I just received the e-mail newsletter (Nutrition and Healing) from Amanda Ross and Dr. Wright in which it is stated: "Vitamin K is a natural blood thinner -- great for reducing your risk of potentially dangerous clots, but not so good if you're already on a blood-thinning medication."
Am I mistaken, or is this clearly wrong? Although vitamin K should not be taken if one is on blood-thinning medications, it is because vitamin K helps to coagulate the bood--not thin it--thereby counteracting the drug.
To say that it could be used to reduce "dangerous clots" seems to be very dangerous advice. What do you think?
Mike, there are a couple of vitamin Ks. Typically K as the conventional medical community addresses it is K 1. This is given in injection for overdose of coumadin for which I have used it several times. By the way, I never saw this K affect the INR in a positive way showing that the ill effects of coumadin have been forstalled.
K 2 is what Wright is referring to, as found in Natto. This will thin the blood but to my understanding it works down a different pathway then coumadin. Will have to go back and re-read to be absolutley sure.
I don't think Wright was referring to vitamin K2. My understanding is that K2 works much like K1 but is much stronger and more bioavailable. Therefore, taking an equal amount of supplemental K2 (as from natto) would cause the blood to clot even more--not thin: "The researchers report that MK-7 (K2) was much more potent, demonstrating a superior bioactivity."
�Haematologists, on the other hand, need to be aware that relatively low doses of MK-7 (K2) may have a larger impact on the stability of oral anticoagulation than vitamin K1,� wrote Schurgers.
Perhaps you are thinking of another substance in natto (nattokinase) which DOES have clot dissolving abilities, according to Dr. Ray Sehelian.
Maureen Salaman, Nutritionist, says that vitamin K will balance the blood.
If it is too thick, it will make it thinner, and if it is too thin, it will make it thicker. I have seen her say this on her tv show many times. Although, she never mentioned a specific form of vitamin K!?
The other day I e-mailed the folks at the wrightnewsletter concerning what I regarded as an error concerning the blood-thinning capacity of vitamin K. The research department sent me an e-mail today stating the following:
"Thank you for bringing this error to our attention. Vitamin K is in fact essential in the formation of blood clots, and is not a blood thinner. We apologize for any confusion the mistake may have caused you.
"It is our primary goal to bring our readers accurate and helpful information as well as great service, so the error certainly will be corrected in an upcoming issue."
Hmm... We really have to take responsibility for our own health.
Imagine! A health newsletter giving out wrong info. How about all those who received it and followed the advice blindly, knowing no better? Dangerous. Dangerous.
Whether "mainstream" or "alternative" approaches, we really just have to do our own research. Our health is our responsibility, not the doctors', not the "alternative" practitioners', not the advertizers', not the drug companies', not anyone's. It's all our own.
As to vitamin K in Natto, my doctor told me that Nattokinase NSK SD from Allergy Research Group does NOT have vitamin K. There is vitamin K in the type of Natto eaten in Japan or Asian countries, but not in the supplement that I take to remove fibrinogen in my blood. I can't varify that other brands of Nattokinase do not have K, but I believe Nutricology and Alergy Research Group are "possibly" the same company.
Vitamin K may reverse artery hardening, suggests study
By Stephen Daniells
12/11/2006 - A high-dose vitamin K supplement reduced calcium precipitates associated with hardening of the arteries by 37 per cent in rats, scientists from The Netherlands have reported.
If the results can be reproduced in humans, high-dose vitamin K could have potential clinical implications for reducing arterial calcification, which is an important independent risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
�High vitamin K intake not only prevents calcification, but even regresses arterial calcifications,� lead researcher Leon Schurgers from Maastricht University told NutraIngredients.com.
There are two main forms of vitamin K: phylloquinone, also known as phytonadione, (vitamin K1) which is found in green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, broccoli and spinach, and makes up about 90 per cent of the vitamin K in a typical Western diet; and menaquinones (vitamins K2), which make up about 10 per cent of Western vitamin K consumption and can be synthesised in the gut by microflora.
Menaquinones (MK-n: with the n determined by the number of prenyl side chains) can also be found in the diet; MK-4 can be found in animal meat, MK-7, MK-8, and MK-9 are found in fermented food products like cheese, and natto is a rich source of MK-7.
Some sources have said that MK-4, also known as menatetrenone, is synthetic vitamin K2, which is not correct. However, MK-4 is distinct from other MKs because it not a major constituent of the spectrum of MKs produced by gut microflora, but can be derived from K1 in vivo.
A synthetic form of vitamin K, known as K3, does exist but is not recommended for human consumption.
The new study, published on-line ahead of print in the journal Blood, is said to be the first in rats to show that arterial calcification (calcium build-up that produces hardening) and the subsequent decreased elasticity of the blood vessels may be reversible by high vitamin K intake.
"The medical community used to believe that calcification passively occurred in the end stages of cardiovascular disease," said Schurgers. "However, in the last 10 years we have learned that Vitamin K-dependent proteins are directly involved in the inhibition of vascular calcification, and that Vitamin K2 is necessary to activate these proteins. This study demonstrates a significant potential role for Vitamin K2 in cardiovascular health."
In the new study, the researchers induced arterial hardening in rats by interfering with vitamin K-metabolism, by adding the vitamin K-antagonist warfarin to the diets. Vitamin K is reported to act on a protein called matrix Gla-Protein (MGP), said to be the strongest inhibitor of arterial calcification.
Initially, the rats were divided into two groups, a control group with vitamin K added to the diet, and a warfarin treated group to induce calcification. After six weeks of treatment with warfarin, the researchers report that the rats showed signs of significant arterial hardening.
The warfarin treated rats were then further divided into four groups and assigned to one of four intervention groups for a further six weeks: a standard diet plus warfarin, a standard diet plus vitamin K1 at normal dose (5 micrograms per gram of food, purchased from Sigma), a standard diet plus high-dose vitamin K1 (100 micrograms per gram of food), or the standard diet plus high-dose vitamin K2 (MK-4, 100 micrograms per gram of food, gifted from Eisai, Japan).
Schurgers and his co-workers report that during the second six week period, the calcifications in the warfarin-treated control group continued linearly, as did the calcification in the normal dose vitamin K1 group, indicating that dietary vitamin K1 intake had no effect.
However, in both high-dose groups (K1 and K2) no continued calcification occurred, but the existing hardening was found to be reversed by about 40 per cent after six weeks of supplementation.
Interestingly, vitamin K2 concentration in the tissues of both groups were similar, which showed the vitamin K1 was converted into vitamin K2.
"The effect of K1 and the conversion rate of K1 to K2 was due to the extremely high dose of K vitamins used in this model,� said Schurgers. �This would be probably less in a normal diet, even with supplemental K1. In contrast, the Rotterdam study showed a significant protective benefit with Natural Vitamin K2 at just 45mcg per day, whereas K1 had no correlation at all."
The researchers also report that the reduced calcification was also accompanied by improved arterial elasticity in the high vitamin K groups to a similar level as in the control rats.
�In this study we provide evidence that warfarin-induced medial vascular calcification in rats is preventable or even reversible by high vitamin K intake, with a putative role for the vitamin K-dependent protein MGP,� wrote the researchers.
�Whether increased vitamin K intake could have such an effect in humans has to be investigated,� they concluded. �Obviously this is only possible in patients not receiving oral anticoagulant treatment.�
Source: Blood First Edition Paper
Published on-line ahead of print. doi: 10.1182/blood-2006-07-035345
�Regression of warfarin-induced medial elastocalcinosis by high intake of vitamin K in rats�
Authors: L.J. Schurgers, H.M.H. Spronk, B.A.M. Soute, P.M. Schiffers, J.G.R. DeMey, and C. Vermeer NutraIngredients