Vitamin K2: I have just started taking calcium... - Bone Health

Bone Health
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Vitamin K2

I have just started taking calcium and Vitamin D supplements for osteoporosis and understand that Vitamin K2 may be beneficial too.....but which version? Mk4 or Mk7?

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Here is a useful website outlining K2. There are a couple of books on the subject, too, the most complete likely Kate Rheaume-Bleue "Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox"

authoritynutrition.com/vita...

Just found this

vitamink2.org/k2-dose-findi...

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It's looking like the Mk4 version is most useful for bones judging by the Japanese research, but needs to be taken more than once a day because it has a half life of three and a half hours unlike Mk7 which is more like three days....if what I've been reading is correct. Hard to find a large enough dose in the UK too.

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I think I read somewhere that mk4 is the usual form of K2 found in foods that contain it. Except natto contains mk7. I just take two capsules (morning and evening) of my mk7 supplement. Nothing to stop you from taking more of your supplement, too! And I have a theory (no idea why this has popped into my head) that consuming fermented foods like brie, sauerkraut and related foods, kefir etc., might help the body make its own K2 from the K1 we get from leafy greens. Prior to agriculture and civilization humans must have been able to synthesize our own K2, don't you think?

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Can you send me the reference for the preference for mk4? What I've been reading suggests staying away from supplementing with that because the supplements are synthetically produced, unlike mk7 which is made from natto. I'd imagine a balance of the two would be a good idea - mk4 from the various food sources (grass fed animals, dairy, eggs, fermented veggies) and mk7 from the natto-derived supplement?

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I've gone boggle eyed with googling today and can't remember where I saw what, but I started by googling "vitamin k2 mk4 or mk7" and came up with loads. One thing that puts me off Mk7 is that it can apparently cause heart palpitations and insomnia which I could do without. But yes, I've come to the same conclusion as you and am going to try 5mg capsule of Mk4 split into three doses over the day, and 100mcg of mk7 once a day.

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Actually after I posted I kept looking and found the research paper, or at least the abstract. Very interesting. One keeps learning, does one not? What is good is that research is actually being done. Now, the interesting thing is that people were alerted to the possible bone-saving effects of Vitamin K2 because of the statistically significant difference in fracture rate between Japanese eating natto and those not. So, what does that mean? Sometimes we have to look at the parameters of the studies as well, so I think you are wise to cover all bases and take both. BTW my bone supplement includes both, although not very high dosage. But I've had to give it up because I've now got a much too high level of D in my blood. Sigh.

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Are you taking Vitamin D supplements?

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Not any more. I wasn't taking a super high dose anyway. Have an old diagnosis of sarcoidosis so I suspect this is the problem. Will have to have a detailed discussion when I see my GP next, but that won't be until August. She isn't even sending me for a follow up D test, nor did she say anything about my serum calcium. So I have to go to her office armed with all sorts of research!

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Skodadet I am a bit late in commenting on this but there is research out there that suggests that taking vitamin D as a supplement may not be as helpful as once thought. What is being proven to be of benefit to bone loss is rebounding as an exercise regimen. If you do a google search on 'rebounding benefits bones' you'll gets lots of pertinent links. NASA even use it as part of their program to protect against the depletion experienced during space flight. rebound-aerobics.com/NASA_r...

However, to move on to your actual query, there are lots of food sources of vitamin k that would negate the need for adding yet another tablet to you daily consumption. This particularly applies to fermented foods. Read the comments section of this chriskresser.com/vitamin-k2... for a more detailed explanation.

EDIT Sorry, that NASA link now seems to be broken. There is a summary of the paper here freedomspring.com/article_n...

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Grass fed animals and free range hens produce Vitamin K2 from their diet. Grain fed animals and poultry do not, so we also have become deficient. This includes animals that are grass fed through most of their lives, but then "finished" with grain before slaughter. This is the reason we have to supplement - at least those of us who do not have easy access to a supply of these traditionally-raised animals and their products.

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Vegetables, particularly greens, are rich in K1 which is converted into K2 in the gut. Fermented foods, including vegetables and kefir, are a rich source of vitamin K2 - without recourse to taking manufactured supplements.

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My understanding is that humans are not efficient at converting K1 to K2. For a person like myself who has to take a steroid for polymyalgia rheumatica and has to take extra calcium to counter steroid-induced bone thinning it's really important the calcium be absorbed properly. I've no objection to taking a supplement derived from a natural product (Japanese fermented soy called natto) to ensure that I get an adequate dose.

And yes I do eat fermented veggies and yoghurt and drink kefir. I just don't trust that for my situation this is nearly enough. If we had an uncorrupted food supply I might think differently.

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I so know what you mean. There is hardly anything in the shops today that hasn't been adulterated in some fashion. But, and this is in no way meant as a dig at you, it makes me so angry that the medical industry has us brainwashed into believing that the only way to relief is through pharmaceuticals. Inflammatory/autoimmune disease is on the rise in western/westernised societies but do they look into lifestyle effects that could make a difference? Of course not, they just reach for the prescription pad!!

I started with arthritis when I was 19 and gradually became more and more crippled by it. By age 24 I was rattling with stronger and stronger medications, though all the time looking for alternatives because I hated the side-effects. Then, by mere chance I found my cure and became pain free for the first time in nearly a decade. I had a friend who was so crippled she needed 24/7 care. She went to see Damien Downing at his York clinic. Within 12 months we were playing squash at the local sports hall.

There are many natural ways to control/cure inflammation. For a start the body can make its own steroids - without the detrimental side-effects of prescribed medications eg thedailyhealth.co.uk/natura... (check out the comments too for other ideas including Thai massage and ACV).

I know how debilitating pain can be but don't ever give in and believe that it has to be a way of life. Don't believe that you have to put up with the osteoporosis either. Check out what I said here about rebounding - it really is more effective than taking calcium and other supplements.

Good luck 👍

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Thanks for your reply. I'm taking Vitamin K2 as part of my regimen to combat the prednisone-induced bone thinning as there is NO WAY I would ever consider taking any of the bone meds. I did need the steroid treatment I got, there's no denying it. Unfortunately untreated polymyalgia, which is a vascular disease, can lead to an even nastier condition which can make you permanently blind, so one does not mess about with possibilities like that. It also puts one at more risk for stroke. I've been doing very well, and am hopeful that I'm now down to a low enough dose that bone damage is minimal, and sooner rather than later I hope to be off prednisone altogether.

Along with dietary changes and new kinds of exercise (including tai chi and Nordic walking) I've been getting treatment from a physiotherapist which includes low level light therapy.

bioflexlaser.com/about-us/

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Have you come across turmeric/curcumin at all, in relation to your treatment plan? In the right form turmeric, a potent anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory, is a more powerful painkiller than many (34 if I recall right) prescription medications and much more (including steroids) draxe.com/turmeric-benefits/ Research indicates it has bone protective properties that maintain structure and prevent fracture due to osteoporosis nccih.nih.gov/research/resu... Further research has shown that it may not only promote healing and repair in the aftermath of stroke but also prevent them occurring in the first place stroke-network.com/articles...

Another study showed that, when combined with prednisolone (the active form of prednisone) it effectively reduces side effects (although I found lots of mention of it and similar research I couldn't find a link to the actual study mentioned).

It can be taken at quite high therapeutic doses and has about the same level of interaction with medications as sour cherries but care should be taken in combination with the likes of warfarin and aspirin AND pre-op because of its blood thinning properties.

I came across this link betterbones.com/blog/post/s... yesterday in relation to another post on HU about exercises to fight osteoporosis. Pilates is another good exercise form you might like to consider (but still not as good as rebounding for reversing the damage :) ).

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I drink a cup of ginger tea (grated fresh ginger) every evening. I very much doubt that turmeric would have touched PMR when I was ill. If it was that effective we'd all be taking it as no one wants to take prednisone. Perhaps I'll find it useful if I start to have trouble reducing my steroid dose, but so far so good! Rebounding not for me, I fear, as I have some osteoarthritis in my spine. But I do appreciate your suggestions. I have a weighted walking vest which I hope is a good addition to all the other activities I do. I have a bunch of physio and yoga exercises, some of them new to me, especially for the spine.

Perhaps you will enjoy this article:

researchgate.net/publicatio...

I think it 's a wonderful counter to the claim that only OP meds help bone density.

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Hi Heron. Just looking st old posts as checking out k2 (currently taking 600mcg, no problems with it but looking to replace with a lower dose). Anyway, as an add-on to kefir which I assume you’re still taking, I have a 200ml glass every morning and mix in with it a couple of gms of turmeric, a shake of ground cumin and a grind of black pepper as Im told they all help each other. I also add in some chia seeds just because 😊. I Just wondered if that might be an option for you for the ‘possible’ anti inflammatory properties. Best regards.

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I think rebounding is good to prevent bone loss and if you have osteopeania, but if you have osteoporosis it's not recommended because of the risk of breaking bones. That and jumping and skipping and the like.

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Rebounding is certainly good for restoring/preventing the bone loss in osteopenia BUT it is also good for those suffering osteoporosis. Although it has been around for something in the region of 50 years and became a fad during the 1980s, the true benefits of rebounding for bone health has only recently became more widely known as the NASA report I pasted above becomes more widely distributed.

It is known that a sedentary lifestyle will increase bone loss so whilst those at risk of fracture may prefer to remain inactive, doing so is actually increasing the likelihood of occurrence. Weight bearing exercises like vigorous walking, jogging and dancing are amongst the recommended treatments for osteoporosis. Because of the nature of the exercise rebounding can actually result in less impact stress than walking as the soft surface absorbs around 87% of the impact. It also distributes the G-force evenly across all joints rather than having most of the pressure being applied to the ankles. Whilst a stronger work out will elicit faster results, to begin to gain benefits it is not necessary to perform olympic style exercises, a gentle non-jarring bounce that does not even require the foot to leave the trampoline is sufficient. A simple bounce can also be done sitting, kneeling or lying down as seen at the end of this video on rebounding for osteoporosis

There are lots of examples on the internet (including videos on youtube) of people discussing how they beat osteoporosis with rebounding.

For anyone who has problems with balance (as you probably fear, a fall with osteoporosis is not a good idea) there are rebounders available with support bars.

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I cannot even run without paying the next day with a very painful back. Lest you think I am an out of shape couch potato, let me assure you I am not and never have been. i have looked after my spine as well as I possibly can. My osteoarthritis causes a nerve to be irritated somehow and it can be quite crippling.

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Skodadet, this backs you up (no pun intended):

livestrong.com/article/5515...

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I had forgotten about this link I came across sometime ago but you might be able to pick up some useful tips here susunweed.com/herbal_ezine/...

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I just had another thought....

You do know that vitamin K is one of the fat soluble vitamins and should be taken with fat to aid its absorption?

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I take the MK7 version as it is supposed to stay in your body for longer.

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