Foods/Supplements-Vitamins: Vitamin K

[1] Introduction.

The vitamin K family (name is from the German: Koagulationsvitamin) consists of vitamins that are needed for blood coagulation. Vitamin K is also involved in calcium transport to bone. (Vitamin K modifies certain proteins in a way that allows calcium to bind to them.)

- Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone, phytomenadione, or phytonadione) – from plants (leafy greens). Has a very short half-life in the body.

- Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) – from animal sources.

- MK-1

- MK-2

- MK-3

- MK-4 menatetrenone – can be synthesized in the body from K1. Short half-life.

- MK-5

- MK-6

- MK-7 cannot be produced by the body, except that e coli in the colon can contribute a minimal amount (from K1). Has a long half-life. This is the important one, IMO.

- MK-8

- MK-9

- three synthetic forms of vitamin K are vitamins K3 (Menadione), K4 (a synthetic hydrophilic menadione compound, clinically used for hemostasis), and K5,.

[2] Vitamin K1 & K2.

The Heidelberg cohort of EPIC (the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition):

[2a] (2008 – Germany)

“We evaluated the association between dietary intake of phylloquinone (vitamin K1) and menaquinones (vitamin K2) and total and advanced prostate cancer”

“During a mean follow-up time of 8.6 years, 268 incident cases of prostate cancer, including 113 advanced cases, were identified. We observed a nonsignificant inverse association between total prostate cancer and total menaquinone intake [multivariate relative risk (highest compared with lowest quartile): 0.65 ...

“The association was stronger for advanced prostate cancer (0.37 …).

“Menaquinones from dairy products had a stronger inverse association with advanced prostate cancer than did menaquinones from meat.”

“Phylloquinone intake was unrelated to prostate cancer incidence”

Note: “The subgroups of menaquinones differed with respect to food sources. Whereas the main food source of MK-4 (median intake 14.4 μg/d) was meat or meat products (37% of total intake), higher menaquinones MK-5–9 (median intake: 18.0 μg/d) were almost exclusively (85% of total intake) derived from dairy products.”

i.e. for PCa protection MK-7 is the significant component.

[2b] (2009 – Germany)

Vitamin K has a role in carboxylation. Of interest in this study was osteocalcin. With adequate vitamin K, osteocalcin becomes carboxylated & calcium can be transported to bone. When osteocalcin is undercarboxylated, calcium is deposited on arterial walls.

Hence, serum undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC) is a biomarker of poor vitamin K intake. The test they used was actually, ucOC / intact total osteocalcin (iOC).

As expected: “Serum ucOC/iOC ratio was positively associated with advanced-stage (OR per 0.1 increment, 1.38 …) and high-grade prostate cancer (OR, 1.21 …) but not with total prostate cancer.”

This is quite important, I feel. The significance of vitamin K appears in advanced-stage PCa rates.

[2c] (2010 – Germany) (broader scope than just PCa)

“During a median follow-up time of >10 years, 1,755 incident cancer cases occurred, of which 458 were fatal. Dietary intake of menaquinones was nonsignificantly inversely associated with overall cancer incidence (HR for the highest compared with the lowest quartile: 0.86 …),

“and the association was stronger for cancer mortality (HR: 0.72 …).

“Cancer risk reduction with increasing intake of menaquinones was more pronounced in men than in women, mainly driven by significant inverse associations with prostate … and lung … cancer.

“We found no association with phylloquinone intake.”

[3] Vitamin K3 (menadione, menaphthone)

Vitamin K3 is technically not a vitamin, since it cannot be found in food, but is a provitamin, since the body can convert it to vitamin K2.

“In the United States, menadione supplements are banned by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration because of their potential toxicity in human use.” [3a]

Vitamin K3 has been explored, in combination with vitamin C (1:100 ratio), in PCa & other studies. Along the way, the combination was patented & given a name: Apatone.

The FDA site lists Apatone as an orphan drug approved for “Treatment of metastatic or locally advanced inoperable transitional cell carcinoma of the urothelium (stage III and IV bladder cancer)”.

There are only two components: sodium ascorbate & menadione sodium bisulfite.

I haven’t been able to find a good account of the product, but it is described as “a combination of vitamin C and vitamin K3 liquid crystals”

“Most anti-tumor drugs target dividing cells; Apatone targets inflammation,” said James Jamison, Ph.D., director of Summa’s Apatone Research Center and the research scientist leading the development of the compound. The nature of Apatone mimics a naturally occurring sugar, allowing Apatone to penetrate cells and interact with ease.” [3b]

“The late Henryk Taper, Ph.D., a researcher at the Catholic University of Leuven in Brussels, Belgium, began research on the role of reactivation of nucleuses in cancer remission in 1967, which led to the description of the vitamin C and K3 combination as an antitumor agent in his doctoral dissertation in 1975.

“Over the course of nearly 20 years, Jamison, in partnership with Taper and Summa researchers Jack Summers, M.D., Ph.D., former chair of the department of urology, now retired; and Jacques Gilloteaux, D.Sc., now a professor of anatomy and cell biology at St. George’s University School of Medicine, United Kingdom, continued to develop the vitamin combination until it became known as Apatone in 2005. ”

““It primes tumor cells to be killed by chemotherapy and radiation,” Jamison said.

“The basis for this is that Apatone resembles glucose, the primary source of energy for tumor cell activity. Rapidly dividing tumor cells rely heavily on glucose for fuel and are full of channels that are fooled into ingesting Apatone.

Once inside cancer cells, Apatone induces oxidative stress, which is a disturbance in the pro-oxidant— antioxidant balance. The process weakens tumor cells, breaking down their defenses and eventually leading to their death. Normal, healthy cells remain intact. The only side effect noted in clinical research has been GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease.”

It’s odd that there would be any PCa studies, since PCa does not preferentially use glucose for energy.

Odder still is ProsStay, a Jonathan Wright (Life Enhancement) product. It seems to be a blatant rip-off of the patented ratio - & contains K3, which the FDA has supposedly banned for otc use in the U.S. [3c]

[3d] (1996 – U.S. – Jamison & Summers) The first PCa study.

“… increased oxidative stress, subsequent membrane damage, and DNA fragmentation were responsible for enhanced cytotoxicity of the vitamin combination.”

[3e] (2008 – U.S.) Twelve years later(!) – the second PCa study.

“A 12 Week, Open Label, Phase I/IIa Study Using Apatone®”

“At the conclusion of the 12 week treatment period, {PSA velocity} decreased and { PSA doubling time} increased in 13 of 17 patients”

[4] Vitamin K4.

“The goal of this study was to investigate the inhibitory effect of VK4 on human prostate PC-3 cells and the mechanisms involved. We found that VK4 dose-dependently inhibited cell proliferation in PC-3 cells with an IC50 value of about 20.94 microM. Hoechst 33258 Staining results showed that VK4 caused DNA fragmentation in PC-3 cells. PI staining results indicated that VK4-induced PC-3 cell cycle arrest at the S phase. Further mechanistic studies revealed that VK4-mediated induction of apoptosis in PC-3 cell is associated with disruption of mitochondrial membrane potential, down-regulation of Bcl-2, and up-regulation of Bax, release of cytochrome c from mitochondria, and activation of caspase-3 and PARR.”

[5] Vitamin K antagonists [VKA]s. Includes:

•Coumarins: Acenocoumarol.

•Coumatetralyl.

•Dicoumarol.

•Ethyl biscoumacetate.

•Phenprocoumon.

•Warfarin

•1,3-Indandiones: Clorindione.

Diphenadione.

Good news & bad regarding Warfarin, etc. The good news is that in men who are unaware that dysfunctional coagulation is associated with metastasis, the risk is lessened while on Warfarin.

The bad news is that bones become weaker & arteries become calcified. And, we know from the Heidelberg cohort that undercarboxylated osteocalcin increases the risk of advanced PCa.

It’s hard to make sense of the studies. While a man may be on Warfarin long before a PCa diagnosis, a DVT is considered reason to have a PSA test, since the DVT may be due to undiagnosed cancer. For men with PCa, there is increased risk for clotting events & no prophylactic option – except Nattokinase, which is unrecognized by doctors.

[5a] (2011 – Italy)

“Whether long-term use of vitamin K antagonists (VKAs) might affect the incidence of cancer is a longstanding hypothesis. We conducted a population-based study including all cancer- and thromboembolism-free patients of our health area; study groups were defined according to chronic anticoagulant use to VKA-exposed and control groups. Cancer incidence and cancer-related and overall mortality was assessed in both groups. 76,008 patients (3,231 VKA-exposed and 72,777 control subjects) were followed-up for 8.2 (± 3.2) years. After adjusting for age, sex, and time-to-event, the hazard ratio of newly diagnosed cancer in the exposed group was 0.88 ... VKA-exposed patients were less likely to develop prostate cancer, 0.69 ... The adjusted hazard ratio for cancer-related and overall mortality was 1.07 ... and 1.12 .., respectively. These results support the hypothesis that anticoagulation might have a protective effect on cancer development, especially prostate cancer.”

I can’t think of a reasonable explanation why prior VKA use would reduce PCa rates, unless what is happening is that detection rates are being lowered. This would happen if PSA screening isn’t widespread (the population was Italian), since many cases would only be detected when metastatic & VKAs would inhibit metastasis.

[5b] (2013 – Denmark)

“We used data from four Danish nationwide registers. Cases were all Danish individuals with a first-time cancer diagnosis (except nonmelanoma skin cancer) between 2000 and 2009. For each case, eight controls, matched by birth year and gender, were selected from the source population by risk-set sampling.

"Long-term VKA use was defined as exposure to VKA for a period of 3 or more years." Conditional logistic regression was used to compute odds ratios (ORs) for cancer associated with long-term VKA exposure, adjusting for potential confounders."

"A total of 238,196 cases and 1,713,176 controls were included. The adjusted OR for cancer associated with long-term VKA exposure was 0.99 ...

"Long-term VKA use was associated with increased ORs for alcohol- or obesity-related cancer sites, whereas we observed a decreased risk of prostate cancer (OR: 0.86 …).

"Our study does not support a general chemopreventive effect of VKA drugs. However, in accordance with findings from previous studies, we found an inverse association between use of VKA and prostate cancer.”

-Patrick

[1] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitam...

[2a] ajcn.nutrition.org/content/...

[2b] cebp.aacrjournals.org/conte...

[2c] ajcn.nutrition.org/content/...

[3a] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Menad...

[3b] ic-medtech.com/media/SUMMA_...

[3c] iherb.com/life-enhancement-...

[3d] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/900...

[3e] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articl...

[4] ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/238...

[5a] bloodjournal.org/content/11...

[5b] onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi...

9 Replies

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  • Patrick/everyone-----I take the Super Vitamin K with Vitamin K2 Complex product from Vitacost.com. It was originally a Life Extension Formulation. I take Nattokinase, and have been doing such for 12 years. I weaned off Warfarin with nattokinase 12 years ago. Also I suggest you study/research Serrapeptase. It provides some of the exact same actions on fibrin in the arterial system---Yet new information published recently is that Serrapeptase will in vivo, dissolve the outer membrane of the Prostate Cancer Cell. Research has shown the cancer cell to be of a fibrous nature--and serrapeptase is the enzyme in the cocoon of butterflies and moths that dissolves the cocoon shell material to set the insect free. So in vivo, cancer cell death is observed, as T cells have a way to get in. Add Natto and Pancreatin and you have a powerful 3 prong enzyme attack.

    So in conclusion--Use the K complex, if not on Warfarin or similar drugs--and if you want to get off the blood thinners, you can use a wean off program, through the addition of Natto and Serra, which will allow you to then later add the K's to support bone health by the action of K2 transporting Calcium to the bone, while K1 causes ocosis to Cancer cells, when in contact. And at the same time you have added an enzyme that not only eats up fibrin in the blood but appears to eat the outer membrane of the cancer cell, which appears to be of a fibrous nature in the blood. Will probably not work for solid tumors---but if your Metastases has not landed somewhere--there is a chance to interfere with a landing by using Natto and especially Serra, while protecting your body/arterial system from forming unwanted clots--yet if you cut yourself, you will scab over/heal because you are loaded up with Vitamin K.

    As an add on --if you were taking Warfarin--or other drugs---you might be taking because you are an A-Fib patient or a heart attack patient, with serious plaques---that may cause you to want to find a way to protect your heart--with another protocol. Of which either Patrick or myself can suggest.

    Nalakrats

  • Nalakrats, I am one of those A-Fib patients that you mentioned in your recent post. I had been on Warfarin until recently but I had a couple of bad episodes and the first Doctor suggested a heart ablation to correct the irregular electrical signals. A second doctor also an electrical-physiologist, suggested a strong medicine first along with a change from Warfarin to Eliquist, a newer-type drug that doesn't have an interaction with the consumption of Vit K. I am therefore re-starting the Vit K's pills from Life Extension, probably the same as the ones you are taking, but more expensive, I'll switch later when my supply runs out. So, what is the new protocol that you make reference to?

    jal

  • Hi jal,

    I did research for my wife's A-Fib some years ago. She was on a drug that wasn't working, even at twice the dose.

    The "cure" I came across was 2g Taurine + 1g Arginine on an empty stomach 3 times daily.

    Worked immediately. Within a couple of months she was on a maintenance dose of once, first thing in the morning. That was close to ten years ago.

    Nalakrats figured it out for himself. Similar result. Worth a try.

    -Patrick

  • middlejoel---If you have stopped the Warfarin--and going on to the Super Vitamin K complex[What I use from Vitacost.com]--and I believe but not 100% sure that Life Extension is now owned by Vitacost, and the products are the same--you will need to get 1000mg capsules of Taurine and L-Arginine[2 amino acids] and immediately start taking 1000 mg of each. Before breakfast and before sleep on an empty stomach--if you work out or run/walk during the day also before doing so take 1000mg of each.

    To protect you from clotting/stroking from an A-fib attack you will need to get 2000iu of Nattokinase--take 2 in the morning on an empty stomach and one before bed on an empty stomach. You can get the products online at Vitacost.com. For the Nattokinase get the Drs. Best product--and for the others the Vitacost label will do--I think their L-arginine comes as 1800mg for 2 capsules--or 900 for one, that will do nicely.

    If you are using an A-fib medication like Metoprolol--carry them with you and use as a rescue agent--if you go into A-fib--until the natural products reach full potency which can take weeks. You can cut A-Fib medicine in half for a couple of weeks before stopping--if you are taking--which you did not mention. Yeah they wanted to ablate my heart also about 5 years ago---sure fooled them--not one attack since. And I was bad--having attacks for 6 years, and on all those medications

    As an aside if you still have function---take 2700/3000 mg of L-arginine about 45 minutes before sex--we call this poor mans Viagra.

    Any other ?s--hit me up. I am not a Doctor--so you will be doing at your own risk. I have not seen your EKG---so I have no idea how intense your graph lines are at the sinus points.

    Nalakrats

  • Well Nalakrats, as I mentioned earlier, I just switched from Warfarin to Eliquis and added a new anti-arrhythmia drug, the doctor wants to go with that protocol for 2 weeks then I am going to be fitted with a 2 week 24-hour monitor and then after that he will evaluate the progress. If at that time, I remain the same, I will consider the protocol you have shared. My A-Fib is complicated because I have low blood pressure and heart rate and many of the available drugs cannot be used because they lower those values. My EKG tends to excite the docs because, if they catch it at the right time, they go up and down like yoyo and at times shows the heart stopping.

    Thanks so much for your suggestions, much of what you and Patrick write is over my head. I have been battling PCa for 10+ years, first through Active Surveillance and the last three by way of Hormone treatment. Sex is something that I enjoyed up to 3 years ago, can't say that I have any use for it now in that I have no desire due to the low Testosterone and also because my wife of 53 years has advanced Alzeimers.

  • Middlejoel---sorry to hear about your wife. Do not mean to be over anyone's head. I agree with your assessment--regarding natural low BP and Heart Rate. The protocol I outlined will drop your BP, and might drop your heart rate further. Lets talk after your new drug program and monitoring. Regards

    Nalakrats

  • Nalakrats, thank tou so much for your generous offer, I will follow up in about 5 weeks.

    jal

  • OK Nalakrats and Patrick, just back from meeting with the cardiologist today. I don't have the complete results of the 2-week ecg monitor but I have a copy of an Urgent Message sent to the cardiologist during the testing from the firm doing the monitoring that shows the ups and downs of the irregular heart rhythms and rates. The range goes from 66 bpm to 154 bpm in 30 seconds. Assuming that this is the worst reading in the 2 weeks, it might show that my A-Fib is perhaps moderate. I have now stopped the medicine (Amiodarone). I take blood pressure readings regularly and they are generally in the 110--125 over 55-60, the heart rate is usually 55-60. The cardiologist is OK with this as long as I don't have significant episodes and with continual monitoring.

    Considering the above, do you feel that it would be wise to supplement with Taurine and Arginine? I also saw my oncologist today and the results of last week's Pet/Ct scans indicate that the 4 small bone mets remain stable but the new scans have identified several enlarged lymph nodes suspected of metastatic disease. I have been on a 12 month holiday from hormonal treatment other than Avodart and Metformin but I will start a second round of estrogen patches shortly, my PSA has risen to 2.75 from a low of 0.08 a year ago.

    Thanks for you advise,

    jal

  • I am dealing with A-fib too. Was on a drug that wasn't effective. Got put on propafenone which is great for a-fib, but which caused flutter. Got a flutter ablation which allowed me to tolerate the propafenone. Pretty much good to go ... except now dealing with PCa. I take some supplements including CoQ10.

    I see an interesting post from Patrick below.