Vitamin K2 as MK-7 (90 mcg) My Experience

After having been diagnosed with osteoporosis my dr. wanted me to go with Reclast. After doing my research mostly on this site, I decided against it. I chose the supplement and vitamin, exercise and diet route. That was a few weeks ago. I started taking more calcium and D plus magnesium and MK-7. I have no other health issues, am a 68 year old female and active.

Last week, I experienced numbness in my left hand and arm up to my elbow. A few minutes later my jaw and gums became numb and then the left side of my tongue. It was so scary that I called the dr's office and was advised to go to the ER. I did and, after many tests, was diagnosed as having a mini-stroke. I spent the night in the hospital for observation. The numbness went away after about 2 hours and I have no aftereffects. When the hospitalist asked about all my meds I mentioned the Vit.K. He looked like he could not believe what I had just told him and advised me that K is given as an antedote for blood thinners because it makes the blood thicken. The neurologist reacted the same way when I told him. So did my family dr. when I saw her today.

I felt I should share this with you. This may have happened if I had not been taking K but I will not be dosing myself again based just on what research I do online. I have learned a lot through this experience and know that I was very blessed in the outcome.

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I don't know if it's just me, but it seems like the Mk7 and Mk4 terms are misused and confused easily. Can someone explain in a very "simplistic" manner, the difference in these two forms?

I purchased the Thorne vitamin K2 liquid 1 oz drops- are they MK7 or MK4 and what's the moderate/minimum dosage? I also purchased the Carlson vitamin k2 5mg capsules. Again, are they MK7 or MK4?

I want to avoid osteo meds but want to be safe.

Would appreciate clarity on this.

Thanks!

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The Thorne and Carlson are both MK-4. It's the type the body makes. It has a half-life of a few hours. MK-7 has a half-life of about 3.5 days, which is why it's sold in such small (mcg) doses. MK-7 takes about 15 days to build up and plateau in the blood.

As for dose, this study found 1.5 mg daily to be effective in carboxylating osteocalcin. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19352059

That said, there are people who've taken up to 45 mg daily without issue. Personally, I take 5 MG of MK-4. With that, I no longer get plaque build-up on my teeth. I take that as a sign it's working in my arteries and bones as well.

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Robar,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_K
Wiki, wiki, wiki. Start there. Its just easier and you can tell by the bibliography that the author is somewhat of an expert. Thank you, anonymous author!

"Subtypes of vitamin K2Vitamin K2 (menaquinone), is itself a category of vitamin K that includes many types of vitamin K2. The two subtypes of vitamin K2 that have been most studied are menaquinone-4 (menatetrenone, MK4) and menaquinone-7 (MK7).

"MK4 is produced via conversion of vitamin K1 in the body, in the testes, pancreas and arterial walls.[3] While major questions still surround the biochemical pathway for the transformation of vitamin K1 to MK4, studies demonstrate that the conversion is not dependent on gut bacteria, occurring in germ-free rats[4][5] and in parenterally-administered K1 in rats.[6][7] In fact, tissues that accumulate high amounts of MK4 have a remarkable capacity to convert up to 90% of the available K1 into MK4.[8][9]

"In contrast to MK4, menaquinone-7 (MK7) is not produced by humans but is converted from phylloquinone in the intestines by gut bacteria.[10] However, bacteria-derived menaquinones (MK7) appear to contribute minimally to overall vitamin K status.[11][12] 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%.[13] 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.[14]"

However, despite all these studies, the Japanese notwithstanding, here is the conclusion of a 2009 study in the US:
"Vitamin K treatment reduces undercarboxylated osteocalcin but does not alter bone turnover, density, or geometry in healthy postmenopausal North American women." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19113922

All I can say is "Yikes!" It makes me frustrated. I take MK 4 anyway. What works for the Japanese can't kill me. Hopefully not anyway. One might notice the Japanese study measures "Fracture Risk." And for all of us that is the bottom line. The 2009 US study on US women only looked at bone structure, not fracture. Should not be different, but who knows? Maybe K2 improves balance and thus the fracture risk reduction. This is totally speculative on my part.

All this is a process, my friends. Just like the rest of life. Ya takes your chances, so speak.

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I have Carlson caps MK 4 with 50 mg dose.

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You know, other people on here have posted some weird side effects due to vitamin K2 consumption. The search engine on here is not very good and I cannot find those posts.

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Oops. CORRECTION. My Carlson caps of MV-4 K2 are 5 mg, NOT 50. Sorry.

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ON vitamin K and blood clotting. It seems that Vitamin K does something with blood clotting or thickness

"Answer:Any vitamin K found in either food (such as green, leafy vegetables) or multivitamins will try to act against warfarin and will decrease its effectiveness. Warfarin (Coumadin®) is a blood thinner that prevents blood-clotting proteins from using vitamin K. When vitamin K can not be used by the blood-clotting proteins, blood will not clot as well as it should.

Therefore, it is important to keep your diet and your intake of vitamin K consistent while on warfarin. That means, if you like to eat three servings of broccoli—a vegetable containing vitamin K—every week, for example, continue to do so every week. Do not eat six servings of broccoli one week and then none at all the next week. This inconsistency in the level of vitamin K in your body will cause your blood-clotting test result to change."

http://www.walgreens.com/marketing/library/ask/aap/vitaminsherbssupplements /vitaminsherbs_vitamink.jsp



"While taking blood thinners, you should also avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. Also, watch your diet. Large doses of vitamin K (found in fish, liver, and spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, and other green, leafy vegetables) can decrease the effects of the medicine."

http://texasheart.org/HIC/Topics/Meds/blodmeds.cfm

Either Vitamin K messes up how blood thinners work or they thicken up the blood. wonder which. These warning are all over.

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Mom of three, I've heard the MK-7 can cause rapid heart beat.

Drizzit, Here's Lara's response:

I am sorry this happened to you, but doubt vitamin K2 caused it. PLEASE have your doctors think this through more thoroughly for you, so they can help you figure out what actually caused you to have a mini-stroke.
One possibility -- if you have recently started taking more calcium and vitamin D, it is very important that you are also increasing your magnesium intake. Insufficient magnesium could have easily caused the symptoms you experienced. Vitamin D increases calcium absorption significantly, and calcium causes blood vessel constriction -- it is balanced by magnesium, which promotes blood vessel relaxation. How much calcium, vit D and magnesium are you taking? A further question is whether or not you are effectively absorbing the magnesium you are taking. Many people are unable to convert B6 into its active form -- Pyridoxal-5-Phosphate (P-5-P), which is the form in which it gets magnesium inside cells where it does it work. You may need to take not just magnesium (in amounts at least half as high as the amount of calcium you are getting -- I take about equal amounts of calcium and magnesium) but also P-5-P (25 mg per 250 mg of magnesium) to ensure you are getting that magnesium into your cells.
Vitamin K does not thicken the blood -- Vitamin K1 is used by the body, when needed, to activate the proteins that enable blood to clot so that we do not bleed out and die from even the smallest cut. Vitamin K2 (MK-7 -- the form of vitamin K recommended in Your Bones), is not used to activate these blood clotting proteins; it activates other proteins, specifically, Matrix Gla proteins, which remove calcium from your arteries, breasts, and kidneys where you do not want it! And osteocalcin, which helps deposit calcium in your bones, where you do want it!
If you are on an anti-coagulant medication, such as Warfarin / coumadin, then you should work with your doctor to be sure you are not disturbing your INR when taking vitamin K or even eating leafy greens, which are rich in K1. Warfarin works by blocking the recycling of vitamin K, and people who take it are at greatly increased risk for coronary artery calcification and death from cardiovascular disease. They can use vitamin K, but they must stick to the same amount of the vitamin they are getting from food and supplements, so they do not disturb their INR = international normalized ratio. A high INR predisposes to a high risk of bleeding, while an INR below the therapeutic target indicates that the dose of warfarin is insufficient to protect against blood clot related events. In addition, the MK-7 form of vitamin K2 is taken in such tiny doses -- just 120 micrograms -- that it is HIGHLY unlikely to cause any changes in INR. Please help your physicians get up to date -- refer them to the following review I recently wrote for Longevity Medicine Review on vitamin K2 -- http://www.lmreview.com/articles/view/Vitamin-K2-Essential-for-Prevention-o f-Age-Associated-Chronic-Disease/ This paper is one of the lead articles on the homepage of LMR, which is at www.lmreview.com
The article is written in medical-eeze as my audience for this medical journal is physicians, but you will get the gist of what is explained there. Vit K is VERY important for your health -- do not let uninformed people convince you not to avail yourself of its many protective benefits! I hope this helps, Lara

http://www.inspire.com/groups/national-osteoporosis-foundation/discussion/p art-2-your-bones-by-lara-pizzorno-and-dr-jonathan-v-wright/?page=2#replies

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The studies show K2 is associated with reduced cardiovascular disease and death. I'm sure we'd have heard of it by now if it caused them instead of prevented them.

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Karen, Thank you for your post. I was taking 100 mcg of K-1 everynight and noticed I would be dizzy within a short time after taking.
I have stopped the last few nights and have done much better. I am going to try K -2 in a few days and see if I have the same reaction.
I was only taking three supplements at the time and thought one of them was the cause.

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no clue who Dr Lara is but it appears certain people on certain drugs should not take a lot of Vitamin K. Things like that are often left out unfortunately when blanket advice is given in health books.

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Good read on the subject from the Linus Pauling institute at Oregon State University

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminK/

Large quantities of dietary or supplemental vitamin K can overcome the anticoagulant effect of vitamin K antagonists, so patients taking these drugs are cautioned against consuming very large or highly variable quantities of vitamin K in their diets (see Drug interactions). Experts now advise a reasonably constant dietary intake of vitamin K that meets current dietary recommendations (90-120 mcg/day) for patients on vitamin K antagonists like warfarin (7).

Something that people who are thinking about Vitamin K need to know

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Hi Mom_of_three,

When the search engine doesn't work well and if I had replied to that discussion, I would go to the upper left corner => You

=> Discussions => Replied to

and search for the discussion.

For example, one of the discussions on this subject which you and I both replied to was
"Vit K2-7 Heart Arrhythmias and Palpitations" By nathji • July 22, 2011 at 6:44 am • 169 replies. There were many folks who shared their experiences:

theorchardhouse (aka Sharon) was taking 45 mg of Mk4 per day (i.e. 15 mg 3 times per day) and started having the palpitations. Sharon solved the problem by drastically reduce the dosage, by splitting the 15 mg pill into little piles . . . Sharon said "I can just see the looks on peoples faces when they see my plate of white powder with a razor blade next to it! " ;-)

A reply by stefff: "... taking carlsons 15mg aday of the k2-4. i also take new chapters bone strenghth which has 45mcg of k2-7, along with alage calcium. along with that i take new chapters one a day multivitamin which has 10mcg of k2-7. i have been getting palpatations and my heart races a little bit. i noticed it after adding the 10mcg of k2-7. maybe that extra 10 mcg put me over the top with the k2-7. i'm stopping the 10mcg to see if if feel better, because i felt fine before i started taking the extra 10 mcg about 2 weeks ago."

idie replied "I want to thank everyone for this invaluable information on Vitamin K. I have also experienced heart palpitations taking 100 mcg of K7. "

Hope this helps,

<3 Sylvia ***********************

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Thanks for the tips. I wonder if Sharon had the right K2 as her dosage was the same as what the Japanese recommended. Maybe Asian woman handle it differently.

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Drizzit,

Dr. Lara didn't leave it out. She covers blood thinners pretty well. You can stay on K so long as it's not high enough to disturb your INR.

"If you are on an anti-coagulant medication, such as Warfarin / coumadin, then you should work with your doctor to be sure you are not disturbing your INR when taking vitamin K or even eating leafy greens, which are rich in K1. Warfarin works by blocking the recycling of vitamin K, and people who take it are at greatly increased risk for coronary artery calcification and death from cardiovascular disease. They can use vitamin K, but they must stick to the same amount of the vitamin they are getting from food and supplements, so they do not disturb their INR = international normalized ratio. A high INR predisposes to a high risk of bleeding, while an INR below the therapeutic target indicates that the dose of warfarin is insufficient to protect against blood clot related events. In addition, the MK-7 form of vitamin K2 is taken in such tiny doses -- just 120 micrograms -- that it is HIGHLY unlikely to cause any changes in INR. Please help your physicians get up to date

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Please each person view your own situation first with a provider you trust, not only internet articles/forums. Drizzit has pointed out some good information. I understand Dr lara's point of view but to assume those who dont agree with her are wrong or lacking information isnt the whole picture.

(BTW, I do take MK2 and stick myself every day in the abdomen with forteo. Before I started the k2 I had bruises every day where I put a needle in myself. I was someone who bruised easily. Now I NEVER bruise. Obviously k2 affects clotting, along with its other properties.)

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What Drizzle pointed out in NO WAY conflicts with what Dr. Lara said. I just think that Dr Lara explained it in more detail. If you're on blood thinners, get your INR checked.

Please, Don't throw the baby out with he bathwater just because of anecdotes on the Internet.

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The danger of OTC supplementation is that, unlike Rx dispensed at the pharmacy, chronic oversupplementation is a real danger. Further, unlike pharmacies, which are now electronically linked and know what you are taking and can check for potential adverse reactions between medications, no such mechanism exists for OTC supplements bought and sold in health food stores, the supplement aisle at the local grocery store, and internet stores.

More of a supplement is not always better, and more often it is worse that not taking it at all. Our bodies evolved to work quite well with a normal omnivore diet, long before we could buy highly refined MK4 at the local apothacary or even knew about atoms and molecules and blood clotting processes. Eating well is a far better mechanism than pharmaceuticals and supplementation, since you have to eat anyway. Why waste your money on expensive supplements and then no money to afford a good salmon filet or sirloin?

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I agree with everything you said except for "wikipedia," While a handy tool, it is not considered a terribly reliable source since virtually anyone can post the answers who thinks they have the knowledge. In fact, many colleges will not accept a citation from wikipedia as a valid source of information. I know that really limits where you can get information, but always "consider the source."

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I once said this about citing wiki but was mocked here so refrained ever to say it again. But am glad you did. Wiki is a nice place to quick search some stuff as said, but for scientific and medical things and one's health practices, it is best to go professional journals, many of which are now online. Try a medline search too.

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