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Do you take Vitamin K2? If so, how much?

by (3244)
Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:36 PM
Created January 06, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Hey all. I'll spare you the sordid details of the various health conditions I've inherited. Suffice it to say that after much research and consultation, I'm convinced that trying a Vitamin K2 (MK-4) supplement is a good idea for me. I'm aware of all of the great dietary sources, but said afflictions limit my options.

The only thing I'm unconvinced about is how much to take. For my current state (5'9", 175lbs, strong, active, paleo, some underlying inflammation), I've seen recommendations that run from 120mcg to 45g per day. That seems like a huuuge variation. My primary motivation is the prevention of atherosclerosis and other cardiac nasties.

If you take K2, where do you lie on the dosage spectrum and why?

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1021 · June 30, 2013 at 1:45 AM

k2 is not expensive at all. you're not supposed to take any more than 1mg a day, which is about the upper limit of what you can get from food.

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0 · March 02, 2013 at 11:26 PM

Giacinto, I read the link with more to ponder! I also read the link he added at the end of the article. The writer himself has low levels of vit D, 24 I believe, and chose not to supplement. I do have chronic inflammation to the liver (hep c from a blood transfusion from a surgery I had in '73) and seem to be doing fairly well. My D levels without supplementing are 26. Might decide to eat Natto and vit D rich foods, while tweaking my diet here and there. Thanks again for the info!

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571 · March 01, 2013 at 9:47 PM

I suggest you read this: http://gettingstronger.org/2012/11/why-i-dont-take-vitamin-d-supplements/

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2417 · January 16, 2013 at 3:17 AM

I just found that on Amazon and thought it sounded like a good compromise. Cost-wise, it's not quite twice what I pay for my bottle of D3 drops. That's a lot easier for the budget than $60 for just the K2. Entry level, right?

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5949 · January 15, 2013 at 10:17 PM

That's the one I take. I figured a healthy shotgun blast of all three forms would cover all bases.

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2949 · January 15, 2013 at 9:24 PM

Stop screaming.

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1317 · March 19, 2012 at 3:38 PM

That's not German, it's Norwegian.

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3499 · January 08, 2012 at 9:35 PM

I supplement with 12,000IU D3 per day. Do you have any references for what the optimal D3/K2 ratio would be?

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1054 · January 08, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Be sure to combine the K2 with Vit D3 supplementation for your immune system.

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2387 · January 07, 2012 at 2:24 PM

Luisa, none of the sources (web, books, conference) I have used to understand K2, do I recall, mention availability at all via muscle meat. Its a fat soluble vitamin, and so it stored in fatty organs and products such as milk. I really believe the answer is no but I don't pass myself off as an expert. :)

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2949 · January 07, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Same here. After online research revealed that there is no consensus on whether mk4 or mk7 is better, I ended up with Life Extension's Super K, which has both. I take one a day.

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3499 · January 07, 2012 at 7:45 AM

But a beneficial one.

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32518 · January 07, 2012 at 4:59 AM

I do Gouda and pastured butter.

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4359 · January 07, 2012 at 4:29 AM

This is a very high dose.

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4359 · January 07, 2012 at 4:28 AM

This is a very high dose. One can get about 10-50 mcg of mk-4 K2 from diet alone, depending on what you eat. So, you're taking a dose that is about 1000 times more than what you get from diet. That doesn't seem smart to me.

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4359 · January 07, 2012 at 4:26 AM

This is a therapeutic dose that is orders of magnitude (like 1000 fold) higher than what one would get form diet alone. I think you should stop taking it and, at least, stop recommending it.

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1054 · January 06, 2012 at 11:43 PM

Yup, 56ng/ml since last test of 67ng/ml 18 months when I was on 10.000. So now during the winter til May 1, I am on the 50000IU then back down to 10000IU.

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3244 · January 06, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Cool. I was taking about 20,000 IU vitamin D until I had my levels checked - 130. I stopped. Have you had your levels measured?

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10919 · January 06, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Gouda cheese has both mk4 and mk7 if it's grassfed. But even conventional has at least mk7 because of the culture used to ferment it. I would do Gouda and lots of wild salmon roe for D if I wanted to stay food based.

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10919 · January 06, 2012 at 8:23 PM

My post-Partum/weightless belly seems to be getting less wrinkly. I attribute it to the k2 and bone broth.

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2954 · January 06, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Hi wildwabbit, do you know if even muscle meat itself (not offal provides K2? I thought raw grass-fed milk and liver for example, provide K2, but I'm not sure about muscle meat. I also need some K2.

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8953 · January 06, 2012 at 4:17 PM

5mg of MK-4, that's what I take. 5mg is probably the highest dose you could get from food, not 1mg.

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4620 · January 06, 2012 at 3:55 PM

1mg of MK-4 per day may be a good place to start. I think anything above that is mainly used therapeutically to reverse calcification. I'm definitely no expert on this though.

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160 · January 06, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Joshua, kale and other cruciferous veggies are giving you specifically K1, and not K2 at all. Good to get, but not what the OP is looking for...

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2387 · January 06, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Joshua - there is no K2 in vegetables, unless you consider natto, and thats solely because it is fermented. Otherwise its only found in grass-fed animals. K2 is very distinct from K.

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21400 · January 06, 2012 at 2:46 PM

*blend, not bland

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21400 · January 06, 2012 at 2:46 PM

I don't take any K vitamins after I discovered the amount of vit k in raw kale and other cruciferous veggies. One of my resolutions this year was to increase my raw veggie intake, and my method of doing that was to start my day with about 1/2lb of kale, some berries, and spurulina in a blender bomb. The only hard part is not feeling bloated for about 15 minutes because it takes about 30oz of water to make it bland. My daily intake seems to be around 700µg which is close to 600% of USRDA (this is vit K and not K2 specifically). Inflammation has been way down since I started this.

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21400 · January 06, 2012 at 2:45 PM

I don't take any K vitamins after I discovered the amount of vit k in raw kale and other cruciferous veggies. One of my resolutions this year was to increase my raw veggie intake, and my method of doing that was to start my day with about 1/2lb of kale, some berries, and spurulina in a blender bomb. The only hard part is not feeling bloated for about 15 minutes because it takes about 30oz of water to make it sensible. My daily intake seems to be around 700µg which is close to 600% of USRDA (this is vit K and not K2 specifically). Inflammation has been way down since I started this.

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39821 · January 11, 2012 at 8:26 PM

I think this is one of the better ones to take: http://www.amazon.com/Carlson-Labs-Vitamin-K2-caps/dp/B001PBQR82/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1326313159&sr=8-2

However I think it's unwise to take that much of any fat soluble vitamin every day. A good protocol would be to take that every day for a week when you first start out to charge up your stores a bit and then drop down to 2-4 times per month. That a deficiency is bad doesn't make any positive amount good.

If someone has come across a human regulatory mechanism for K2 whereby the body purges excess, I'd be interested in seeing it. As of now, I'm unaware of one. D3 has one in the skin that is UVB-dependent of course, but since K2 always comes from diet, it would make sense that there would be one. Even so, I'm not certain that such a thing (should it exist) is designed for massive doses.

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70 · January 07, 2012 at 3:41 PM

I have 35 years of alternative health behind me and research nutraceuticals as my profession.

45 mcgs is preventative, 90 mcgs is shown to reverse calcification from soft tissues and deposit it in the bones.

I take Life Extension D3, K2, Iodine supplement at 2 a day.

Here are 2 videos you will find interesting. Starts in German

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ksvmzElsx2Q

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbzKvsnw3Tg&feature=related

cw

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1317 · March 19, 2012 at 3:38 PM

That's not German, it's Norwegian.

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1054 · January 06, 2012 at 6:27 PM

Vitamin K2 MK4 works synergistically with Vit D3 to efficiently move calcium into the bones.

Quoting the Quilt "Vitamin D3 basically allows us to absorb Calcium better but Vitamin K2 tells that calcium what tissue to go to."

I also use Vitamin Research Products K2 MK4. Each cap has 15mg and I take two/day. I take 50,000/day D3 during the winter. VRP periodically runs order 2 of the same product and the order is 50% off.

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1054 · January 06, 2012 at 11:43 PM

Yup, 56ng/ml since last test of 67ng/ml 18 months when I was on 10.000. So now during the winter til May 1, I am on the 50000IU then back down to 10000IU.

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3244 · January 06, 2012 at 9:55 PM

Cool. I was taking about 20,000 IU vitamin D until I had my levels checked - 130. I stopped. Have you had your levels measured?

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2387 · January 06, 2012 at 4:40 PM

I use the Life Extension "Super K with Advanced K2 Complex". It has 1MG K2-MK4, 100mcg K2-MK7, and 1MG of K1. Honestly I don't know whether it is sufficient or not but I am not sure recommended daily minimums, maximums, etc... have been established for K2, nor do I believe anyone has established any upper level toxicity.

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5949 · January 15, 2013 at 10:17 PM

That's the one I take. I figured a healthy shotgun blast of all three forms would cover all bases.

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2949 · January 07, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Same here. After online research revealed that there is no consensus on whether mk4 or mk7 is better, I ended up with Life Extension's Super K, which has both. I take one a day.

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30 · January 06, 2012 at 7:18 PM

I don't regularly supplement. I do however eat lots of eggs. Its my understanding that the yolks of the eggs contain a substantial amount of K2. Recently I have moved north.. Far north. To Alaska. I feel like I might need to start considering a supplement to counteract my lack of sunlight. I used to receive a daily dosage but now the only time I'm in the sun, I'm so bundled up that I no longer feel the warmth from the sun.. The obvious answer would be suck it up and brave the cold.. But I was wondering if someone could recommend a food that might help in this situation..

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32518 · January 07, 2012 at 4:59 AM

I do Gouda and pastured butter.

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10919 · January 06, 2012 at 8:30 PM

Gouda cheese has both mk4 and mk7 if it's grassfed. But even conventional has at least mk7 because of the culture used to ferment it. I would do Gouda and lots of wild salmon roe for D if I wanted to stay food based.

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20 · February 11, 2013 at 11:45 PM

This study showed Vitamin K2 MK-7 does work. I started eating Natto (fermented soybeans) which provide 1100 mcg per 3+ oz. serving. I'm eating a half serving for now, but will increase to a full serving after a week with no adverse reaction.

While the K2 will distribute calcium appropriately, to your bones and teeth, when it removes it from soft tissue like the vascular walls, it is eliminated from the body in conjunction with Vitamin A as waste. (It doesn't move from arteries to bone).

The recommendation is 180-200 mcg Vitamin K2 MK-7 per 1000 IU Vitamin D3.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vbd8FqnVT4c&feature=player_embedded

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11254 · January 06, 2012 at 7:11 PM

I take 5mg. The Carlson brand is what's easiest for me to get. A long time ago Stephan Guyenet suggested that 1mg ought to be the supplementary dose because that's about the max anybody could reasonably expect to get in a day through food. Also, at 1mg or above, you ought to notice some improvements in your skin.

Anyway, it was just easier to keep taking the 5mg, though I might try those 1mg drops eventually. It seems like it might be advantageous to take a few mg throughout the day rather than 5mg all at once- supposedly it only lasts 4 hours in your blood stream.

MK7 is supposed to last longer, but I don't know proper dosages for that, nor do I know if it is as effective. I know K1 supplementation was downright unpleasant- I've tried it alone, and much later tried that previously mentioned Life Extension product. K1 makes my teeth feel strange, makes my body react unpleasantly to alcohol, and gives me a weird wired feeling. Probably just me though.

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7592 · January 06, 2012 at 6:04 PM

I do not take K2 but I have enjoyed reading about it on Free The Animal here.

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78417 · January 06, 2012 at 2:47 PM

I take 15mg daily by Vitamin Research Products. Several reasons: I sun bathe almost daily and I used to have trouble with intermittent bruising. A nice lady on a different forum said she attributed K2 for improving her "turkey" neck. I have loose skin under my chin from age and weight loss that I'd love to see tighten up with a pill!

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4359 · January 07, 2012 at 4:28 AM

This is a very high dose. One can get about 10-50 mcg of mk-4 K2 from diet alone, depending on what you eat. So, you're taking a dose that is about 1000 times more than what you get from diet. That doesn't seem smart to me.

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4359 · January 07, 2012 at 4:26 AM

This is a therapeutic dose that is orders of magnitude (like 1000 fold) higher than what one would get form diet alone. I think you should stop taking it and, at least, stop recommending it.

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10919 · January 06, 2012 at 8:23 PM

My post-Partum/weightless belly seems to be getting less wrinkly. I attribute it to the k2 and bone broth.

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4029 · February 12, 2013 at 2:59 AM

I get my K2 by taking a vitamin D3 Plus. 5000 IU of D3, includes 800 mcg of K2, 225 mg magnesium, 12 mg zinc, and 3mg boron.

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26 · January 15, 2013 at 8:53 PM

IF YOU TAKE HIGH DOSES OF VIT D YOU HAVE TO TAKE HIGH DOSES OF VIT K--OTHERWISE VIT D DIRECTS CALCIUM TO SOFT TISSUE (SO CARDIOVASCULAR--ATHEROSCLEROSIS PROBLEMS)--WITH HIGH K CAN EVEN REDIRECT THIS INCORRECTLY DEPOSITED CALCIUM OUT OF THE SOFT TISSUE, AND INTO BONE. IF HIGH D, OR FOR REDIRECTING CALCIUM, ANYWHERE FROM 1 T- 15 MG IS RECCOMENDED--JAPANESE STUDIES SHOW 15 MG GOOD TO STOP AND SOMEWHAT CORRECT OSTEOPOROSIS

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2949 · January 15, 2013 at 9:24 PM

Stop screaming.

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4359 · January 07, 2012 at 4:30 AM

For a down-to-earth dose of mk-4 K2, buy thorne's liquid D3/mk-4 drops. One drop has 100 mcg of K2. Try to take half a drop for 50 mcg, which is on the high side of what is possible through diet alone.

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2417 · January 16, 2013 at 3:17 AM

I just found that on Amazon and thought it sounded like a good compromise. Cost-wise, it's not quite twice what I pay for my bottle of D3 drops. That's a lot easier for the budget than $60 for just the K2. Entry level, right?

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3499 · January 06, 2012 at 6:35 PM

I'm taking the Thorne K2 drops at 15mg per day. As for why, the truth is I haven't the foggiest idea what a good dose is for supplementing, especially for someone who chronically hasn't gotten nearly enough and wants to bring serum levels up, and it's what the package says is a dose.

I have to say, though, since I started taking it, I barely get sick at all. I've been through most of the common cold season, three times thought I was about to come down with something, and then the feeling went away in about 36 hours, before it ever got serious.

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3499 · January 08, 2012 at 9:35 PM

I supplement with 12,000IU D3 per day. Do you have any references for what the optimal D3/K2 ratio would be?

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1054 · January 08, 2012 at 6:26 PM

Be sure to combine the K2 with Vit D3 supplementation for your immune system.

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3499 · January 07, 2012 at 7:45 AM

But a beneficial one.

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4359 · January 07, 2012 at 4:29 AM

This is a very high dose.

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0 · June 29, 2013 at 10:43 PM

Is that true about needing a lot of vitamin k if you take a lot of vitamin D? That sucks, because k supplementation is so expensive. Maybe I'll just start taking less vitamin D...I take a lot as of now.

Sorry I don't follow the paleo diet but I try to keep the principles in mind, & i found this when searching how much K2 to take. I don't know how much vitamin K2 I get from diet, I'd guess not too much because I don't eat the amount of meat of the paleo diet, and none of the rich sources.

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1021 · June 30, 2013 at 1:45 AM

k2 is not expensive at all. you're not supposed to take any more than 1mg a day, which is about the upper limit of what you can get from food.

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0 · March 01, 2013 at 9:30 PM

EGOOD'S answer made me pause and ponder what I'm taking. I'm currently taking Vitamin K2 (45 mcg) and D3 (50000) in one capsule by ortho molecular. I'm over 60 and definitely don't want artheroclerosis as my mother and possibly grandmother both had this. It sounds like I'm taking too much vit D3. I was just about to order another bottle, but will wait until further reading. Any suggestions anyone for someone my age?

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0 · March 02, 2013 at 11:26 PM

Giacinto, I read the link with more to ponder! I also read the link he added at the end of the article. The writer himself has low levels of vit D, 24 I believe, and chose not to supplement. I do have chronic inflammation to the liver (hep c from a blood transfusion from a surgery I had in '73) and seem to be doing fairly well. My D levels without supplementing are 26. Might decide to eat Natto and vit D rich foods, while tweaking my diet here and there. Thanks again for the info!

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571 · March 01, 2013 at 9:47 PM

I suggest you read this: http://gettingstronger.org/2012/11/why-i-dont-take-vitamin-d-supplements/

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18397 · January 11, 2012 at 9:01 PM

I have been taking one per day of Nature's Life MK4 5000mcg (5mg) for a few months now. My (double) bottle pack is almost up and I will be backing off a bit kinda like what Travis suggests. Maybe taking like 1 or 2 pills per week instead of daily.

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4936 · January 11, 2012 at 6:12 PM

The only K2 I've been able to get hold of from my local health shop is Solgar K2 mk 7, from Natto. Isa this going to work OK? The info on the label says each pill provides 130% RDA, so I am having 2 per day until my cold goes away.

I also eat quite a number of free range eggs per week - today I had two in an omelette.

Also, I've lost the links I had to what exactly K2 DOES - I had read a load about it and made a note to myself that it was a must have, but why??!!

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2949 · January 07, 2012 at 11:09 AM

After online research revealed that there is no consensus on whether mk4 or mk7 is better, I ended up with Life Extension's Super K, which has both.

I take one a day.

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10919 · January 06, 2012 at 8:24 PM

I take Carlson 5mg k2 every morning with my cod liver oil and some extra D. I also try to have some raw grassfed Gouda too because it has the mk7 and mk4.

Anecdotally, I was off it for 2 months and got back on it and 3 weeks later my breastfed 13 month old started sprouting his molars. He was about due for them anyway but I remember his other teeth coming in last year a few weeks after I started the clo and k2 regimen. I got my teeth really late as a toddler I think I only had my bottom two at 12 months.

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2936 · January 06, 2012 at 8:15 PM

I'm taking the dosage that Travis takes, don't remember what it is, but he can tell ya. I don't remember why I'm taking it, just that he made a convincing argument, so after I internalized the info, I guess I no longer needed to keep the argument in mind. it's a combo capsule, with D3.

As for Kameron's question about the cold, I don't think paleo hurts a bit, if anything it helps, and there have been some cold nights here in Minnesota when I'm going hatless and coatless like a kid again. I do think I'm eating more fat with the colder weather. I guess I just recommend eating fat.

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10653 · January 06, 2012 at 6:16 PM

I'm taking the Solgar Vitamin K2 MK-7 100 mcg.

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