Why do you need vitamin K2 (MK-4)?

Bottles of Smidge® Emu Oil Softgels

Our latest small batch supplement — Smidge® Australian Emu Oil — provides this critical nutrient from real food, all the way from the grassy pastures of Australia. Here’s why we went through herculean efforts to provide it to you.

We’re thrilled to launch the latest addition to our collection of real food vitamins — that are essential for human health and difficult to get from even the best real food diets.  

Our fresh, grass-fed Australian Emu Oil softgels are sustainably sourced from robust emus that happily graze on the grassy pastures of Southeast Australia. This traditional fat from the Heritage-bred emu bird contains a synergistic combination of unadulterated, natural nutrients, especially vitamin K2 (MK-4).   

We know that vitamins A, D and C get a lot of attention. 

So why is vitamin K essential, and what’s the best way for our bodies to get this nutrient, especially if we haven’t heard much about it? 

We went through herculean efforts to craft this product, all the way from this ancient bird in Southeast Australia, because it provides the real food form of vitamin K2 (MK-4) that the body best uses and absorbs for significant health benefits.* 

You cannot find this precious oil in drug stores, the most high-end health food stores or even in the United States. The only off-the-shelf options for vitamin K are natto (from some grocery stores and select markets), butter oil or MK-7 supplements, which require conversion to MK-4 and have a low conversion rate (more info below).*  

Another important reason we wanted to provide Emu Oil: it works in synergy with vitamin D. Simply put, vitamin D has numerous studied benefits, but the body needs quality, real food vitamin K2 (MK-4) to get the most out of the D. (More information on this below, too). 

Benefits of vitamin K2 

Emu oil gave the Aboriginal people of Australia essential nutrients while living in some of the harshest conditions on earth.* Today, this traditional food supports collagen production, skin and bone health, and more.*  

Here are some other reported benefits of emu oil, according to scientific studies: 

  • Promotes dental health: Helps keep the oral microbiome in balance and remineralizes teeth by activating osteocalcin via vitamin K2 absorption.* 
  • May increase collagen production: Emu Oil’s omegas and vitamin K2 support skin elasticity, easing fine lines and wrinkles.* 
  • Improved bone health: Vitamin K2 helps activate osteocalcin, a protein that binds calcium and other minerals to bone tissue to support bone density and strength.* 
  • Promotes joint health and mobility: Emu oil supports joints and muscles due to its omega fatty acid content.* 
  • Supports the heart and healthy cholesterol levels: Fatty acids may support healthy cholesterol levels already within a normal range, and vitamin K2 helps to activate matrix Gla protein to promote arterial health.* 

But there’s more – how real food vitamin K2 works with vitamin D3 in raw cod liver oil  

The nutrients in Smidge® Australian Emu Oil go hand-in-hand with those in a fresh, raw cod liver oil because the therapeutic levels of vitamin K2 in emu oil accompany the vitamin D3 in cod liver oil.  

Here’s how the vitamins from these two supplements work as a team: 

  • Vitamin D3 initiates several critical biological processes by “switching on” genes related to the expression of specific proteins.  
  • And vitamin K2 is essential for the activation of these proteins, suggesting that it may support the effects of vitamin D. 

Scientific studies have found: 

  • There are benefits of vitamin K2 for immune health in combination with vitamin D3.* 
  • Vitamins D and K2 work together to regulate calcium metabolism.* 
  • There’s a harmonious effect of vitamin K2 combined with vitamin D for heart health* 
  • The effects of vitamin D3 and K2 on bone mass density are better when used together* 

What is vitamin K? 

Vitamin K is an important fat-soluble molecule that comes in two forms — K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (menaquinone (MK)). It helps activate and regulate multiple proteins in the body (known as vitamin K-dependent proteins), including those needed for blood clotting, bone metabolism and heart health.* 

As we mentioned above, Smidge® Australian Emu Oil provides the most bioavailable and absorbable form of vitamin K, which is MK-4, the last stop after your body converts real food vitamin K2.  

This is because your biochemistry converts all forms of vitamin K — including vitamin K1 and MK-7 — to MK-4. And the other forms of vitamin K have a low conversion rate, depending on the health of your gut microbiome and gut flora. For instance, only 20% of vitamin K1 is absorbed, and its conversion rate ranges from 5% to 25%.* 

How can you get vitamin K2 from food? 

Vitamin K2 can be found in various food sources, including animal products like egg yolks, dark chicken meat and schmaltz, goose liver and hard cheeses. It’s also in fermented foods like natto (soy). The animal-based food sources of vitamin K2 are more absorbable than the plant-based foods such as natto. 

So depending on what you eat and how much of the vitamin K2-rich foods you eat, supplementation with Emu Oil may help achieve optimal vitamin K2 levels to benefit from its health-supporting properties — especially in combination with vitamin D3 from fresh, raw cod liver oil.* 

Emu Oil has it all 

We gently craft our oil to retain all of its rich nutrients and cofactors. They include that beautiful vitamin K2 (MK-4) and omega fatty acids (3,6,7 and 9).  

And you won’t find fillers, additives, or common allergens. Please note that the nutrient information on our label will vary slightly from batch to batch, as this is a real food supplement and regular testing reflects nature’s ebbs and flows. 


- This blog post was written by Smidge® co-founder Dan Corrigan. Dan is trained in several dietary protocols and natural health disciplines. Our blog was reviewed by Karen Myers, Smidge® co-founder and Certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner. Learn more about Dan and Karen here!