We are deeply interested in natural organic vitamins from organic sources, since we assume that the synthetic vitamins are poorly utilized by the body and provide little benefit. A good alternative to the synthetic vitamins are vitamins from natural sources such as mushrooms, algae and plants. Presently Biofungi works with the following vitamins - vitamin D2 in mushrooms and vitamin K2 MK-7 from natto (fermented soya). The great benefits of these singulary vitamins makes them so interesting. We are also currently developing a multivitamin preparation providing 50-100% of the recommended daily dosage RDA which is composed completetly of natural vitamins. This preparation will be on the market in 2014.
Information on vitamin D2 enriched mushrooms:
Many mushrooms contain large amounts of ergosterol. This precursor molecule is converted by the ultraviolet component of sunlight into ergocalciferol i. e. vitamin D2. A similar process happens in our skin through exposure to sunlight when cholesterol is converted by sunlight into cholecalciferol i.e. vitamin D3.
We can offer organic mushroom powder with a high content of 20'000 micrograms natural Vitamin D2 per 100g of dried mushroom. The Vitamin D2 is produced by a physical method out of the precursor ergosterol.
1mcg is equivalent to 40 International Units (=IU)
The recommended daily dosage (recommendation by DGE) for vitamin D is 5mcg/Tag for adults up to 65 years and 10mcg/Tag for children, pregnant or lactating women and people over 65 years. This is equivalent to 200 to 400 IU.
Information about vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7, MK-7)
Natural sources and bioavailability:
Natural vitamin K2 is produced (however only poorly absorbed!) in small quantities in the human intestinal tract by bacteria and it is naturally present in fermented foods such as yoghurt or mature cheese.
Since the vitamin K2 status of the Western population in general is too low the uptake is obviously not sufficient.
The most effective form of K2 in terms of bioavailability, absorption and retention time in the human body is the long chained menaquinone-7 (MK-7).
Vitamin K1 on the other hand is poorly absorbed, rapidly removed from the blood through the liver and therefore available only for a short time.
Mode of action:
Vitamin K2 activates the following important enzymes:
1. Activation of the bone GLA protein " Osteocalcin ".
Osteocalcin is produced in the bone by specialised cells-the osteoblasts. However this protein must be activated first in order to fulfill its task- namely to absorb the calcium from the blood and then incorporate it into the bone matrix. The incorporated calcium increases both the bone mass and the bone density. Thus both bone loss (osteoporosis) and in particular bone fractures are reduced.
Background: About every 7 years the entire bone structure in the human body is being replaced. Into this process both bone resorbing cells (=osteoclasts) and bone building cells (=osteoblasts) are involved. As long as there is a balance in the activity of these two cell types, the bone tissue is healthy and dense.
The osteoblasts produce the enzyme " osteocalcin " which in the activated state only can absorb calcium from the blood and incorporate it into the bone matrix. The osteocalcin is activated (= carboxylised!) by vitamin K2. If not enough vitamin K2 is around the osteoblast can not function well and therefore more bone substance will be removed than produced.
2. Activation of matrix GLA protein (MGP).
This protein is produced in most soft body tissues, but predominantly in the cartilage by Chondrocytes (=cartilage cells) and in the artery walls by the smooth muscle cells. MGP has a strong inhibitory effect against the calcification of these tissues. Activated (=carboxylised)
MGP attaches to the calcium in the blood thereby preventing its depositon in the blood vessel walls or on the joint surfaces thus keeping them clean and elastic.
Several studies have shown that through additional doses of vitamin K2 even already existing atherosclerotic plaques and calcified blood vessel walls can be restored.
hrough large-scale studies (eg Shaw et al with 10,000 persons), it became clear that the death rate is directly correlated with the calcium content of the blood.
Low vitamin K levels were also found in the following conditions:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
Extra Calcium doses without additional vitamin K2 lead to the so-called " Calcium-paradox". Indeed some calcium is partially incorporated into the bones, however the greater part remains in the cardiovascular system (heart and vascular system). By attaching to the blood vessel walls it leads to a hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis).
As in the bone matrix osteoblasts are also found in the arteries where they incorporate calcium into the artery walls and osteoclasts which degrade it there. Hence calcium is the main mineral in the dreaded "plaques".
Recent studies also hint at an influence of vitamin K in particular vitamin K2 on skin elasticity , varicose veins and healthy joints by reducing calcium deposits in these tissues.
The use of anticoagulants is often necessary to prevent the formation of blood clots and thus strokes, heart attacks and embolisms. The drugs most frequently used against such a condition are of the coumarin type (such as warfarin). Their mode of function is characterized by inhibiting the recycling of vitamin K in the so-called K-circuit. Through this interference the body goes into a vitamin K deficiency.
One could say that we fight thick blood through blood thinners- at the price of bone mass and bone density degradation, calcification of the cardio vascular system and inflammation and consequently abrasion of the joins.
Recommended daily dosage:
In the EU a daily dose of 70 micrograms is allowed by the law. Vitamin K2 has been assessed by EFSA and found to be safe and not being novel food.
- The Rotterdam Study " from 2004 with 4807 older people (over 55 years) showed that a daily intake of 32 micrograms (millionths of a gram!) Vitamin K2 reduced both vascular calcification and mortality due to cardiovascular failure by 50 %.
- The 3-year study by Knapen et al. from 2007 showed a significant improvement in hip bone density in postmenstrual women with high K2 status.
- Yaegashi et al. (2008 ) revealed that vitamin K2 Natto significantly reduced the risk of hip fractures.