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Vitamin K2: MK-4 versus MK-7


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#1 katzenjammer

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 06:42 PM


Hi all,

Anyone here take Vit K2? I was hoping all the great minds of Imminst forum might weigh in on this. :~

There seem to be two forms of vitamin K2 available as supplements, Vitamin K2 as Menaquinone-7, (MK-7) and as Menaquinone-4 (Mk-4). There are significant differences between these two forms of vitamin K2.

(The vitamin K in plants is K1, also called phylloquinone. K1 is required for proper blood clotting. It's particularly rich in greens. It's made into K2 MK-4 by some animals, but humans seem to be bad at making the conversion.)

Some argue that MK-7 (made from natto) is more bioavailable, and has the longest serum half life; that MK-7 is superior because it stays in bloodstream 20 times longer (100h vs 5h) - which in itself has a whole host of advantages. See: http://www.menaq7.co...dex.php?s=Links

Others argue that the longer serum half life of MK-7 may be of dubious advantage. Is it positive or negative? If it stays longer in the blood stream perhaps because it is not being readily absorbed by bone and other tissue then is is not so good (thus MK-4 should be better). If on the other hand MK-4 stays so short because it is getting destroyed too quickly then MK-7 should be more benefitial in smaller doses!

So others argue that MK-4 (found mostly in animal fats/butter and in specialized supplements derived from animal fat) is far superior. See this blog: http://wholehealthso...vitamin-k2.html

He concludes:

K2 can be produced by bacterial fermentation, but an argument can be made that K2 MK-4, the animal form, is the most natural for humans and the most effective.

MK-4 is the type that mammals synthesize for themselves, whereas the MK-7 in natto and other bacterial menaquinones are different.

The form of K2 that Weston Price described in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration was almost certainly MK-4.


An interesting study he cites:

1: J Vasc Res. 2003 Nov-Dec;40(6):531-7. Epub 2003 Dec 3. Links
Tissue-specific utilization of menaquinone-4 results in the prevention of arterial calcification in warfarin-treated rats.

Spronk HM, Soute BA, Schurgers LJ, Thijssen HH, De Mey JG, Vermeer C.
Department of Biochemistry, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands. henri.spronk@bioch.unimaas.nl
The effects of vitamin K (phylloquinone: K1 and menaquinone-4: MK-4) on vascular calcification and their utilization in the arterial vessel wall were compared in the warfarin-treated rat model for arterial calcification. Warfarin-treated rats were fed diets containing K1, MK-4, or both. Both K1 and MK-4 are cofactors for the endoplasmic reticulum enzyme gamma-glutamyl carboxylase but have a structurally different aliphatic side chain. Despite their similar in vitro cofactor activity we show that MK-4 and not K1 inhibits warfarin-induced arterial calcification. The total hepatic K1 accumulation was threefold higher than that of MK-4, whereas aortic MK-4 was three times that of K1. The utilization of K1 and MK-4 in various tissues was estimated by calculating the ratios between accumulated quinone and epoxide species. K1 and MK-4 were both equally utilized in the liver, but the aorta showed a more efficient utilization of MK-4. Therefore, the observed differences between K1 and MK-4 with respect to inhibition of arterial calcification may be explained by both differences in their tissue bioavailability and cofactor utilization in the reductase/carboxylase reaction. An alternative explanation may come from an as yet hypothetical function of the geranylgeranyl side chain of MK-4, which is a structural analogue of geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate and could interfere with a critical step in the mevalonate pathway. Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

http://www.ncbi.nlm....pubmed/14654717


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#2 piet3r

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 10:17 AM

In my opinion part of the reason that it is interesting to cite that particular study is the following:

One of the authors is Schurgers LJ. A journalist friend of mine has interviewed him a few months ago, and I had asked him specifically if he could ask whether there was a difference between MK-4 and MK-7 in terms of benefit. He said that what mattered most was the complete activation of GLA and not the form. He is also the one doing most of the work on the menaq7 site if I am not mistaken.


I am tempted to stick with MK-4 if it is for the whole animal and conversion basis.. yet the terrible high price and high amounts that need to be taken got me to stick with MK-7. Jarrow has a great version of 90mcg per softgel. Now FINALLY life extension has woken up and updated their vitamin K complex formula (which was poorly formulated at best). This means it's now 100mcg of MK-7 per softgel, 1mg of K1 and 1mg of MK-4. That in my opinion is pretty good, even though there's no scientific basis for very low intakes of MK-4 having any possible effect... So it's more marketing than effectiveness there. That said, I care about getting the high MK-7 intake, and some K1, just to make sure it's clotting properly. They said that for optimal clotting you would want to get 100-150mcg of MK-7. This ensures that. Fortunately it's no longer the insane 10mg K-1 dose that could cause problems with selenium/glutathione (this info I got from Krillin, so ask him if you would like more info about it).
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#3 katzenjammer

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 06:40 PM

In my opinion part of the reason that it is interesting to cite that particular study is the following:

One of the authors is Schurgers LJ. A journalist friend of mine has interviewed him a few months ago, and I had asked him specifically if he could ask whether there was a difference between MK-4 and MK-7 in terms of benefit. He said that what mattered most was the complete activation of GLA and not the form. He is also the one doing most of the work on the menaq7 site if I am not mistaken.


I am tempted to stick with MK-4 if it is for the whole animal and conversion basis.. yet the terrible high price and high amounts that need to be taken got me to stick with MK-7. Jarrow has a great version of 90mcg per softgel. Now FINALLY life extension has woken up and updated their vitamin K complex formula (which was poorly formulated at best). This means it's now 100mcg of MK-7 per softgel, 1mg of K1 and 1mg of MK-4. That in my opinion is pretty good, even though there's no scientific basis for very low intakes of MK-4 having any possible effect... So it's more marketing than effectiveness there. That said, I care about getting the high MK-7 intake, and some K1, just to make sure it's clotting properly. They said that for optimal clotting you would want to get 100-150mcg of MK-7. This ensures that. Fortunately it's no longer the insane 10mg K-1 dose that could cause problems with selenium/glutathione (this info I got from Krillin, so ask him if you would like more info about it).


I've been taking the Jarrow MK-7.

That's an interesting idea on LEF's part to include both - but you're right the MK-4 in that is way too low. Maybe I'll just buy some MK-4 to complement Jarrow's MK-7.

With 90mcg/day of MK-7, what would be the optimal amount of MK-7 I should ideally take?
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#4 piet3r

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 09:53 PM

I would say the optimal amount for me is between 90-200mcg of MK-7. And 45MG of MK-4. And no more than 1-2MG of K1.

This is for me. There's no way that I can know for certain what your needs are. Also, most research on MK-7 is on low doses (20-45mcg). Though there was one that had something like 2450mcg per week, and divided by 7 would equal 350mcg a day. Can't remember the exact details, was long ago, too lazy to look, but it would do you good to research all the vit K stuff like I did a while back.

Edited by piet3r, 10 November 2008 - 09:57 PM.

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#5 katzenjammer

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 10:09 PM

I would say the optimal amount for me is between 90-200mcg of MK-7. And 45MG of MK-4. And no more than 1-2MG of K1.

This is for me. There's no way that I can know for certain what your needs are. Also, most research on MK-7 is on low doses (20-45mcg). Though there was one that had something like 2450mcg per week, and divided by 7 would equal 350mcg a day. Can't remember the exact details, was long ago, too lazy to look, but it would do you good to research all the vit K stuff like I did a while back.


Thanks!

With all my leafy greens and BerryGreen drinks, I'm probably getting plenty of K1.

I guess I was thinking there was some sort of "ratio" for MK-7 : MK-4.

I'll hit pubmed and see what I come up with.

Please do share anything you come across!

Cheers,

~katz
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#6 DukeNukem

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Posted 11 November 2008 - 12:40 AM

I take 15mg (not mcg) of MK-4, this brand, one per day:
http://supplements.r...et=products.asp
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#7 mustardseed41

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 10:21 PM

The January 2009 issue of life extension magazine (not online yet) has vitamin K as it's main theme on the cover.
They now sell a product called Super K http://www.lef.org/V...K2-Complex.html
Kinda pricey for my blood at the moment. VitaCost has it for a good price. Twice the number of softgels.
http://www.vitacost....cg-180-Softgels

Edited by mustardseed41, 09 December 2008 - 10:26 PM.

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#8 pycnogenol

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Posted 09 December 2008 - 11:39 PM

The January 2009 issue of life extension magazine (not online yet) has vitamin K as it's main theme on the cover.
They now sell a product called Super K http://www.lef.org/V...K2-Complex.html
Kinda pricey for my blood at the moment.


That is not a bad price and besides vitamin K has a fairly long half-life in the body so you could probably get away with taking it only 2-3 times per week instead of every day.

Edited by pycnogenol, 09 December 2008 - 11:40 PM.

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#9 FunkOdyssey

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 05:03 AM

I take Jarrow MK-7, one 90mcg capsule daily, along with the meager amount of MK-4 in Ortho-Core.
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#10 katzenjammer

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 02:15 PM

I take 15mg (not mcg) of MK-4, this brand, one per day:
http://supplements.r...et=products.asp


That looks like good stuff. So, ideally, if one can afford it, perhaps taking the Relentless product (15 mg of MK-4) along with Jarrow (90 mcg of MK-7) might be the way to go?
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#11 pycnogenol

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Posted 10 December 2008 - 04:19 PM

I take Jarrow MK-7, one 90mcg capsule daily, along with the meager amount of MK-4 in Ortho-Core.


I also take Jarrow MK-7, but only on Monday evenings after dinner and Friday mornings after breakfast.
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#12 stephen_b

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Posted 11 December 2008 - 03:08 AM

From this site which supports MK-7,

Posted Image

The chart doesn't of course prove which is better, only that they have quite different profiles. They call MK-4 a synthetic. I would think that care should be taken with a supplement that stays in your bloodstream for so long.

MK-7 is found in fermented soybeans, which the Japanese call Natto. Wikipedia says that there are "870 micrograms [of K2] per 100 grams of natto". Compare this to the 90 mcg of k2 mk-7 in a Jarrow softgel, that would be 10x more. Wait, there are only 18 grams of natto in a natto roll, so we're at 150 mcg, or two Jarrow softgels.

Now I'm getting hungry for a natto roll (yes, I tried it and I liked it right away -- I don't see what all the fuss is about it being an acquired taste).

Stephen

Edited by stephen_b, 11 December 2008 - 03:09 AM.

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#13 Super K

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Posted 23 December 2008 - 05:04 AM

I'm thinking of trying out Mk-4

I read the arguments offered by the menaq7 site and I'm not very convinced, for some reason.

In particular, I didn't like these answers.

  • Vitamin K2 MK-4 is the truly natural form of Vitamin K-2. It is the form your body uses.
Not true: All forms of vitamin K are used by the body: K-1, and all K-2 vitamins. Moreover, the definition of a vitamin is that it needs to be taken by the food because the body cannot produce it. The MK-4 we receive is via the food (at least with the present knowledge we have, nobody knows what the contribution is of the converted MK-4 out of K-1), and this is via the food products meat and eggs. The chickens and cows receive the highly toxic vitamin K3 (menadion, not allowed for human consumption.) and they convert MK-4 out of this K3. It accumulates in the meat and in the eggs, and this is the food source of MK-4. As mentioned above, the low range intake of MK-4 has never been investigated, and the contribution to the vitamin K status is rather questionable.



Further, the only supplemental form of MK-4 is the synthetic Menatetrenone. Menatetrenone at high doses poses a risk for the general population because any form of supplemental vitamin K daily at a dose over 100-150mcg will impact those using the common K-antagonist blood thinning medications, including coumarin / warfarin. Rather, menaquinone-7 at 45mcg daily is recommended to optimally activate vitamin K dependent proteins at levels well below this threshold.

  • MK-4 benefits bone strength and protects against cardiovascular calcification
Yes, this is correct, but only is true for the high doses: 45 mg in humans, or very high doses in animals. No physiological dose of MK-4 has demonstrated a beneficial effect on bone health or cardiovascular health whereas this has been shown for MK-7: the Rotterdam study was mainly based on 45mcg of the long-chain MKs (MK-7, 8, 9) and also the beneficial effect of natto (= MK-7) on bone health has been accepted.


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#14 piet3r

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Posted 25 December 2008 - 08:49 PM

Some extra info:

http://www.westonapr...vitamin-k2.html
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#15 stephen_b

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 07:54 PM

Here's a whole health source blog posting on vitamin K.

StephenB
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#16 piet3r

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 08:05 PM

Newer update:

Jan 2009. Btw, happy new year to all who read my message:

http://www.lef.org/m...er-Aging_01.htm

http://www.lef.org/m...er-Aging_02.htm

http://www.lef.org/m...er-Aging_03.htm

Edited by piet3r, 01 January 2009 - 08:05 PM.

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#17 katzenjammer

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:13 PM

I'm taking three MK-4 capsules per day (15 mg. each) and one MK-7 (90 Mcg) - anyone know whether it's better to spread them out; or take them all together?
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#18 Super K

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:35 PM

I'm taking three MK-4 capsules per day (15 mg. each) and one MK-7 (90 Mcg) - anyone know whether it's better to spread them out; or take them all together?


I just recently switched to taking 10mg MK-4 at night. I no longer get the sinus pressure or headaches.
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#19 katzenjammer

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:42 PM

I'm taking three MK-4 capsules per day (15 mg. each) and one MK-7 (90 Mcg) - anyone know whether it's better to spread them out; or take them all together?


I just recently switched to taking 10mg MK-4 at night. I no longer get the sinus pressure or headaches.


What do you attribute this to? Taking less? or something about taking it at night???
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#20 Super K

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 09:51 PM

I'm taking three MK-4 capsules per day (15 mg. each) and one MK-7 (90 Mcg) - anyone know whether it's better to spread them out; or take them all together?


I just recently switched to taking 10mg MK-4 at night. I no longer get the sinus pressure or headaches.


What do you attribute this to? Taking less? or something about taking it at night???


I've always been taking 10mg.
I suspect it's probably because I take it at night.
I wonder if spreading it out would help too.
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#21 nameless

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 10:08 PM

I just recently switched to taking 10mg MK-4 at night. I no longer get the sinus pressure or headaches.

I suspect it's probably because I take it at night.
I wonder if spreading it out would help too.

Why would MK-4 reduce sinus pressure? I can see it helping with bone problems/arthritis, if taken for a long enough time, or even cardiovascular issues. But what does it have to do with sinuses? Is there some odd sinus/allergy benefit from vitamin K?
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#22 Super K

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Posted 09 February 2009 - 10:14 PM

I just recently switched to taking 10mg MK-4 at night. I no longer get the sinus pressure or headaches.

I suspect it's probably because I take it at night.
I wonder if spreading it out would help too.

Why would MK-4 reduce sinus pressure? I can see it helping with bone problems/arthritis, if taken for a long enough time, or even cardiovascular issues. But what does it have to do with sinuses? Is there some odd sinus/allergy benefit from vitamin K?


Ok, I guess that was a little out of context.

I take 10mg MK-4 everyday.
I had some sinus pressure and mild headches from it.
It's like a niacin flush, but about perhaps 3 or 4 hrs or so after I take the MK-4.
I have no explanation as to why that would happen.

Taking it at night seems to help, without affecting my sleep.

Edited by rwac, 09 February 2009 - 10:15 PM.

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#23 Dmitri

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 03:30 AM

I take source naturals Vitamin K2 (100 mcg w/400 IU D3 and 100mg Bacillus subtilis Natto Extract), but it's from soy so I only take it twice a week. After I finish it I don't plan to take anymore; I don't want to end up having any problems with my hormones or thyroid.
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#24 chrisp2

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 04:16 AM

I take 15mg (not mcg) of MK-4, this brand, one per day:
http://supplements.r...et=products.asp


Anything fishy in this CoA?

http://relentlessimp...etrenonecoa.pdf
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#25 mikeinnaples

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 04:16 AM

I take source naturals Vitamin K2 (100 mcg w/400 IU D3 and 100mg Bacillus subtilis Natto Extract), but it's from soy so I only take it twice a week. After I finish it I don't plan to take anymore; I don't want to end up having any problems with my hormones or thyroid.



How much of the fear associated with soy is real? I've been using soy protein for a couple of years and I don't have thyroid problems or man boobs.
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#26 FunkOdyssey

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Posted 10 February 2009 - 04:20 AM

I take source naturals Vitamin K2 (100 mcg w/400 IU D3 and 100mg Bacillus subtilis Natto Extract), but it's from soy so I only take it twice a week. After I finish it I don't plan to take anymore; I don't want to end up having any problems with my hormones or thyroid.



How much of the fear associated with soy is real? I've been using soy protein for a couple of years and I don't have thyroid problems or man boobs.


Studies have shown that roughly 7-13% of the fear associated with soy is real. In the particular scenario above, fear that the soy content of the source naturals K2 supplement could cause thyroid or hormonal problems is 0% real.
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#27 stephen_b

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 09:17 AM

I wonder what the deal is with Ortho-core. They list 120 mcg of "Menatetrenone (MK-4)" as an ingredient.

StephenB
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#28 piet3r

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 10:35 AM

"I wonder what the deal is with Ortho-core. They list 120 mcg of "Menatetrenone (MK-4)" as an ingredient.

StephenB"


In my opinion that's useless. Most work on MK-4 shows studies using at least 45MG and the lowest use 15MG. One that I know of used 90MG.
MK-4 just has terrible absorption so taking less than 15MG simply ain't worth it. AOR should either use a real dosage or replace it with MK-7 at that same dosage.
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#29 stephen_b

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 06:09 PM

I agree. I suppose it may have been a typo and they meant mk-7. I have an email out to them.

...

And they replied: "The amount is 120mcg because this is the maximum amount of vitamin K allowed by Health Canada".

<soapbox>I wonder which enlightened Canadian bureaucrat came up with that decree.</soapbox>

StephenB
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#30 piet3r

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 10:07 PM

And they replied: "The amount is 120mcg because this is the maximum amount of vitamin K allowed by Health Canada".

<soapbox>I wonder which enlightened Canadian bureaucrat came up with that decree.</soapbox>


KILL.


I spoke to AOR a while ago, and they told me that they used to have 3mg boron in the products, but that now it is not allowed anymore... Must be because it helps against arthritis, and pharma needs more money, always more. Notice now u got 700mcg of boron in the multi basics.... USELESS.
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