Why Vitamin K2 (MK7) Works The Best For The Majority of People

Updated: October 17, 2022

Lara Cover Photo

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 why vitamin K2 in the form of MK7 is the best choice for the majority of us and how to figure out how much you need. 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’m the author of “Your Bones” and am here to share with you some information that I hope will help to you have healthier bones. In this series of videos we have been talking about Vitamin K and what it does for our bones in its different forms as Vitamin K1 and also in its Vitamin K2 forms of the MK4 and MK7.

In this video, I would like to share with you:

  • Why the MK7 form of Vitamin K2 works best for the majority of us,
  • But why some of us need more of these MK7 form than others do and why just a few of us may find that they need less MK7 than the average person. Or even that the MK4 form of Vitamin K serves them better.
  • We will also talk about how to figure out how much Vitamin K2 you need and whether you’ll do best with MK4 or MK7.

So as we discussed in an earlier video explaining the different types of Vitamin K2, MK7 and MK4, they are handled differently by our bodies. MK4 is cleared from the body within a matter of six to eight hours while MK7 remains active in the body for several days. And, therefore, when it’s taken daily, MK7 accumulates to provide a constant reserve of available K2. For the vast majority of individuals, this is great.

We want to have enough K2 around all the time to be sure that we can activate the Vitamin K dependent proteins that are so critical for healthy bones, osteocalcin, which puts calcium into our bones and matrix gla protein which prevents calcium from depositing where we don’t want it, in our vasculature, arteries, heart, breasts, brain, and kidneys.

However, for a very small number of us the MK7 form of Vitamin K2 might cause trouble sleeping and here’s why.

Because Vitamin K2 has been shown to boost the production of energy in brain cells.

Recent research published in science in 2012 initially reported a brand new discovery, and that was that in human brain cells, Vitamin K2 improves the production of energy in the mitochondria in neurons or brain cells. The mitochondria are these tiny little energy production factories inside our cells where HEP which is the energy currency of the body gets produced.

Vitamin K2 increases brain cells energy production by ferrying electrons along a part of the energy production line called the electron transport chain. Specifically, Vitamin K2 ferries electrons from complexes 1 and 2 to complex 3 in the electron transport chain in the mitochondria. And the transfer of electrons along the electron transport chain moves an electron from a donor to an electron acceptor, and this causes a reaction to occur that releases energy, which is then used by our bodies to produce ATP. So by carrying electrons along the electron transport chain, Vitamin K2 boosts the rate and amount of energy that our brain cells are able to produce.

You may be familiar with another nutrient that we’ve long known plays a leading role in ferrying electrons along the electron transport chain in the mitochondria in cells throughout our body. This nutrient is called Coenzyme Q10 and we may have heard it mentioned in the news. So Vitamin K2 is doing a similar job as CoQ10, and CoQ10’s supply is especially important in two areas of the body that work the hardest, our hearts and our brains.

Why does K2 improve energy production specifically in our brain cells?

Well, the theory is that because our brain cells are so highly active and thus use up more energy than any other cells in our body, through evolution we’ve developed extra fail-safe ways to be sure that our brain cells are getting adequate energy. The use of Vitamin K2 to move electrons along the electron transport chain in the mitochondria, is one such brain energy production insurance mechanism that allows these tiny energy production factories, the mitochondria, in our brain cells to produce more energy for us more quickly.

It’s possible that in those with genetic inheritance results in their keeping Vitamin K2 around longer. MK7 form of K2 could accumulate in their brain cells where its effect of optimizing energy production might be stimulating enough to impair their ability to tune down and sleep. Now this is just speculation today, but you can be sure that I’m going to be following the Vitamin K research closely for new developments in this area.

So the next question that brings up is why do some of us keep Vitamin K2 around longer than others of us, and that’s the topic of our next video. I hope this one was interesting for you and helpful, and I hope to see you next time. Thanks.


Source:

Bhalerao S, Clandinin TR. Cell biology. Vitamin K2 takes charge. Science. 2012 Jun 8;336(6086):1241-2. doi: 10.1126/science.1223812. PMID: 22679087

Article Comments

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  1. Sheila Hoffman

    September 22, 2015 , 7:34 am

    Hi Lara,

    We’ve chatted before. I’ve read your book and on your advice switched to AlgaeCal and Strontium Boost 2+ years ago. Happy to report DexaScan improvements.

    I’ve been buying Thorne’s K2 and I’m about to run out. Before I buy more (it’s expensive) I’m wondering if what’s in the AlgaeCal is enough? I also take extra D since I live in Seattle.

    Thanks for the great video series.
    Sheila

  2. Monica

    September 24, 2015 , 12:24 am

    Hi Sheila,

    Lara has sent you a direct email answering your questions. Please take a look at your inbox for it :).

    – Monica @ AlgaeCal

  3. Linda Walton

    March 9, 2019 , 12:23 pm

    Hi,
    This is my third day on k2, m7, and I noticed it immediately makes me sleepy. Is this ecpected?
    Thanks,
    Linda

  4. Jenna AlgaeCal

    March 18, 2019 , 9:49 am

    Hi Linda,

    As we touch on in this blog post, some people find vitamin K2 in the form MK7 can cause trouble with sleeping. And while I haven’t heard feedback from any customers that it’s caused them to feel sleepy it’s important to keep in mind that everyone is different — what works for one person may not feel right for you.

    You may want to try different dosages and timing to see if that makes a difference! You could also work with your physician or functional medicine doctor to find a solution that suits you.

    – Jenna @ AlgaeCal

  5. Kelly

    June 22, 2019 , 5:46 am

    Definitely have the EXACT same issue. Which brand are you using?

  6. David

    August 14, 2019 , 6:15 am

    Six weeks taking K2(MK7) and my sleep has been dropping. I was down to one hour last night and read your information today. Now I think I know why. I will cut the dosage and go from there. Thanks very much for this.

  7. Blaire AlgaeCal

    August 21, 2019 , 1:48 pm

    So glad you found this helpful, David! Please keep us updated on how you’re doing ?

    – Blaire @ AlgaeCal

  8. Tom C

    September 8, 2019 , 8:22 pm

    I get heart pounding with MK7 and not with MK4. Some say I should be also getting MK7 as a nutrient. Am I OK with just MK4?

  9. Megan AlgaeCal

    September 11, 2019 , 8:01 am

    Hi Tom, thanks for reaching out!

    If you find that you are having trouble with MK7, you can try taking less per day or take it every other day or even every few days. If this doesn’t work, then yes MK4 by itself will be fine! Feel free to learn more about vitamin K2 here.

    Hope this helps, Tom! 🙂

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

  10. Fatimah

    November 2, 2019 , 11:45 am

    I’m also getting very tired soon after taking the vitamin k2 in MK7 form. I’m wondering if it’s affect my Tyriod hormone maybe? I’ll try mk4 if this keeps up.

  11. Megan AlgaeCal

    November 5, 2019 , 11:37 am

    Hi Fatimah, thanks for reaching out!

    This is not a common response to vitamin K2, but everyone is different! If nothing else has changed in your lifestyle, you can try discontinuing the K2 to see if your energy levels return back to normal. If so, then you might want to try a lower dose of K2 or take it right before bed so it helps you get a good night’s rest!

    If thyroid hormones are a concern, we would recommend consulting your doctor and getting your levels checked.

    Hope this helps and that you find a solution that works for you soon, Fatimah! ❤️

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

  12. mary gates

    July 28, 2020 , 6:28 am

    Does k2mark7 cause insomniacs I can’t sleep and have tried everything should I stop taking it

  13. Megan AlgaeCal

    July 28, 2020 , 2:33 pm

    Hi Mary, good question!

    For a small number of us, the MK7 form of vitamin K2 might cause trouble sleeping because it can boost the production of energy in brain cells. You can learn more about the reason why (it has to do with genetics) here.

    Hope this helps 🙂

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

  14. Cathy Jackson

    September 1, 2020 , 12:04 pm

    my recent dexa revealed that my bone mass went down from -2.6 to-2.7 in 3 years even though i was on fosomax. I am 59 years old and 4 years post menapause. My doctor says Im at high risk for fracture and wants me to take Prolea, a 2x yr injection which has some scary potential side effects I would like to try to build my bones naturally. I take 4000mg of vitamin d3 along with 400mg of calcium daily. I also take 300mg of magnesium glycinate. I would like to add vitamin k2 and was wondering how important it is to have mk-7 with it. i already have trouble sleeping

  15. Megan AlgaeCal

    September 6, 2020 , 1:41 pm

    Hi Cathy, thanks for reaching out!

    The MK-7 form of vitamin K2 works best for most people – only a small percentage of people will find that it might cause trouble sleeping. You can try taking it earlier in the day if you’re concerned about this.

    If you’re interested, Lara goes into more detail about gene variations and which vitamin K form would be best for you here.

    Cathy, if you’re interested in one supplement that provides calcium, vitamin D3, K2, magnesium, and more bone-building nutrients, you can learn more about AlgaeCal here.

    Any questions, feel free to give us a call at 1-800-820-0184 ❤️

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

  16. Mara

    March 16, 2021 , 1:42 pm

    Thank you for this info! Not sure if you’re aware of the book “Vitamin K2 and the calcium paradox” but it’s got some great info that would complement your findings.

  17. Megan AlgaeCal

    March 17, 2021 , 9:38 am

    Awesome! Thanks so much for sharing, Mara, and glad you enjoyed the read 🙂

    Feel free to check out more of our articles here.

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

  18. Mara

    March 16, 2021 , 1:52 pm

    Question, the article said the video would address:

    Why the MK7 form of Vitamin K2 works best for the majority of us,
    But why some of us need more of these MK7 form than others do and why just a few of us may find that they need less MK7 than the average person. Or even that the MK4 form of Vitamin K serves them better.
    We will also talk about how to figure out how much Vitamin K2 you need and whether you’ll do best with MK4 or MK7.

    … but I didn’t see them addressed in the video, so I’m wondering if maybe the wrong video got embedded in the article by accident. Where could I find the video that addresses the things listed about? My health could really benefit from that info. Thank you so much!

  19. Megan AlgaeCal

    March 17, 2021 , 10:13 am

    Hi Mara, thanks for reaching out!

    Here are a few links that will help answer the above questions:

    1) Read about the difference between MK-7 and MK-4 and the benefits of MK-7 here.

    2) Read about the protein that can affect the amounts and types of vitamin K2 that may be best for you here.

    Hope this helps and feel free to let us know if you have any other questions! ❤️

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

  20. norrrrm!

    June 10, 2021 , 5:33 am

    would switching timing of mk7 intake from nigt time to breakfast help with sleep? or is this a long term blood level issue?

  21. Megan AlgaeCal

    June 16, 2021 , 11:16 am

    Hi Norm, good question!

    This might work well for some individuals, but because the body’s response to vitamin K2 is highly individualized, might not be the case for everyone.

    If this is an issue for you, hoping the earlier dose helps!

    -Megan @ AlgaeCal

  22. Michael Evans

    July 7, 2021 , 4:36 pm

    Vitamin K2 MK7 gives me insomnia. Big time insomnia. Absolutely can not take vitamins with MK7 and also need to avoid foods high in MK7.

  23. Megan AlgaeCal

    July 8, 2021 , 8:50 am

    Hi Michael, sorry to hear this.

    Sounds like you’re one of the people where vitamin K2 boosts the production of energy in brain cells. You may want to look into whether or not the MK-4 form of vitamin K2 may be more suitable.

    – Megan @ AlgaeCal

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

Prof. Didier Hans
PHD, MBA - Head of Research & Development Center of Bone Diseases, Lausanne University Hospital CHUV, Switzerland,
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.,
Dr. Carole McArthur
MD, PhD - Professor of Immunology, Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City; Director of Residency Research in Pathology, Truman Medical Center.,