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Research: K2 Delivery Formats for Children

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by Anja Aubert -

Vitamin K2 is a fast-growing category in global nutraceutical markets and, along with vitamin D3, is critical for the maintenance of healthy bones, especially in children. Childhood represents a rapid and extensive skeletal growth phase—bone mass acquired through the childhood and adolescent years increases the outlook for bone health later in adulthood. Healthy bones as adults helps the body sustain physical stress, avoid fractures and prevent bone diseases but bone mass declines throughout adult life, with peak bone mass achieved in childhood. An increase of just 10 percent in bone mass is estimated to reduce the risk of osteoporotic fracture in adulthood by 50 percent.

Vitamin K2 regulates the transport of calcium in the body by activating osteocalcin, which incorporates calcium into the bone matrix. K2 also activates the Matric GLA protein (MGP), which binds excess calcium to prevent deposit in soft tissues, such as arteries. Because calcium and vitamin D3 alone are not enough to build strong bones and the Western diet is generally recognised as deficient in K2, supplementation in dosage formats suitable for children are required.

As most dietary supplements are supplied in capsule or tablet form, up to 40 percent of adults can have difficulty swallowing these forms. Children especially need a chewable and agreeable dosage solution. Gummies as a delivery format have been gaining popularity in the industry and are widely accepted by adults and children.

Traditional gummy manufacturing, however, requires high temperatures—standard methods of gelatine or pectin manufacturing process need temperatures of at least 70˚C. Though unprotected vitamin K2 has a high heat tolerance in inert oil, when combined with other compounds, even moderate temperatures can affect stability. Standard gummy manufacturing may not produce a stable K2 gummy product that meets label claims.

Kappa Bioscience and iNNutriGEL developed protected, microencapsulated K2VITAL® K2/D3 Soft Gums™ to meet this challenge. The manufacturing process uses a patented low temperature mogul (LTM), working at ambient temperatures to reduce the risk of damage to the vitamins once blended with other compounds. These gummies deliver essential bone-building vitamins in a delivery format designed for children and are free of animal gelatines.