physicians' nutraceutical network

Vitamin K2 (Menatetrenone 7)

Vitamin K2,also known as menatetrenone-7 (MK-7), is a form of vitamin K that plays a crucial role in the body's blood clotting process and bone health. It is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it is absorbed with dietary fats and can be stored in the body for longer periods compared to water-soluble vitamins.

The human body needs vitamin K2 for several essential functions:

  • Blood Clotting: Vitamin K2 is necessary for the production of certain proteins called clotting factors that help in the formation of blood clots. These blood clots are essential to prevent excessive bleeding when there is an injury or damage to blood vessels. Without adequate vitamin K2, the blood clotting process can be impaired, leading to an increased risk of bleeding disorders.
  • Bone Health: Vitamin K2 is involved in regulating calcium metabolism in the body. It helps direct calcium away from soft tissues, such as blood vessels and arteries, and promotes its deposition in bones and teeth. This process is essential for maintaining bone density and strength, which reduces the risk of fractures and osteoporosis.
  • Cardiovascular Health: Vitamin K2 has been linked to cardiovascular health. It helps prevent calcium accumulation in arterial walls, reducing the risk of arterial calcification and atherosclerosis. By maintaining arterial flexibility and health, vitamin K2 may contribute to overall cardiovascular well-being.
  • Brain Health: Emerging research suggests that vitamin K2 might have neuroprotective properties and may play a role in supporting brain health. Studies are ongoing to explore its potential benefits in neurological conditions.

Vitamin K2 is naturally produced by certain bacteria in the gut, and it is also found in certain foods. The richest dietary sources of vitamin K2 include fermented foods like natto (a traditional Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans), certain cheeses, and animal products from animals that consume vitamin K-rich diets, such as grass-fed meat and dairy.

The human body synthesizes small amounts of vitamin K2, but in some cases, supplementation may be necessary to ensure adequate levels, especially for those with dietary restrictions, absorption issues, or specific health conditions. It's important to note that vitamin K2 supplementation should be done under medical supervision, particularly if taking blood-thinning medications like warfarin or other anticoagulants, as vitamin K can interact with these medications and affect their efficacy.

What are the medical contraindications for Vitamin K2 (as Menatetrenone 7) (MK7) supplementation?

Contraindications for Vitamin K2 (MK-7) supplementation include:

  • Blood-Thinning Medications: Vitamin K2 can interfere with the action of blood-thinning medications like warfarin and other anticoagulants. These medications work by inhibiting the activity of Vitamin K-dependent clotting factors, and taking additional Vitamin K2 may reduce their effectiveness. People taking blood-thinning medications should consult their healthcare provider before using Vitamin K2 supplements.
  • Bleeding Disorders: Individuals with bleeding disorders or a history of bleeding should be cautious with Vitamin K2 supplementation. Excess Vitamin K2 could potentially exacerbate bleeding tendencies and interfere with clotting mechanisms.
  • Liver Disease: Vitamin K2 is metabolized in the liver, and individuals with liver diseases or impaired liver function may have difficulty processing Vitamin K2. This can lead to imbalances and may require medical supervision.
  • Surgery: If you are scheduled for surgery, it is advisable to inform your healthcare provider about any Vitamin K2 supplements you are taking. Vitamin K2's role in blood clotting may interfere with surgical procedures, and adjustments to supplementation may be necessary.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Pregnant and breastfeeding women should be cautious with Vitamin K2 supplementation, and it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplements during this period.

What specific medications interact badly with Vitamin K2 (as Menatetrenone 7) (MK7)?

Some specific medications that may interact badly with Vitamin K2 (MK7) include:

  • Anticoagulants (Blood Thinners): Vitamin K is involved in blood clotting, and Vitamin K antagonists, such as warfarin, work by inhibiting the activity of Vitamin K-dependent clotting factors. Taking Vitamin K2 supplements while on anticoagulant therapy can interfere with the medications' effectiveness, potentially increasing the risk of blood clots or bleeding. It's essential for individuals on blood thinners to maintain a consistent intake of Vitamin K in their diet and not start or stop Vitamin K2 supplements without consulting their healthcare provider.
  • Orlistat: Orlistat is a medication used to treat obesity by reducing the absorption of dietary fats. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin, and taking orlistat may reduce the absorption of Vitamin K2 supplements, potentially leading to inadequate levels in the body.
  • Mineral Oil: Like orlistat, mineral oil can interfere with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, including Vitamin K2. Avoid taking mineral oil and Vitamin K2 supplements simultaneously to ensure proper absorption.
  • Antibiotics: Certain antibiotics, such as broad-spectrum antibiotics, may disrupt the gut microbiome, affecting Vitamin K production by gut bacteria. This could potentially impact Vitamin K status and interfere with the effects of Vitamin K2 supplementation.

It's always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian. They can evaluate your specific circumstances, consider any underlying medical conditions or medications you may be taking, and provide personalized advice on dosage and potential risks. They will be able to guide you based on your individual health needs and ensure your safety.

Bear in mind that not all medical professionals are convinced of the benefits of nutritional supplementation, and we strongly recommend consultation with MDs who are also Naturopathic Practitioners, as well as Chiropractors and other medical professionals who are trained in the therapeutic uses and methodology of supplementation.

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