Is the carnivore diet lacking in Vitamin K1 or the K complex?
The consensus among some people is the carnivore diet is deficient in so many nutrients and vitamins. A myth that has already been disproved.
No different to the myth of meat containing no vitamin C, and other nutrients or vitamins.
So what’s the truth of the matter when it comes to Vitamin K1, K2, or K in general in relation to animal products or the carnivore diet?
Let’s talk about it.
What research says:
1. Vitamin K1 is present in many animal-based foods
This is based on research conducted in March 2007, on Japanese women in particular. It’s titled, “Vitamin K content of foods and dietary vitamin K intake in Japanese young women”.
Since the main focus of this article is to point out the fact MEAT and animal products have enough vitamin K, that’s what I’ll be doing.
Here are some stats from the paper:
- Beef chuck: 0.6 µg/100g.
- Mackerel: 1.0 µg/100g.
- Egg yolk: 7.0 µg/100g.
- Butter: 2.0 µg/100g.
- Processed cheese: 2.0ug/100g.
- Yoghurt: o.3ug/100g.
- Whole egg: 0.6ug/100g.
- Whole milk: 1.0ug/100g.
- Beff tallow: 1.0ug/100g.
- Cream: 1.0ug/100g.
Remember, we’re NOT talking about MK-4 or MK-7, which are part of the K2 complex. We’re talking about PK, which is the Vitamin K1 complex.
This list is dated from 2007 and yet it still shows there is K1 present in animal foods despite many websites reporting on the opposite (or omitting information entirely).
The consensus of animal products having only K2 isn’t correct and no new information suggests otherwise.
2. Bioavailability of Vitamin K is better in animal products
It is concluded that the bioavailability of membrane-bound phylloquinone is extremely poor and may depend on other food components, notably fat.
This has two meanings.
One, the bioavailability of vegetables and fruits for Vitamin K is poor, and eating these foods with butter or Olive oil would make it better absorbed.
In spite of the bioavailability in general.
And two, eating meats, fish, shellfish, eggs, and dairy will net you MORE vitamin K than veg or fruits ever could.
It’s only natural to see why since its absorbability depends on components like FAT content.
3. Avocado and mackerel are equal in K1 content
Avocado has the same amount of K1 as mackerel and, given that it’s a plant source, the K1 is less bioavailable.
Published by Pubmed, it shows that Mackerel and Avocado, which sounds insane if you’re a plant fanatic, is equal in K1 to Mackerel.
Also as we’ve pointed out, plant sources of Vitamin K are less bioavailable. That means Mackerel, a food you won’t see on “best vitamin K food” lists any time soon is the superior option.
That’s ironic ain’t it?
The point here isn’t to bash, but to distinguish and point out the facts.
4. It’s unclear if Vitamin K1 is necessary
Current research shows that K2 performs the same functions while being distributed more evenly throughout the body. Current research also shows that K2 performs additional functions which K1 does not and potentially even acts outside of the vitamin K cycle.
The first part can be shown here.
The second and third parts can be seen here.
In spite of everything mentioned so far with animal products having K1 and being more absorbable than plant sources (even if plant sources theoretically have more K1), it’s not as needed as Vitamin K2.
Or at least, its needs aren’t as clear as Vitamin K2’s role in the body, given K2 can do what K1 does but is essentially better on top of other important roles.
- Taking calcium out of the bones.
- Working with Vitamin D.
And so on.
Carnivores are NOT deficient in Vitamin K1
As usual, those claiming deficiencies can never point to it or prove it. It’s slander at best.
This data says a lot and proves a lot as well if you’re one of those who relies on data. But even from observation, if you look at those who predominantly eat meat, it’s clear they don’t lack K1.
If they did, symptoms would show up.
This is never the case if those carnivore eaters are eating a HEALTHY version of the carnivore diet where they get all the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and foods needed to fulfil that.
That said, it absolutely doesn’t hurt to pair veg, fruit, and meats together. Though you have to understand that the majority of your K vitamins will come from meat and seafood, NOT the plant sources.
This is the whole point. Plant sources aren’t necessary for this specific purpose.