed September 20, 2021) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vitamin-k2
2. Booth, Sarah L. “Vitamin K: Food Composition and Dietary Intakes.” Food & Nutrition Research 56 (2012). https://doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v56i0.5505.
3. Mandatori, Domitilla, Letizia Pelusi, Valeria Schiavone, Caterina Pipino, Natalia Di Pietro, and Assunta Pandolfi. Nutrients 13, no. 4 (April 7, 2021). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041222.
4. Knapen, Marjo H. J., Lavienja A. J. L. M. Braam, Nadja E. Drummen, Otto Bekers, Arnold P. G. Hoeks, and Cees Vermeer. Thrombosis and Haemostasis 113, no. 5 (May 2015): 1135–44. https://doi.org/10.1160/TH14-08-0675.
5. Shea, M. Kyla, Sarah L. Booth, Michael E. Miller, Gregory L. Burke, Haiying Chen, Mary Cushman, Russell P. Tracy, and Stephen B. Kritchevsky. “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 98, no. 1 (July 2013): 197–208. https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.112.056101.
6. Shioi, Atsushi, Tomoaki Morioka, Tetsuo Shoji, and Masanori Emoto. “Nutrients 12, no. 2 (February 23, 2020). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12020583.
7. Elder, Sonya J., David B. Haytowitz, Juliette Howe, James W. Peterson, and Sarah L. Booth. “Vitamin k Contents of Meat, Dairy, and Fast Food in the u.s. Diet.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 54, no. 2 (January 25, 2006): 463–67. https://doi.org/10.1021/jf052400h.
8. 20 Foods That Are High in Vitamin K: Healthline.org (Accessed September 20, 2021) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-high-in-vitamin-k
9. Tsukamoto, Y., H. Ichise, H. Kakuda, and M. Yamaguchi. “Intake of fermented soybean (natto) increases circulating vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7) and gamma-carboxylated osteocalcin concentration in normal individuals.” National Library of Medicine https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10874601/
10. Saljoughian, Manouchehr. “The Emerging Role of Vitamin K2.” US Pharm” (January 20, 2012) https://www.uspharmacist.com/article/the-emerging-role-of-vitamin-k2
23 Abdelhamid, Asmaa S., Tracey J. Brown, Julii S. Brainard, Priti Biswas, Gabrielle C. Thorpe, Helen J. Moore, Katherine Ho Deane, et al. The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 3 (February 29, 2020): CD003177. https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD003177.pub5.
11. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fact Sheet for Consumers: National Institutes for Health (Accessed September 20, 2021) https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Omega3FattyAcids-Consumer/
‡ These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.