Dr. Lawrence Wilson
© October 2014,
L.D. Wilson Consultants, Inc.
information in this article is for educational purposes only. It is not for the diagnosis, treatment,
prescription or cure of any disease or health condition.
often asked why we do not recommend supplemental vitamin K. The quick answer is that your body can
convert K1 to K2 if you eat enough cooked vegetables, as we recommend.
VITAMIN K SHOTS FOR
not recommend vitamin K shots for babies.
If the mother is eating a lot of cooked vegetables, the baby should have
plenty of vitamin K. If not, then
an oral dose of vitamin K is best.
Here is an article on the subject:
Risks of Vitamin K Shot for
Your Newborn Baby - Mercola
Mar 27, 2010 ... Learn the dark side of the routine newborn Vitamin K shot that may lead to
serious injury or death.
BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT VITAMIN K
is some basic information about vitamin K, an extremely important vitamin. It has two BASIC forms and many
K1 is also called phylloquinone.
It is found in many green vegetables, and it is not damaged much by
cooking, so cooked vegetables are an excellent source. It is primarily involved in blood
clotting, but also assists with cardiovascular health and other functions in
Vitamin K2 is called menaquinone or MK.
It is manufactured in the intestines and in the peripheral tissues as
well, provided that you eat enough of vitamin K1. Therefore, you should not have to take a supplement if this
is the case. It is also found in
some green vegetables, and in cheese and natto, a Japanese food.
are some papers that support this idea, taken from the Vitamin D Council
ŇAs early as 1994, researchers had discovered that K1 converted
into K2 in the body.
Drittij-Reijnders MJ. Vitamin K distribution in rat tissues: dietary
phylloquinone is a source of tissue menaquinone-4. Br J Nutr. 1994
In 1998, researchers confirmed that K1 is metabolized into K2 and
that metabolism had nothing to do with intestinal bacteria. Sterile mice
metabolized ingested K1 into K2.
Drittij-Reijnders MJ, Vermeer C, Thijssen HH. Intestinal flora is not an intermediate
in the phylloquinone-menaquinone-4 conversion in the rat. Biochim Biophys
Acta. 1998 Jan 8;1379(1):69-75.
In 2006, researchers confirmed this conversion takes place in
Vervoort LM, Schurgers LJ, Shearer MJ. Menadione is a metabolite of oral
vitamin K. Br J Nutr. 2006 Feb;95(2):260-6.
There appears to be two sites of conversion of K1 to K2, one in
the intestine and another in peripheral tissues.
Shimomura Y, Yamane M, Suhara Y, Kamao M, Sugiura M, Nakagawa K Conversion of
phylloquinone (Vitamin K1) into menaquinone-4 (Vitamin K2) in mice: two
possible routes for menaquinone-4 accumulation in cerebra of mice. J Biol Chem.
2008 Apr 25;283(17):11270-9. Epub 2007 Dec 14.
Recently, the mechanism by which the body turns vitamin K1 into
vitamin K2 was clarified. It occurs through an intermediary molecule, vitamin
K3, which is made in the intestine from vitamin K1.
Hirota Y, et
al. Menadione (vitamin K3) is a catabolic product of oral phylloquinone
(vitamin K1) in the intestine and a circulating precursor of tissue
menaquinone-4 (vitamin K2) in rats. J Biol Chem. 2013 Sep 30.
I cannot put my hands on it now, but I read a paper that
actually showed K2 content in peripheral organs is higher after vitamin K1
ingestion than K2 ingestion.
It seems that it could be the case that modern humans are
deficient in K2 because they do not eat large quantities of vitamin K1
containing foods. If we look at Paleolithic humans, they probably got high
amount of vitamin K2 from eating large quantities of kale and spinach-like
foods, very high in K1, which then supplied their tissues with all the vitamin
K2 they needed.Ó
WHAT DOES VITAMIN K DO?
K helps prevent calcification of the arteries and heart disease, helps prevent
osteoporosis, and perhaps other diseases such as cancer and diabetes. It can help prevent varicose veins as
well, and more. It is synergistic
with vitamins A and D, among others.
It is another fat-soluble vitamin, as are vitamins A and D.
Why I do not
recommend vitamin K supplements. We do not
usually give supplementary vitamin K because it is not needed if one follows a
diet that contains plenty of cooked vegetables, meats that are not overcooked,
and perhaps a little raw dairy products or at least some good quality
pasteurized or raw butter. When
using butter, preferably do not cook it, but just put it on or over your food
to preserve the vitamin K.
We also do not recommend vitamin
K supplements because they are more yin, in Chinese medical terms, and this is
Below is a recent article about
vitamin K that I am taking the liberty to reprint, as I felt it is a summary of
some recent research on vitamin K.
VITAMIN K by Stephan
June 17, 2008
Vitamin K2, menatetrenone (MK-4)
Weston Price established the importance of the MK-4 isoform
of vitamin K2 (hereafter, K2) with a series of interesting experiments. He
showed in chickens that blood levels of calcium and phosphorus depended both on
vitamin A and K2, and that the two had synergistic effects on mineral
absorption. He also showed that chickens preferred eating butter that was rich
in K2 over butter low in K2, even when the investigators couldn't distinguish
between them. Young turkeys fed K2-containing butter oil along with cod liver
oil (A and D) also grew at a much faster rate than turkeys fed cod liver oil
He hypothesized that vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin K2 were synergistic and
essential for proper growth and subsequent health. He particularly felt that
the combination was important for proper mineral absorption and metabolism. He
used a combination of high-vitamin cod liver oil and high-vitamin butter oil to
heal cavities, reduce oral bacteria counts, and cure numerous other afflictions
in his patients. He also showed that the healthy non-industrial groups he
studied had a much higher intake of these fat-soluble, animal-derived vitamins
than more modern cultures.
Price found an inverse correlation between the levels of K2 in butter and
mortality from cardiovascular disease and pneumonia in a number of different
regions. A recent study examined the relationship
between K2 (MK-4 through 10) consumption and heart attack risk in 4,600 Dutch
men. They found a strong inverse association between K2 consumption and heart
attack mortality risk. Men with the highest K2 consumption had a whopping 51%
lower risk of heart attack mortality and a 26% lower risk of death from all
causes compared to men eating the least K2! Their sources of K2 MK-4 were eggs,
meats and dairy. They obtained MK-5 through MK-10 from fermented foods and
fish. The investigators found no association with K1, the form found in plants.
Perigord, France is the world's capital of foie gras, or fatty goose liver.
Good news for the bon vivants: foie gras turns out to be the richest known
source of K2. Perigord also has the lowest rate of cardiovascular mortality in
France, a country already noted for its low CVD mortality.
Rats fed warfarin, a drug that inhibits K2 recycling, develop arterial
calcification. Feeding the rats K2 completely inhibits this effect. Mice
lacking matrix Gla protein (MGP), a vitamin K-dependent protein that guards
against arterial calcification, develop heavily calcified aortas and die
prematurely. So the link between K2 and cardiovascular disease is a very strong
Mammals can synthesize K2 MK-4 from K1, but humans seem to be bad at it since
most of us are K2 deficient despite eating ample K1. This
suggests that through evolution, we lost the ability to synthesize K2 in
sufficient amounts because we always obtained it abundantly in our diets from
nutrient-dense animal tissues.
The synergism Weston Price observed between vitamins A, D and K2 now has a
solid mechanism. In a nutshell, vitamins A and D signal the production of some
very important proteins, and K2 is required to activate them once they are
made. Many of these proteins are involved in mineral metabolism, thus the
effects Price saw in his experiments and observations in non-industrialized
cultures. For example, osteocalcin is a protein that organizes calcium and
phosphorus deposition in the bones and teeth. It's produced by cells in
response to vitamins A and D, but requires K2 to perform its function. This
suggests that the effects of vitamin D on bone health could be amplified
greatly if it were administered along with K2. By itself, K2 is already highly
protective against fractures in the elderly. It works out perfectly,
since K2 also protects against vitamin D toxicity.
I'm not going to go through all the other data on K2 in detail, but suffice it
to say it's important. I believe that K2 is a 'missing link' that explains many
of our modern ills, just as Weston Price wrote. Here are a few more tidbits to
whet your appetite: K2 may affect glucose control and insulin release (1, 2). It's concentrated in the brain, serving
an as yet unknown function.
Hunter-gatherers didn't have multivitamins, they had nutrient-dense food. As
long as you eat a natural diet containing some vegetables and some animal
products, and lay off the processed grains, sugar and vegetable oil, the
micronutrients will take care of themselves.
Vitamin K2, MK-4 is only found in animal products. The best sources known are
grass-fed butter from cows eating rapidly growing grass, and foie gras. K2
tends to associate with beta-carotene in butter, so the darker the color, the
more K2 it contains (also, the better it tastes). Fish eggs, other grass-fed
dairy, shellfish, insects and other organ meats are also good sources. Chris
Masterjohn compiled a list of food sources in his excellent article on the Weston Price foundation
website. I highly recommend reading it if you want more detail. K2 MK-7 is
found abundantly in natto, a type of fermented soybean, and seems to have some
of the same effects as MK-4 on bone health in clinical trials. However, it is
not the from of K2 that mammals synthesize for themselves so I'm not convinced
it's the real thing.
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