This Protein Can Affect How Much Vitamin K2 You Need

Updated: February 24, 2023

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Lara Pizzorno is the author of “Your Bones: How You Can Prevent Osteoporosis and Have Strong Bones for Life – Naturally” and a member of the American Medical Writers Association with 29 years of experience specializing in bone health.

Recently we asked Lara if she would help us provide a series of short, ongoing videos to help you (our customers and readers) stay up to date on the latest facts and science related to bone health.

In this latest video, Lara discusses how this one protein can affect how much vitamin K2 you need and which form is best for you. Watch the video below (or read the transcript provided) and let us know what you think in the comments. 🙂

Hello, my name’s Lara Pizzorno. I am the author of “Your Bones” and I’m here to share information with you that I hope can help you to have healthier bones.

In this video we’re going to talk about:

ApolipoproteinE or APOE for short, and how single nucleotide polymorphisms or SNPS in the gene for APOE can affect how much Vitamin K2 you need and what form of Vitamin K2 might serve you best.

So what’s ApolipoproteinE or APOE for short?

APOE is a protein that binds to Lipo, that’s why it’s APO Lipo. Which means fat containing proteins like cholesterol and the fat soluble vitamins, which include Vitamin K along with Vitamin D, A, and E. So that these fat soluble or fat containing compounds can be carried throughout our body in the bloodstream. As you probably know, fat and water don’t mix well so fat containing compounds, like cholesterol and the fat soluble vitamins, which include Vitamin K need help to move through our blood which is primarily made of water and this is the primary job of APOE.

So here is the bottom line for APOE. It comes in three flavors or SNPS. Three SNPS, APOE2, APOE3, and APOE4. Around 7% of us have inherited the APOE2 SNP. Most of us, about 78% of us, carry the SNP for APOE3, and about 14% of us have inherited the SNP for APOE4.

If you are among the 14% whose genetic inheritance includes a SNP for APOE4, you will remove Vitamin K rich lipoproteins from your bloodstream more quickly than the average person.

Because of this, you are going to need more K2 than the average person.

You will definitely want to be taking Vitamin K2 in the form of MK7. And you may need greater doses than the 120 micrograms per day which is the dose recommended for the average person. On the other hand, if you are among the 7% of us who have inherited the APOE2 SNP, you’re going to clear Vitamin K rich lipoproteins, and therefore Vitamin K2, more slowly than the average person. If you take the average amount of MK7, it may accumulate to greater levels in your body and in your brain, promote energy production so effectively in your brain that you have trouble sleeping.

Very few of us carry the APOE2 SNP, only about 7% of us. But if you’re one of them which you may suspect if neither atherosclerosis nor Alzheimer’s disease runs in your family. Which is a happy result of the protected anti-inflammatory effects of this APOE2 SNP, then you are among the few who are going to retain Vitamin K far longer than the average person. So you may find that taking MK7 every day doesn’t agree with you. In this case, you could try only taking your MK7 supplement every third day or so. Or supplementing with MK4 instead.

Most of us, 78% of us, carry the APOE3 SNP.

So we clear our Vitamin K2 delivering cholesterol neither too quickly nor too slowly and will do best with MK7. It’s easy to find out which form of APOE you have. Your doctor can run a blood test that will tell you. Or you can order one for yourself online, and I provided a link to one of the labs that offers this test.

In our next video we’re going to talk about another single nucleotide polymorphism that can make a big difference in how much Vitamin K2 you need. This is a SNP in the enzyme that recycles Vitamin K for reuse in our bodies, and it is an enzyme called Vitamin K epoxide reductase or VKOR for short. It’s a little easier to say and remember.

I hope this one has been interesting for you and that you will tune in to learn about VKOR and how it might affect your Vitamin K needs. Thanks for tuning in. Bye.


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Shearer MJ, Fu X, Booth SL. Vitamin K nutrition, metabolism, and requirements: current concepts and future research. Adv Nutr. 2012 Mar 1;3(2):182-95. doi: 10.3945/an.111.001800. PMID: 22516726

Pilkey RM, Morton AR, Boffa MB, et al.  Subclinical vitamin K deficiency in hemodialysis patients. Am J Kidney Dis. 2007 Mar;49(3):432-9. PMID: 17336705

Kaneki M. [Genomic approaches to bone and joint diseases. New insights into molecular mechanisms underlying protective effects of vitamin K on bone health].[Article in Japanese]Clin Calcium. 2008 Feb;18(2):224-32. doi: CliCa0802224232. PMID: 18245893

Jeenduang N, Porntadavity S, Wanmasae S. Combined PCSK9 and APOE Polymorphisms are Genetic Risk Factors Associated with Elevated Plasma Lipid Levels in a Thai Population. Lipids. 2015 Jun;50(6):543-53. doi: 10.1007/s11745-015-4017-9. Epub 2015 Apr 22. PMID: 25899039

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  1. Gary K Los Angeles

    September 18, 2020 , 6:06 am

    Thankyou for your vital amazing and fascinating new information discoveries in the K2 science and our health!!!! GK

  2. Blaire AlgaeCal

    September 22, 2020 , 10:18 am

    So glad you enjoyed the article, Gary! ?

    – Blaire @ AlgaeCal

This article features advice from our industry experts to give you the best possible info through cutting-edge research.

Lara Pizzorno
MDiv, MA, LMT - Best-selling author of Healthy Bones Healthy You! and Your Bones; Editor of Longevity Medicine Review, and Senior Medical Editor for Integrative Medicine Advisors.,
Dr. Liz Lipski
PhD, CNS, FACN, IFMP, BCHN, LDN - Professor and Director of Academic Development, Nutrition programs in Clinical Nutrition at Maryland University of Integrative Health.,
Dr. Loren Fishman
MD, B.Phil.,(oxon.) - Medical Director of Manhattan Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Founder of the Yoga Injury Prevention Website.,
Prof. Didier Hans
PHD, MBA - Head of Research & Development Center of Bone Diseases, Lausanne University Hospital CHUV, Switzerland,