Menaquinone Content of Cheese (Vermeer et al.)

Nutrients has published a paper examining the Vitamin K2  (menaquinone) concentrations in a wide range of cheeses and the effects of fat content, ripening and origin of the cheeses were investigated. Moreover, the menaquinone content of cheese was compared with that of other foods known to contain vitamin K2.

The results showed that cheese and curd are the most important sources of long-chain menaquinones in the Western diet and, in general, hard cheeses are richer in menaquinones than soft cheeses. However, the actual menaquinone content varies substantially and is dependent on the type of cheese, the time of ripening, the fat content and the geographic area where the cheeses are produced.

According to researchers, “The total amount of K2 in cheese was between 3 and 802 ng/g. Our recommendation for K2 is between 180360mcg/day… It means that you need to eat at least 225/445 g of French cheese a day (Münster) and at least two times more in case of cheese from Scandinavia.”

Given the fact that poor vitamin K status has been mentioned as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and mortality, while there is no clear evidence for adverse cardiovascular effects of dairy fats, cheese should be considered as a recommendable component in a heart-healthy diet.

“This is a noteworthy paper,” says Dr. Katarzyna Maresz, president of the International Science and Health Foundation. “Ideally we would all obtain our nutrients from food, and this paper rightly identifies cheese as an important part of a heart-healthy diet due to its Vitamin K2 content. But it is also difficult to obtain enough Vitamin K2 daily from diet alone, which might make supplementation a viable alternative to consider.”


Vermeer C et al. “Menaquinone Content of Cheese.” Nutrients. 2018 Apr 4;10(4). pii: E446. doi: 10.3390/nu10040446.

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