Can K2 MK7 Cause Heart Palpitations?

In this article, we will take a close look at the potential effects of K2 MK7 on heart health. We will evaluate some of the possible links between K2 MK7 and heart palpitations, as well as its role in cardiovascular health. This blog will also show and clarify the function and mechanism of the supplementation.
Jakub Gwiazdecki

Jakub Gwiazdecki

Fifth year medical student at the Medical Faculty of Comenius University in Bratislava.

A blue image with text saying "Can K2 MK7 Cause Heart Palpitations?"

Can K2 MK7 cause heart palpitations?

There is lacking evidence on this topic to provide a confident answer. None of the modern studies have examined K2 MK7 supplementation from that perspective.

However, drugs or supplements can affect the balance of chemical reactions occurring in cells or outside of them. These reactions, or their end products, can change the concentrations of ions in the surrounding environment. Such changes can impact organs like the heart, brain, or the liver.

Due to this, supplementation can lead to changes in heart rhythm. Combined with the fact that everyone is different, this opens a very broad field for debate. This suggests that there is a small chance that K2 MK7 could cause heart palpitations in some people.

What is K2 MK7?

K2 MK7, also known as Menaquinone-7 or K2-7, is a form of vitamin K and is part of the essential group of vitamins. This group plays a crucial role in various health-related aspects. K2 MK7 is known for its health-beneficial effects in conditions such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. However, it also helps with inflammation, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and peripheral neuropathy [1].

It differs from vitamin K1 in absorption and bioavailability. Its properties allow K2 to stay longer in the body and cross more readily into the bloodstream. It acts as a cofactor in the conversion of undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC) and matrix Gla protein (ucMGP). Thanks to these processes, calcium is able to be stored in the bones. Without vitamin K, excess calcium would deposit in the walls of blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis [1].

Another difference compared to vitamin K1 is its origin. While K1 is found in plants, K2 is produced by bacteria during the fermentation process. One of the bacteria known for producing K2 MK7 is Bacillus subtilis. It feeds on soybeans, leaving the K2 vitamin as a non-toxic byproduct for humans [2, 3].

Where and how does K2 MK7 work?

A crucial and primary role of vitamin K2 is the regulation of bone metabolism, occuring thanks to the reaction of carboxylation of osteocalcin (ucOC) and matrix Gla protein (ucMGP). This process strengthens the bones.

As a cofactor, vitamin K2 enables calcium to deposit in the bones. Additionally, especially in older age, it takes on a bone-protective role. K2 MK7 stimulates the process of RANK ligand destruction, which is the activation button for bone resorption. The resorption of calcium from the blood and its deposition in the bones makes K2-7 a guardian of cardiovascular health.

Studies indicate that Menaquinone-7 is also beneficial in managing other health conditions. It helps in diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and peripheral neuropathy. Moreover, it was found to impact gene transcription in the cells. Through this deeper cellular control, it is able to suppress the growth of cancer cells. Furthermore, K2-7 has anti-inflammatory properties. It suppresses cytokines, which are inflammatory proteins [1].

Can K2 MK7 influence the heart?

When it comes to cardiology, vitamin K2 plays a crucial role, because it is responsible for the homeostasis of calcium. The in-range level of this mineral allows the heart to propagate its electrical signals. Because of that, we can say that vitamin K indirectly supports the function of the heart.

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The direct effects are less described in the literature. It was found to have a positive influence, but the exact mechanism by which it affects the human heart is unknown. One of the ways MK7 works is through its interaction with the Kv7 voltage-activated potassium channel. This electric-dependent ion transport gate plays a role in the excitability of heart cells.

Research shows that changes in this channel's activity are associated with cardiovascular diseases [4]. Thus, it is clear that vitamin K2-MK7 has an impact on the heart. The question is whether this influence is beneficial or not. It is difficult to answer clearly. Nevertheless, a study involving trained athletes supplemented with Menaquinone-7 was conducted. Results showed that the maximal cardiac output of the sportswomen and men increased by 12%. This suggests that supplementation with K2-MK7 can enhance the function of the heart during exercise [5].

What are the cardiovascular risks linked to K2 MK7?

As we learned above, vitamin K2, specifically the subtype mk-7, plays a crucial role in cardiovascular health. It regulates calcium levels, preventing its deposition in plaques in atherosclerosis and creating a working environment for the heart. Also, it helps the heart achieve better performance, most probably via its interaction with potassium channels [6]. However, as beneficial as many aspects may be, supplementation of vitamin K2 MK-7 is not without risks for the heart in some specific cases.

The potential risk is related to the interaction of Vitamin K2 with medications. Particularly anticoagulants like warfarin are dangerous when combined with strong supplementation. These drugs are used to prevent harmful blood clot formation and protect patients from health conditions like strokes in atrial fibrillation. Vitamin K2 supplementation can interfere with this protective effect, allowing the harmful clots creation.

Jakub Gwiazdecki

Jakub Gwiazdecki

Jakub is in his fifth year as a medical student at Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia. He has special interested in cardiology and in patient-centered medicine. His love for heart health isn't just book-smarts; he wants to know how it works, what it means for our feelings, and how key it is for health and happiness. Jakub thinks real good health care comes from always putting the patient at the centre, treating each person as a whole.