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Vitamin K2

Vitamin K2 and Your Bones (Product Recommendations)

written by Vin Kutty

comments 67 comments

vitamin k2 bone

Guest article by Kathy Mankofsky RD, LD.

In part 1 we talked about how Vitamin K2 supports proper calcium usage in the body – into bones and teeth and away from sensitive soft tissues like gums and arteries.*

K2 may be the missing link in your bone health

We know bones need calcium. We also know bones need Vitamin D.

Add Vitamin K2 to the list. K2 improves bone strength and reduces risk of bone fractures.*

Vitamin K2 plays a critical role in the process of building new bones.

In Japan, they have successfully used Vitamin K2 as a prescription medication for strengthening bones for many years.

Vitamin K2 deficiency increases risk to bones.

Additional proof: in a meta-analysis of 13 studies on Vitamin K2,

  • They found that Vitamin K2 significantly reduced risk of fractures in 12 out of the 13 studies.
  • Overall results showed 80% reduction in hip fractures.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


How does Vitamin K2 increase bone strength?*

It works by activating 2 major proteins, Osteocalcin and Matrix GLA protein (MGP).

Osteocalcin is in charge of depositing calcium into the bones.

MGP is the same protein that keeps calcium from being deposited in the blood vessels. See Part 1.

If your diet is low in Vitamin K2, these bone proteins cannot be activated.

Can you get enough Vitamin K2 from your diet?

Sure, if you learn to like Natto, the slimy fermented soybeans that are popular in Japan. Hard cheeses and chicken livers are good sources.

If you eat Natto every day, you can get enough Vitamin K2. But several studies indicate that the amount of Vitamin K2 needed to activate bone proteins is much higher than what can be obtained through western diets.

‘What if I eat a lot of green leafy veggies? Won’t the bacteria in my intestines convert the K1 in veggies to K2?’


Only 6% of the Vitamin K1 gets converted to K2. This assumes ideal probiotic flora in your gut, which is unlikely these days. So this minor conversion to K2 is not enough to protect your bones or your heart.

How much Vitamin K2 do you need for your bones and your heart?

The adequate intake (AI) for Vitamin K is 90 micrograms (mcg)/day for women and 120 mcg/day for men.

This value is solely based on the Vitamin K1 requirement to prevent bleeding. It doesn’t account for your Vitamin K2 needs for keeping your bones and heart healthy.

So the ‘Adequate intake’ is, well, inadequate. Too low to protect your heart and your bones.

When people were supplemented with 200 mcg per day of MK-7 form of K2, the proteins that are dependent on Vitamin K2 were almost fully activated.  Yet most K2 supplements on the market do not provide 200 mcg per pill.

You’d have to eat a pound of hard cheese to get that much MK-7.

The average intake of Vitamin K2 in Japan is 230 mcg per day. That’s very high and you don’t need quite that much to keep your heart healthy, but may partly explains why Japanese have good heart health. Other possible reasons are their high Omega-3 and Iodine intake and low sugar consumption.*

There is some evidence that says that taking more than 50 mcg of MK-7 is not recommended for those on blood thinners.  Talk to your doctor before taking K2 if you are taking any prescription anti-coagulants or blood thinners. However, if you’re not on anti-coagulant medication, there appears to be no risk of overdosing if you follow recommended doses of Vitamin K2.

Choosing a Vitamin K2 supplement

MK-4 Supplements

  • 45 mg three times per day has been used in Japan medically. This is an extremely high dose – doses of 1 mg or 1000 mcg is likely to yield benefits.*
  • Studies show reduced arterial calcification with 45 mg per day of MK4. But in these studies they took it 3 times a day
  • MK-4 has a short half life (time it takes for half the consumed amount to clear out of your body) of 1.5 hours

MK-7 Supplements

  • This form stays in your body up to 2 days and is well absorbed
  • It is usually derived from plants and you can take it once a day
  • The required dosage of MK-7 is much smaller than MK-4. Usually about 100 mcg per day.
  • Good news for vegans: many MK-7 supplements are extracted from soy (Natto.)

Popular brands of Vitamin K2

  • InnovixLabs has 500 mcg of MK-4 and 100 mcg of MK-7 for $0.22 per pill
  • Jarrow has 90 mcg of MK-7 for $0.23 per pill
  • Solgar has 100 mcg of MK-7 for $.28 per pill
  • Mercola K2 has 150 mcg of MK-7 at $0.93 per pill

Editor: Prices verified May 2013. Prices may vary with quantity and promotions, so keep that in mind while you shop.

Most brands seem to offer only MK-7 as a single ingredient. That’s largely because MK-7 is more commercially viable (profitable). This does not reflect the lack of availability of science behind MK-4.

Since fermented foods in nature have a blend of MK-4, MK-7 and even traces of MK-8 and MK-9, we recommend that you can take a mixture of MK-4 and MK-7 along with green leafy vegetables and hard cheeses.

Norwegian Jarlsberg and Swiss Emmental cheese are good sources of MK-9. At this time (2013), MK-8, 9 or higher are not available in supplement form.

A note of caution about fat-soluble vitamins…

Vitamins work together as a team, especially fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K. If you have too much of one and not enough of another, the team falls apart.

Vitamins D and  K2 work together with calcium as a team for good heart health and good bone health. Kate Rheaume-Bleue says that Vitamin A is also part of this team in her book titled Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox .

And finally, being fat-soluble vitamins, K2 is best absorbed when taken with a meal that contains fats. Don’t take your K2 supplement on an empty stomach.

Fish Oil Labels Kathy Mankofsky RD, LD is a registered and licensed dietitian. She has studied Omega-3s extensively. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri.


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


Join the conversation

  1. Thank you for the wonderful article.
    Would you please clarify the MK 4 dosage?
    45mg 3 times a day, yet LifeExtnsion brand has 1mg per pill. If I understand this, then one needs to take 45 pills 3 times a day to meet the study’s dosage. I appreciate your clarification.

    • Hi Jackie – you don’t need to take the study dosage. Clearly, taking 45 pills 3X a day is unreasonable. You’ll be perfectly fine taking one of the LifeExtension pills a day. 1 mg/day of MK-4 is enough.

    • Hi y’all
      So im new to this topic but looking to get a vitamin d n k combo..while ill ultimately reduce to a maintenance dose. I need a catch up dose to begin with to combat my symptoms..based on the numbers of the completed studies ..if 45mg 3 times a day isconsidered a high dose..yet it was what yields results..and the highest mg ive come across of mk4 is have to take 27 a day…so can you make sense of this?? Is that what people have to do to take a medicinal dose of this?

      • Hi Andrea – there are several products that combine D3 and K2. It’s the new thing. But while K2 needs may not change from month to month assuming your diet is somewhat the same over the seasons, that is not the case with D3. You can get plenty of D3 in the summer time and supplementing with it may not be needed. Certainly, in the winter and spring, you will need about 4000 IU of D3 daily. But probably half that much or less during summer, assuming you spend time outdoors in the sun. This is why we suggest taking D3 based on your blood test levels. And taking about 500 to 1000 microgram (mcg) of K2 in the MK-4 form and about 100 mcg of K2 in the MK-7 form. You DO NOT need 45 milligram (mg) that’s 45,000 mcg three times a day! Not at all!

    • Wow, finally an article that covers all of the bases, synergies and bioavailabilities ~~and the dosage requirements between mk4 (mg) and mk7 (mcg) (I’ve been trying to figure this one out for days!) Well done!

  2. What about the popular Weston Price based supplement High Vitamin Butter oil? It is supposedly high in K2 (I dont know which kind…MK4 or MK7??). Would a 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon of that per day be adequate vs this supplement? Would taking them both lead to overdose or negative effects?

    Secondly, how does one know if they are getting adequate Vitamin A, D, E, and K plus Calcium when taking K2? I assume getting more K2 means the body would use the amounts of these other vitamins more effectively? Could that lead to having too little of these vs someone that doesnt get the K2 dose?

    • Hi John – I have not seen a breakdown of the butter oil. But my guess is that it’s mostly MK-4. Hope it has MK-7. Either way, it’s a good source of preformed Vitamin A. You’ll need 2-3 oz of hard cheeses to get enough MK-7. If you take both, you may want to skip the supplement every couple of days. Studies didn’t show negative side effects at very high doses of the MK forms.

      Tough to guess if you’re getting enough A or K. D is an easy test. If you eat a Weston Price type diet, with liver/organ meats a few nuts/seed, seafood etc and exposure to mid day sun, you are very unlikely to be deficient in the non-K fat-soluble vitamins. If you’re K1/K2 deficient then you’re likely in trouble, but getting an excess of K2 isnt going to increase the metabolism of the other Vits beyond what’s necessary. My point: don’t fall for the more-is-better trap.

      • Please clarify the recommended balance between A, D, E and K.
        You state, “If you have too much of one and not enough of another, the team falls apart.” What is the balance of these vitamins in mg please : )

        • Hi Leslie – this is difficult to say because how much you supplement with depends entirely on your diet and sun exposure…and I have yet to see an accurate and scientifically backed ratio of these 4. Also, Vitamin E stands apart a little bit. A, D3, and K2 seem (from what we know now) to be more tied to each other.

          Having said all that, averaged over a week, I try take a daily dose of 10,000 to 20,000 IU of Vitamin A, 4000 IU Vitamin D3 and 7,000 mcg of MK-4 form of Vitamin K2 and 1,400 mcg of MK-7 form of Vitamin K2. I never take more than that, but regularly take less because I either forget or get too busy. Also, if I eat foods that contain a lot of A, and K2, I will skip a couple of days.

          Also, don’t forget that without Magnesium, your Vitamin D3 intake is somewhat useless. You need about 400 mg of Magnesium daily.

    • Testing ( 2 samples) at Dr. Vermeers Lab Vita K shows the butter oil contains MK-4 and K-1 in testing done in 2015

      Butter oil – MK-4 250-259 -ng/g ; K1 – 97.1 ng/g

      Ghee Pure Indian Foods 324-335 ng/g
      Walkabout emu oil 2853-2978 ng/g
      Land o Lakes butter 237,0 ng/g

  3. Hi Betty – great question – I agree with Dr. Kate’s K2 dosage. 1000 IU of D3 is barely enough – may be in the summer and if you’re outside a lot, but definitely not in the winter, if you live in a place that gets cold. I take 5000 IU of D3 5 days a week. I skip the weekends. I’d aim for 400 mg of magnesium from any organic forms (citrate, glycinate, etc.) I dont recommend supplementing Boron by itself – get it from fruits, nuts and dark leafy greens. Vitamin A is best obtained in its preformed form from animal fats – grass-fed butter, heavy cream and liver are my preferred sources.

  4. Hi Mr. Kutty,

    Can you blog about vit B12. Lots of people tell me to take it but the issue is what brand, dosage etc.
    Thanks in advance

  5. Hi Vin,

    Do you know of a formulation of calcium, D3, K2, magnesium, and anything else that will tell calcium to deposit in the bones/teeth and not heart vessels, all in 1 pill ? I currently take calcium/D3 combo and take magnesium glycinate separately. Now I have to add K2 to this.



    • Hi DPK – this comes somewhat close: but I still have a lot of issues with this formula.

      Here are some of my issues:
      1. If you take 6 pills, you get 45 mcg of K2 as MK-7. What about MK-4?
      2. 6 pills = 1000 mg of Calcium. I prefer to get no more than 500 mg or so of Calcium as supplements
      3. Magnesium is in the oxide form. I prefer glycinate, malate or one of the other organic forms.

      This is why I prefer to pick and choose individual supplements based on my diet. Given my schedules and demands placed on my time, there will be weeks when I eat poorly. And I know what I need to supplement with based on that.

      Also, I prefer to get my Vitamin D from the sun and not from supplements. I shamelessly expose myself to the almighty sun during the middle of the day. No shades. No sunscreen. Neighbors have not complained. Yet.
      I might take a 5000 IU D3 pill a week during cold winter months.

  6. If you have Factor V Leiden, ( a blood clotting disorder) , can you take Vit K2? Would Vit K 2 do the same as Vit K, clot the blood?

    • Hi Lynne – I’d double-check with your doctor just to be safe…but Vitamin K2, the MK-4 and MK-7 forms do not affect blood clotting and they are the ones that provide a lot of heart and bone benefits. These two forms are much harder to get from the diet than K1, which does affect clotting.

  7. Love all of your supplement information you give us!
    What type of calcium would you recommend for good absorption? I’m torn between citrate, malate, citramate, glycinate, MCHA and algae. (or any other you think is good) I plan on taking around 400-500 mg and the rest from diet. I’ll also take 400 mg. of Jigsaw magnesium, 2 softgels of Life Ext. super K, 5000 iu of Vit. D and 1 capsule of Life Ext. Only Trace Minerals and of course Krill Oil daily. Please guide me in the type of calcium I should take.

    • Hi Elizabeth – as long as you are not look at Calcium carbonate, you’re probably fine. Any of the ones you mentioned are OK. And keeping it to 400-500 mg is also a good idea. I would not take more than that. Also, why krill oil? Fish oil is a much better source of Omega-3. Have you read our blogs on Krill? I’m NOT trying to get you to buy OmegaVia…but am trying to get you off krill. 🙂

  8. Thanks so much for the quick reply back and that you confirm the 400mg of calcium. I am in the process of switching over to fish oil when my krill is all gone. What do you think of the other supplements and amounts (magnesium., D, K and trace minerals) I take for bone health?

  9. I have been taking Life Extension Super K with advanced K2 complex for about 2 months. When I went to have my teeth cleaned the hygienist noticed a lot of gum bleeding. (very unusual for me since I have very good dental hygiene)

    Do you think it had something to do with the Vitamin K?

    • Hi Betty – the K2 in the formula (MK-4 and MK-7) do not increase bleeding. However, it is possible that the K1 may, even though the product has very low levels of K1 in it. You may want to check with your doctor and also call Life Extension science consultants – they have well-trained team of people who can answer your questions.

    • Hi Arun – I still prefer Life Extension because I trust the brand and the technical folks behind it. Also, Life Ext has 200 mcg of MK-7 form of Vitamin K2. This is a better dose. Vitacost has too little MK-4 to be meaningful, but most formulas do. No one needs to supplement K1 if they eat green leafy vegetables – the body also recycles K1.

      Also, the biggest mistake people who take Vit K2 make is not taking Vit A and D with it. All three work together. By Vit A, I mean the pre-formed kind, not the carotene stuff that is poorly metabolized.

      • Hi Vin,

        Would you be able to comment on the Vit D : Vit A ratio? This seems to be point of contention with ranges from 5 to 8 : 1 all the way to 1: 2.

        • Hi Arun – the best I can do is chime in and add to the noise. I’ve read a couple of studies on this and based on that data, I go with 5X more Vitamin A than D. I don’t stress out about it – I make sure I get D + A + K2. Virtually everyone is now paranoid about Vit D deficiency. I know many who take 10,000IU per day (thanks to TV) but are also afraid of Vit A (also thanks to TV). This is just nuts! It’s dangerous groupthink.

          My winter-time routine is 5000IU of D3 and 25,000IU of A extracted from cod liver.

          I skip the A (and quite a few other supplements) if I eat liver. And in the summertime, I regularly skip the D or just quit taking it when I get enough sun. I take K2 every single day – I think it is so important that we will be launching a K2 supplement within the next year or two.

          • Hi Vin,

            Thanks for the update. I do have a question about the safety of 25,000 IU of vitamin A on a daily basis over the long term.


            Institute of Medicine’s NOAEL for vitamin A is 10,000 IU whereas LOAEL is 21,600 IU when taken over a period of time, such as three months.

            Based on these I think 15,000 IU seems a reasonable NOAEL limit. However, none of these studies have been conducted with higher doses of vitamin D and K2. What is your opinion on the combined effect of vitamin A, D and K2 co-administration increasing the NOAEL limit of vitamin A?

            • Hi Arun – for most people, a Vit D dose of 2000 to 3000IU works puts them at an optimal level. So 5X of that would be 10,000 to 15,000IU of A. I don’t see an issue with those levels. Where they’ve seen problems have been when they administered several thousand fold more Vit A than D. I’m comfortable with my Vit A dosage of 25,000 on days when I don’t eat liver…and there are days when I just don’t get around to it.

              Having said that, if you’re getting 10,0000IU of pre-formed Vit A, you’re in great shape. Also, the problem with adverse events data on fat-soluble vitamins is that they’re done in vacuum (absent from other the other 3 fat-solubles), ignoring any potential safety net one provides the other. This problem is extended to supplements, which are all sold separately from each other.

              I suspect that if A, D, E and K2 were co-administered, that you could easily take 50,000 IU or more without issues. Just my guess. Looking at this thru an evolutionary lens, if you go back 20,000 years, it is quite likely that early humans regularly got 100,000 IU (or more!) of Vit A from organ meats after a hunt. But they probably got very little the week after. So if you’re supplementing 25K like me, it is probably a good idea to have ‘planned dosage skips.’ There is room to slack off.

          • I’d certainly love it if you can come out with a sustained release form of MK-4 (30 to 45mg) and Mk-7 (200 to 300 mcg) combination. Even better if you can bundle it with A and D as well.

            • Yeah, Arun – we’re thinking along similar lines. But don’t write off MK-4 because of its short half-life. It may accomplish everything it needs to in a couple of hours. Think of Vit C. And just because the studies were done on 45 mg of MK-4 does not mean we need that much. Consuming that much MK-4 naturally through foods would be highly unlikely.

          • How much k2/ M7 should a tablet have. I also take multleble D3 and magnesium sepately. K2/m7 came in 120 and 280. Don’t know which to chose. Any help.

            • Hi Gloria – if your concern is bone strength (K2 does a lot more than just strengthen bones), then 100 to 200 micrograms (or mcg) of MK-7 daily is a good target. The MK-4 form of K2 is better at supporting other organs like the brain.

  10. Hi Vin, I have read about a high dose vitamin C and K2 treatment for cancer which recommends a 100:1 ratio of 5000mg C and 50mg K2. The only affordable K2 I have found is a 15mg tablet of K2 M-4. Reading above about the short half life of M-4 would it be best to take 3 or 4 tablets (45-60mg) at one time with the vitamin C or spread out over 3 meal times? I currently take 6g per day of vitamin C spread over 3 meal times with no side effects. In fact, since I have been taking high dose vitamin C I feel great! I also take 5000IU of vitamin D3, three times daily with no side effects.

    Thanks for your article and comments.
    Kerry Sydney, Australia

    • Hi Kerry – I have not heard or read anything about this protocol, so I can’t comment on it other than saying 50 mg of K2 seems like a lot. K2 does not get stored in the body for very long, so there is probably not much risk at taking that much daily – still, please check with your doctor to make sure you are not causing some unknown, unintended harm.

  11. Hi Vin,

    You said that you give your twins Thorne Research liquid Vitamin K2 when they’re baby/very young. I want to give this to my 2 year old girl. She doesn’t like to eat, let alone hard cheese for vitamin K source. She would try any food 2 or 3 bites and that’s it! Only sometimes she eats and finish all her meal. But, Most of the time she eats very little spoons in each her meal, but she really likes to drink her formula milk. About 3-4 of 8 oz cup. There are days that she only drink milk a lot of them and just eat few little spoon of solid meals in a day. So I can only give her 1 meal or two meals top in a day, the rest is milk formula. Even when I reduce her milk, mostly she eats only few little spoon. I only give her Nordic Naturals baby DHA drops since 8 months old, sometimes liquid multivitamin.
    What do you give to your twins beside they eat solid meals? Is there anything else beside DHA for them?
    Also, for Thorne liquid vitamin K2, how much should I give to my girl ? Should I give daily or once in a week?

    • Hi Melia – kids are not easy to feed. But it looks like she has you trained. A full day of nothing but formula for a 2 year old is going to be a disaster. Vitamin K2 is the least of your problems. What you need to do is not easy, but hunger makes everything taste a little better.

      The liquid Thorne K2 drops can be given daily or a few times a week. But check with your pediatrician. If you follow label directions, you can easily give her way more than necessary. Two or three drops is fine. You don’t need 15 drops like the label suggests.

      My kids are older now and eat hard cheeses, chicken, fermented foods etc. But I still give them fat soluble vitamins in softgel form once or twice a week, depending on their diet and sun exposure. In winter time, with little or no sun, I give them a 5000 IU D3, 20,000 IU Vit A (both made by NOW Foods), and InnovixLabs K2. One pill each and they just pop in their mouths and burst/chew away. This happens once or twice a week. I may give them the K2 two or three times a week. They also pop Omega-3 capsules and chew it. They also get spoonfuls of prebiotic powder that they swish and swallow with water. They are, after all, my kids. I’ll give them Vit C, probiotics and Zinc if they come down with colds – it won’t prevent colds, but helps with severity and duration.

      • Hi Vin, after a few months since my last email above, my daughter now finishes her meals. So happy! But she still likes to hold food in her mouth whenever she doesn’t really like the food.
        I want to give all the supplement you give to your twins to my daughter. So far, I have her Nordics DHA drops, Thorne Vit K2 drops and Baby Ddrops Vit D3. Then, (correct me please) I will have to buy NOW foods Vitamin A and should I have vit E too? If so how many IU of each for 2 years old? I heard vitamin A is dangerous but it is important to take with vit K2 and D3. She doesnt eat liver… how bout calcium? May I know why you dont give calcium? And how bout zinc and vit C? Which brand and dosage ? She still doesnt eat cheese that much, only little bit. But she likes to have rice, veggies and bone broth soup to drink…

        • Hi Melia – glad you are seeing some improvements. Yes, getting adequate A is important with D and K2. But I would get Vitamin A from foods, rather than supplements at this age. Vit E is important too, but again, target getting it from foods. I dont give my kids calcium because their diet contains enough of it from seafood, vegetables, and meats cooked with bone in. If my kids catch a cold, I may give them some Vitamin C and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (Culturelle) and a teaspoon of Prebiotics from our sister brand InnovixLabs. The prebiotic fiber is a fairly regular part of their life, even if they eat a fair amount of veggies.

  12. If I had 1 cent for every person who published an article warning us that fat soluble vitamins need to be consumed in balance, but failed to tell us precisely what this balance is, I would have saved up enough money to purchase around $20 dollars worth of petrol. I’ve just spent another 10 minutes of life reading yet another article warning us to consume fat soluble vitamins in balance, but not actually telling us what that balance is? Any chance of telling us what this balance must be, precisely? Or do you simply not know and if you don’t know precisely what levels are balanced, why warn us to maintain a balance?

    • Hi Jim – if you had a penny for every one of those articles, you’d have roughly 10 cents is my guess. The reason why no one has precise numbers is because the research hasn’t been done. The Weston Price Foundation and Chris Masterjohn have both published really good articles on this subject. If I gave your specific numbers, that wouldn’t be based on published research. What we have is traditional consumption amounts from healthy, hunter gatherer, non-industrial societies. Even there, you’ll see lots of variability. If you’re a life guard on Miami Beach, you clearly should not supplement with Vitamin D. If you eat liver regularly, you don’t need Vitamin A supplements.

      Based on all that, I have a cocktail of supplements that I take when I don’t eat liver or my sun exposure is inadequate. Generally speaking, I like a 10:1 to 5:1 ratio of A to D. This is my routine. Whether my routine can work for you depends on your diet and sun exposure. I give my family a variation of this combination. Example: my kids ate liver snacks and played for 5 hours in the pool yesterday (mid-day in Southern California with very high UV levels), so I won’t be giving them Vitamin D for a while. I’ll skip the Vitamin A as well.

      I take one capsule of each:
      Vitamin A:
      Vitamin D:
      Vitamin E complex:
      Vitamin K2:

      I suggest starting a food diary and having a dietitian analyze it before creating your own cocktail of pills.

    • Hi Eddie – I get this question from time to time. The correct ratios in diet has not been published. But the correct ratios for supplements depends on your diet and your sun exposure. So I cannot give you specific numbers.

      Research hasn’t been done to support public policy on ratios. The Weston Price Foundation and Chris Masterjohn have both published really good articles on this subject. If I gave your specific numbers, that wouldn’t be based on published research. What we have is traditional consumption amounts from healthy, hunter gatherer, non-industrial societies. Even there, you’ll see lots of variability. If you’re a life guard on Miami Beach, you clearly should not supplement with Vitamin D. If you eat liver regularly, you don’t need Vitamin A supplements.

      Based on all that, I have a cocktail of supplements that I take when I don’t eat liver or my sun exposure is inadequate. Generally speaking, I like a 10:1 to 5:1 ratio of A to D. This is my routine. Whether my routine can work for you depends on your diet and sun exposure. I give my family a variation of this combination. Example: my kids ate liver snacks and played for 5 hours in the pool yesterday (mid-day in Southern California with very high UV levels), so I won’t be giving them Vitamin D for a while. I’ll skip the Vitamin A as well.

      I take one capsule of each:
      Vitamin A:
      Vitamin D:
      Vitamin E complex:
      Vitamin K2:

      I suggest starting a food diary and having a dietitian analyze it before creating your own cocktail of pills.

  13. Hi!
    Why i don’t see any word about the magnesium role and importance? If we agree that D3, A and K2 are important we can forget this mineral, Magnesium! What is your opinion? Many thanks.

    • Hi Ivo – you are right, Magnesium is critical for bone health and several other functions unrelated to bones. About 80% are deficient in Magnesium too.

  14. Hello Vin. In July of this year a routine blood test revealed that I had stage 5 Chronic Kidney Disease. My hemoglobin was at 6.2 (normal for a man is 15-17. My creatinine level was at 6.7 (normal is 0.5 to 1.2). While I have had a history of kidney stones, my prior blood test had not shown any problems with hemoglobin or creatinine. So this was not a slowly progressive condition but, a fairly sudden onset. While in the hospital ( 10 days) for my 4 unit blood transfusion and battery of tests to determine why my kidneys had quit functioning, I had plenty of time to search online for kidney disease topics and ran accross an artical recommending Innovix full spectrum K2 to keep calcium out of my kidneys. It mentioned that meat and dairy were the primary sources of K2 and it dawned on me that it was probably my wife and I going on a vegan diet in August of 2016 that allowed my kidneys to clog up with excess calcium.

    Since beginning to supplement with full spectrum K2 in late August, my creatinine level has progressively dropped from 6.7 to 3.15 in mid-November. Have you any other reports of full spectrum K2 reducing creatinine levels? My Nephrologist and the entire Kidney Disease industry only believe their treatment options slow the progression of kidney failure, not prevent or cure it. They just prepare you for the certain eventuality of dialysis or kidney transplant. To my knowledge there are no big pharma drugs that claim to lower creatinine levels, so I’m going to credit Innovix Full Spectrum K2 for keeping the dialysis wolf away from my door. I’m praying my levels continue to drop into the normal range which will make me an ex-CKD patient.

    • Hi Chuck – looking for health information online when you’ve recently been diagnosed with an illness can be a scary thing. The internet is full of information, both good and bad. Without the experience and perspective of a doctor, unfiltered medical data online can be a dangerous thing. No, the irony of my adding to that noise is not lost on me.

      For most Americans, their only source of K2 is chicken and some hard cheeses. Neither contains much, but it’s better than nothing. If you choose to remain a vegan it’s time for you to start consuming a lot of fermented veggies like sauerkraut, natto, etc that contain K2. It’s just that people who become vegan do not include these foods into their new diet. The vegan diet is emotionally/spiritually and possibly even environmentally superior, but it is not nutritionally superior. You have to REALLY know your nutrition science to make veganism work.

      Having said all that, if you are prone to kidney stones, you probably were already genetically predisposed along with being chronically K2 deficient for a while before going vegan. There is a connection between K2 status and kidney health. Calcified arteries are very prevalent in dialysis patients, possibly suggesting a connection:

      If there are nephrology related benefits other than calcium deposits, it is not fully clear yet. Yours is the first customer report on this subject, possibly because creatinine is easy to measure. You can measure K2 status with Dephosphorylated-Uncarboxylated MGP, yes, that’s a mouthful, so it’s often called dp-ucMGP.

      Most research on K2 still focuses on either bone health or arterial elasticity. But is STARTING to get recognized as a ‘marker’ of kidney health:

      Please do me a favor: come back and share your experience with us. Thanks.

    • Hi Gopi – Vitamin K2 will not cause blood clotting. However high doses may interfere with some blood thinning medications. If you are taking or considering blood thinning medications, please talk to your doctor.

  15. If I take 5000iu D3 how much K2 should I take? If I take 10,000iu D3.. how much k2 should i take? Thanks

    • Hi Lisa – we don’t have official guidelines about the ratios of these interconnected vitamins. For health maintenance, 500 to 1000 micrograms of MK-4 and anywhere from 50-200 mcg of longer-chain MKs like MK-7 will be plenty, regardless of how much D you are taking. Having said that, I would not take 10,000 IU of D3 on a daily basis. Daily 10K dose is fine if you are being treated for severe D3 deficiency by a doctor. Otherwise, 10K is more than most people need. Long-term use of that dose will eventually cause problems because D3 is a hormone, not a vitamins. More D3 is not better. Once your blood level is at 50-60, then you should back off from 10K down to a level that is sustainable.

      Also, don’t forget Vitamin A. It works with D3 and K2.

    • Hi – simply put, Vitamin K2 (MK7 or others) activate Vitamin K-dependent proteins. There are a few of these proteins (MGP, GAS6 etc.) and these proteins are involved in what the body does with calcium. When there is adequate K2 in the body, these proteins are activated to deposit calcium into bones and teeth…and away from soft tissues like arteries. In that sense, there is a double effect: stronger bones and teeth as well as less inappropriate calcium deposition in places like arteries, gum line, and other soft tissues.

  16. Hi,

    I’m trying to understand the benefits (if any) of K2 on bone remodeling.
    Weston Price did a lot of research on crooked teeth and Craniofacial dystrophy, where the face becomes elongated and grows downwards because of a missing Activator X (now known as Vit K2) in the western diet.
    Based on Price’s and many other’s research, Dr. Mew formulated the Tropic premise, that it is actually the usage of the craniofacial musculature and the position of the tongue and lips that is responsible for the growth of the midface.
    We usually stop growing after around 25, but the bones continue to remodel even after this age. Because of this and the correct usage of the jaws, the muscles around it and the tongue, the midface should be able to very slowly change and progress towards its genetic potential.

    Can you comment on this? Do you know of any study that has been done on the effect of K2 on bone remodeling? Do you have any other information regarding this topic that you would like to share?

    Thank you very much for your time,

    • Hi L – this is a good question. You are correct that bones are broken down and rebuilt constantly. It may take years, but it is possible to see minor change in bone shape and structure if the body is given K2 and all supporting nutrients. Having said that, I am not aware of any studies that have looked at how bones are remodeled to alter craniofacial shape and structure. There are lots of studies on the effects of K2 on bone density:

      • Hi, please advise if animal (from sheep wool) or plant based Vitamin D3 is safer or more beneficial, as I noticed most health conscious people are opting for the plant based D3.

        I have to make a choice between a combo D3 (5000iu) + 500 mcg K2 ( not sure if MK4 or MK7), but the D3 is most likely animal based, but affordable,because you get both vitamins combined in a single tablet/capsule.

        The other choice is a vegetarian friendly D3 (5000iu) combined with MCT, but then I have to get a separate 125 mcg K2 (MK4 + MK7) or 100 mcg K2 (MK7), which will be more costly compared to the D3K2 combo, however one cannot put a price on health, so your advice will be highly appreciated.

        I currently use 1000 mg Vitamin C, Salmon based Omega 3, at times Flaxseed, Cod Liver Oil tablets, Echinacea, Multivitamins and another Immune Booster combined with anti-oxidants and vitamins, and looking at boosting my D3 levels, as we are heading into winter.

        I would also appreciate your opinion on the effectiveness of Moringa capsules to keep my sugar levels under control…I am not diabetic, but is borderline I believe.

        I’m also looking at Curcumin & Piperine combo tablets, Quercetin B5, Maca Extra Strength tablets and a Zinc supplement to further boost my immunity, relieve joint and back pain, and the Maca to assist my wife with menopausal symptoms and extra energy. Please feel free to warn if any of these pose potential risks…

        Thank you for taking the time to read through all this 🙂

        • Hi Charlo – there is absolutely no benefit in taking the plant-based Vitamin D3 over the animal-based D3. It’s just that more people are vegan these days and vegans finally have a plant-based D3 available.

          The only problem I have with D3 and K3 combo products are that most people do not need more than 4000 IU of Vitamin D3 if taking it long term. Of course, that is just an average. 5000 IU seems to be a bit much for many and 3000 IU is inadequate. As a general rule, 4000 appears a better number. Then again, if you are severely deficient, you may need 10,000 IU daily for a few weeks to a month before you feel better. And after that, 4000 daily is better.

          My suggestion is to take the animal based D3. If 5000, take it five days a week instead of daily.

          Moringa, if eaten regularly, in the leaf form, as is done in several south asian cuisines, can be incredibly healthy. But I’m not sure taking capsules will help your nutrition status. And I am almost certain that taking the capsules will not prevent you from becoming diabetic. What WILL prevent diabetes, however, is a diet that is very low in sugar, grains, and refined carbs…as well as a very active lifestyle.

          I see no benefit in cod liver oil supplements if you are already taking Omega-3 supplements. Most cod liver oil pills do not have much A or D that they promise. Also, no need to constantly take immune boosting supplements on a daily basis – take them on an as-needed basis. Echinacea, Zinc, Immune boosters are fine…take it at the first sign of a cold. But not daily. Zinc is easily overdosed and that can cause copper-related issues. Curcumin is fine if taken daily.

  17. Hi,
    Do you know if fat soluble vitamins can compete with absorption with each other? I’ve heard D3 and K2 should be taken a few hours apart.

    • Hi Tim – I have not seen any credible evidence to support that claim. The receptors for these two fat-soluble vitamins are different. Sure, they may be TRANSPORTED within the body similarly due to them being fat-soluble, but I see absolutely no reason why you’d want to separate the consumption of Vitamins D3 and K2.

  18. Dear Vin Kutty,

    I take Omega-3 and garlic supplements daily and as you know, they have a blood thinning effect. I also take three capsules of NOW Foods Vitamin D3 + K2 daily (for a daily dose of 3,000IU of Vit D and 135 mcg of Mk-4. Why 3,000IU? Because I regularly check my Vit D level and 3,000IU/day is the ideal dose for me to get about 50-80 of Vit D level)

    I am planning to also take Mk-7, but I’m not sure what my correct dose should be, could you advise? And, I’m wondering if I can use Vit K2 to ‘balance out’ the blood-thinning effect of Omega-3 plus garlic?

    Thank you so much in advance!

    • Hi Shin – your NOW D3 + K2 has MK-7, not MK-4. You are taking 135 mcg of MK-7, so you don’t need more MK-7.

      If you want to add MK-4 to this, then 500 to 1000 mcg daily is enough.

      No, you cannot use K2 to offset blood thinning from other nutrients – this is not a concern unless you are taking Warfarin or other blood thinners or if you are about to have surgery. In both cases, talk to your doctor.

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