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Is Vitamin K2 Supplementation of Benefit to Sun-Protected Dermatology Patients?

By: Sarah Campen, PharmD
Posted: Friday, March 12, 2021

Many patients may not be aware of the key role vitamin K2 plays in vitamin D metabolism and do not receive sufficient dietary vitamin K2, according to the results of a survey published as a letter to the editor in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology. The survey of 50 patients who were recommended rigorous sun protection for conditions such as lupus or melanoma revealed that 8% of respondents understood the role of vitamin K2 in vitamin D metabolism—and only one patient (2%) received vitamin K2 supplementation.

“The results support that dermatology patients taking vitamin D supplements when practicing sun protection may benefit from counseling on vitamin K2,” explained Daniel J. Aires, MD, of the Berman Skin Institute, Oakland, California, and colleagues. The patients who participated were recruited from a single institution’s dermatology department. The simple three-question survey was offered to patients older than age 18 who were advised to engage in sun protection, such as applying sunscreen before going outdoors.

According to Dr. Aires and colleagues, evidence supports a synergistic impact for vitamin K2 on vitamin D for the maintenance of bone health. However, most people consuming a typical Western diet do not usually obtain sufficient K2 from dietary sources, which include daily consumption of certain pasture-raised dairy products or organ meats. Therefore, the authors generally suggest supplementation of vitamin K2 at 100 mg daily, especially in patients at increased risk for osteoporosis or vascular calcification.

Disclosure: The authors reported no conflicts of interest.

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