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665 of 688 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CAUTION: misleading bias on supplements, August 14, 2012
This review is from: Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little-Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life (Paperback)
I want to emphasize that this book is fantastic -- for the most part. Everyone needs to know about vitamin K2. This book is eye opening for many, many reasons. Please get it and read it.

However, if you go beyond food souces, her advice on supplement choices seems to gloss over, and perhaps even mislead, with some of the facts in regard to her recommendation for the MK-7 version of vitamin K2 instead of the MK-4 version.

Her main criticism of MK-4 is the that it is `synthetic.' That `synthetic' word is a red flag for many, myself included. However, all the supplements are made in a factory/laboratory. The MK-4 is still made with natural occurring ingredients, just like the MK-7.

But even more important, which one is really going to work for you!

My personal experience:
I have yet to hear from anyone that the MK-7 supplements will dissolve the calcified plaque that forms behind the lower front teeth. In 2 days, the Thorne MK-4 supplement completely removed the krud behind my teeth. I was amazed by this. Ever since, I don't need a teeth cleaning at the dentist. I had been taking the Jarrow MK-7 for more than a year without this dramatic effect.

This proves to me that this supplement is taking calcium away from someplace it's not supposed to be and, hopefully, putting it someplace that it IS supposed to be. Which is the major idea presented in this book.

I switched to the MK-4 as an experiment after reading Richard Nikolay's post on Free the Animal blog where he was surprised to notice this same teeth cleaning effect. And I had read about it along time ago in the Track Your Plaque blog of Dr. William Davis.

Why does this author emphasize that MK-7 is better than MK-4?

Please read the studies directly. The abstract googles up easily.
The frequently referenced study that concluded "A high intake of menoquinones, especially MK-7, 8 and 9 . . . could protect against CHD " was a study with data that was "estimated with a food frequency questionnaire." As if it were easy and/or accurate to isolate the effects of either MK-4 versus MK-7 from foods which often contain both.

Is it true that the Rotterdam study mentions that MK-7 seems to be better at preventing/reducing arterial calcification than MK-4? In fact, the Rotterdam study didn't indicate which of the menaquinones was responsible for the association, although supplement manufacturers tried to twist the interpretation into supporting their product after the fact. All the Rotterdam study showed was that a higher K2 intake (all forms) was associated with a lower CHD risk and arterial calcification.

What about the 'half-life' argument?
The reason MK-7 has a longer half-life in the blood is because it has a longer side-chain, is thus more fat-soluble, and thus is located more in the core of the lipoproteins that carry it in the blood then the surface, thus having less interaction with enzymes that would bring it into the cells. MK-4 is therefore more easily absorbed into cells.

But major studies are underway using MK-7?
The large studies currently in progress in Europe that the author is fond of mentioning are simply comparing the MK-7 menaquinone to Vitamin K1. They are not comparing MK-7 to MK-4. For the author to implicate that study as a factor to suggest MK-7 is better than MK-4 supplementation can be misleading.

Read more of this where I got it, without the book author's bias, at the Whole Health Source blog by Stephen Guyenet in a post, "Are the MK-4 and MK-7 Forms of Vitamin K2 Equivalent?"

A final comment from the above blog post by Chris Masterjohn, who is cited within this book for his article titled, "On the Trail of the Elusive X-Factor: A Sixty-Two-Year-Old Mystery Finally Solved"(highly recommended) which you can search for and read directly on the Weston A Price Foundation website:

"I think it makes more sense to go for MK-4 given the choice between the two . . . . The plasma half-life reason is utterly absurd, considering the reduction in plasma half-life is due to the MK-4 being delivered to the tissues where it carries out its functions! It's also much easier to get MK-7 from the diet in amounts comparable to the supplements, since fermented foods can be quite high in it and the supplements are quite low in it.

"MK-4 is cheaper than MK-7! All of the MK-7 being sold comes in much lower doses. I think Thorne is the most cost-effective source of MK-4, especially with my suspicion that it has much higher bioavailability than solid capsules loaded with binders and fillers"

This may confuse you a little at first. The science hasn't answered all our questions yet. Until then, some of what this book has avoided telling you may help you make better decisions in your choice of K2 supplements.

That said, my criticism is a little nit-picky thing. Beyond that, this book is loaded with enlightening material that you will want to share with everyone you know. I really hope you will read it.
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Showing 1-10 of 171 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 19, 2012 12:47:10 AM PST
Thank you for your comments on the Mk - 4 isomer. When I first saw the title of your review, I was quite put off, but I read it anyway. Very valuable information. Thanks again. John Wagoner

Posted on Nov 21, 2012 3:42:11 AM PST
Vaughn says:
Wonderful review, except for the comment about some brands of tablets being "loaded" with fillers. Tablets and capsule have to be held together with something, otherwise they would be powder in the bottle. The size of capsule shells are inexpensive for manufacturers if they use a standard size shell: if the active ingredient they are putting into that shell, at the label-stated accurate number of milligrams they give you, doesn't fill up that empty capsule shell completely, they must put SOMETHING in the rest of the air space in that capsule shell. That doesn't mean you are getting any less of the active ingredient.

No, I don't work for any supplement company. The "fillers" villianization is often started by competing companies who try to criticize but can't find anything valid to crticize their competitors for. Companies who resort to this are often those who are multi-level -marketing, or "sold only through a practitioner's office" or other such price-raising nonsense.

Posted on Dec 16, 2012 8:05:16 AM PST
Lulu says:
Great review, thank you! However, after reading books and reviews I am still confused about the quantity and type of vit K that one is supposed to take together with Vit D. I am currently taking 10.000 IU vit D and only 120mcg of K2 - Mk4 type. I have a feeling is not enough... Would you be so kind tell me how much is needed for a safe dose?
Thank you in advance!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 9:41:38 AM PST
This guys opinion is good
http://www.bulletproofexec.com/optimize-your-supplements/

In Japan, 45mg a day of K2 (MK-4) is prescribed for osteoporosis and coronary heart disease. There is no known upper limit. Larger, therapeutic doses can be necessary to dissolve calcifications. However, 1 or 2 milligram a day is probably enough for healthy maintenance.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 16, 2012 9:44:44 AM PST
Be sure to read
"On the Trail of the Elusive X-Factor: A Sixty-Two-Year-Old Mystery Finally Solved"
at westonaprice.org

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2012 8:39:03 AM PST
45mg are 45mcg ?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 19, 2012 9:11:16 AM PST
45 mg -- that's 15 drops three times a day for the Thorne bottle. That's a therapeutic dose. I take 2 drops a day (about 2 mg).

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2012 6:20:54 AM PST
I've been taking the Thorne MK-4 for a while now, and have read everything Masterjohn and others have written about it. Chris has never recommended 45 mg per day, to my knowledge. My recollection is that he recommends about the USRDA of K2. I'll see if I can find where I read this and post it here. He does recommend MK-4 though.

My personal experience with taking MK-4 is that when I stray higher than about 100 mcg per day, I get unpleasant side effect. My teeth start to hurt! This is only my personal experience, so I'm putting it out there. I don't think there is really enough information out there to recommend what is "optimal" yet. Go with your own experience.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 22, 2012 6:25:13 AM PST
By the way, Weston Price probably was administering 90 mcg or less of MK-4 per day to the children in his study via high vitamin butter oil.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 4, 2013 4:01:28 PM PST
""Weston Price probably was administering 90 mcg or less of MK-4 per day""

Greg, How do you know this? ....Not being critical, just interested in your source of information .
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