Is Vitamin K2 - MK4 really necessary vs MK7?

I am postmenopausal, not on any HRT or bisphosphonates, etc and am osteopenic, with slightly worse scores at the spine as time goes by. I take the usual calcium, magnesium, Vit. D3, boron, silica, etc. I have been taking Vit K2 for years, thinking that as long as it was K2, that's all I had to know. Now, on this website, I am learning about MK4 versus MK7 I see Vitamin K2 MK4 only sold online by a few companies like NCI or NSI, Carlson or Thorne. My internist, when he did some research at my prodding, recommends Osteo K.
He advises 45 mg of MK4, taken in 3 divided doses during the day. This is for its bone building properties.
Anyway, MK4 is so very, very much more expensive than the cheaper, much more available MK7. Is it REALLY worth it to get the MK4?
Most people not on this website don't even know about MK4. The only articles that I read about its benefits come from websites touting their own product. It seems like a lot of expense and aggravation (3x a day with food) for something that few outside this discussion group know anything about.And, for instance, if you take the Thorne drops, you'd have to take 15 drops 3 times a day with a fstty meal. I really eat only one big meal a day- in the evening- that's just how I am, so besides the expense, it will be harder just to have to eat 3 separate meals just to get in the MK4, but I'll do it, if it really makes a difference. Does it really matter, folks, if one just stays with MK7? Is MK4 the most untalked-about silver lining or is it worth the considerable money?
Any thoughts? I would very much appreciate your experience and knowledge.

Report post

8 replies. Join the discussion

Lara Pizzorno, the author of "Your Bones," says that about 1/3 of the population has a genetic inability to quickly process MK7, so it builds up in their systems and causes side effects. Those people--and I am one of them--do better using MK4. Apparently, the other 2/3 can use MK7 with no problem. Research on this is new and still underway.

However, I have had benefits from MK4 that make the trouble and extra expense worth it. MK7 did not provide these benefits: my chronic right-sided sinus congestion is quickly cleared soon after I take MK4. It returns 7-8 hours later, when the MK4 wears off. Roughness of the skin on my knuckles, a condition I've had for many years, is also greatly inproved by MK4. I am conducting a n=1 experiment right now to see if larger or smaller doses of MK4 affect the skin condition.

As for carboxylation of osteocalcin to take calcium out of arteries and joints and put it in bones--apparently both types of K2 do that. Lara Pizzorno uses MK7 herself, and the author of "Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox" seems unaware of the special benefits of MK4.

MK7 is slightly stimulating, so I felt wonderful while I was taking it (about 2 months). However, I would wake up around 3-4 am and not be able to get back to sleep. This and heart palpitations are commonly reported side effects of MK7.

If I had severe osteoporosis and could afford it, I would take 15 mg of MK4 3x a day. (I would also do that if I had osteonecrosis of the jaw.) With osteopenia, absent any side effects of MK7, I would probably stick with MK7 and closely monitor the osteopenia (and also take strontium citrate).

By the way, you don't need to eat a meal to take K2. Just eat a little fat--a teaspoon of coconut oil or butter.

Report post

kwiyet1,

How long ago did you add K2 mk4?

Report post

Hello kwiet1. Great answer on your part.
Two questions for you:
Can you refer me to the NIH study that you referenced?
Also, I have read of the benefits of lycopene. Did you take 30 mg capsules or did you eat tomato products, etc.?
If you got the lycopene from food, how much food made your 30 mg?
I seem to have read somewhere that the lycopene capsules are not as effective as the real lycopene in food, but I don't remember where I read that

Report post

@ kwiyet1,

You are right, Vitamin K(2) mk4 has little effect on DXA-BMD.

However K2 mk4 helps maintaining bone strength at the site of the femoral neck (hip) in postmenopausal women by improving BMC and FNW.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17287908

K2 MK4 has been shown to decrease fractures up to 87%. ... and also been shown to prevent bone loss but not K2 mk7 or vitamin K1.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_K


t2t

Report post

For those who might get K2 mk4 here is the best deal I have found.

http://www.pureformulas.com/ultra-k2-15-mg-90-softgels-by-complementary-pre scriptions.html

I have no financial ties with any prodiucts I recommend.

I am just a regular tax paying consumer trying to feel better in this journey called life...

Report post

Kwiyet, this info about lycopene is very interesting. Why don't you start a new discussion about it?

Report post

T2T, Thanks for the Wikipedia link. The article is very interesting, and also contains some apparently contradictory statements about MK7:

"Menaquinone-7 (MK7) is different from MK4 in that it is not produced by human tissue. MK7 consumption has been shown to reduce the risk of bone fractures and cardiovascular disorders that are crucial health issues worldwide. There is a need for production of concentrated, supplementary MK7 in the diet. Recently, leading research teams from Australia, Japan and Korea are broadening the understandings on MK7 and its production. It has been reported that MK7 may be converted from phylloquinone (K1) in the colon by E-coli bacteria.[12] However, bacteria-derived menaquinones (MK7) appear to contribute minimally to overall vitamin K status.[13][14] MK4 and MK7 are both found in the United States in dietary supplements for bone health.

The US FDA has not approved any form of vitamin K for the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis; however, MK4 has been shown to decrease fractures up to 87%.[15] In the amount of 45 mg daily MK4 has been approved by the Ministry of Health in Japan since 1995 for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.[16]

Vitamin K2 (MK4, but not MK7 or vitamin K1) has also been shown to prevent bone loss and/or fractures in the following circumstances:

caused by corticosteroids (e.g., prednisone, dexamethasone, prednisolone),[17][18][19][20]
anorexia nervosa,[21]
cirrhosis of the liver,[22]
postmenopausal osteoporosis,[16][23][24][25][26][27]
disuse from stroke,[28]"

_______________________________________________________

"Vitamin K2 (MK7) and bone health

Menaquinone-7 (MK7), which is abundant in fermented soybeans (natto), has been demonstrated to stimulate osteoblastic bone formation and to inhibit osteoclastic bone resorption.[100] In another study, use of MK-7 caused significant elevations of serum Y-carboxylated osteocalcin concentration, a biomarker of bone formation. MK-7 also completely inhibited a decrease in the calcium content of bone tissue by inhibiting the bone-resorbing factors parathyroid hormone and prostaglandin E2.[101] On 19 February 2011, HSA (Singapore) approved a health supplement that contains vitamin K2 (MK7) and vitamin D3 for increasing bone mineral density.[102]"

Report post

I checked the label, front and back, and I didn't see MK4. Is there a way to know this for sure?
Rose

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support NOF

Help the National Osteoporosis Foundation reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to the National Osteoporosis Foundation

Learn more about osteoporosis awareness and prevention

Discussion topics

Links and resources from NOF

Community leaders

Disclaimer

The National Osteoporosis Foundation would like to remind visitors and community members that the views and opinions expressed on this site are not necessarily those of NOF. Please consult your personal healthcare provider regarding any medical information that is shared on this site.