The Opioid Crisis Hits Home: An Acupuncturist's Inside Perspective of Addiction Treatment
My husband and I have four grown children, but we still sleep with a phone next to our night stand just in case they need us. But nothing could have prepared us for a 1 a.m.
Power of the Talk: A Simple Way to Attract New Patients
One of the most effective ways to bring patients in predictably, especially if you enjoy teaching, is by doing talks. Talks can also bring in another stream of income beyond just seeing more patients one on one.
Who's the "Father of Corrective Traction" in Chiropractic?
History teaches that a Presbyterian minister, Samuel Weed, coined the name for the profession of chiropractic from the Greek cheir for "hand" and praktos for "done."
How to Reduce Metabolic Endotoxemia
Approximately 50 percent of the Western population suffers from a condition known as metabolic endotoxemia (ME). The condition is characterized by increased serum endotoxin concentration during the first five hours of the post-prandial period.
The Medicine of Peace in a Land of Conflict
We often read about violence, despair, and political stalemate between Israelis and Palestinians. It's easy to feel overwhelmed and pessimistic. And yet there are Israelis and Palestinians working together to transform conflict into cooperation.
Weight Watchers Goes Wellness
Goodbye Weight Watchers, hello "WW." The company has changed its name to reflect its new WW brand not only on its website, but also on every aspect of its public expression, including every studio.
ACA, ICA at Odds Over H.R. 7157
While the American Chiropractic Association recently penned an open letter – signed by not only the ACA, but also the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations, Association of Chiropractic Colleges, Clinical Compass and a number of state associations.
Winter Joint Health: Looking at Seasonal Influences
One of the most common clinical issues I see during the winter season is joint / muscle pain. These issues often appear due to the activities of winter sports or may appear due to seasonal influences on old chronic injuries.
An East & West Perspective on Sleep
You, your patients, and people all over the world are sleeping less. In 1979 a team led by American psychiatrist Daniel Kripke did a large-scale study of over a million people, which indicated that most people slept between 7-8 hours.
Dehydration ... A Commonly Overlooked Etiology
Water covers 71 percent of the earth's surface. It's found in every living organism and is considered the "universal solvent," yet we take it for granted as the foundation for optimal health.
Historic Farm Bill Provisions Legalize Hemp ... and CBD?
Until recently, hemp was classified as a Schedule 1 drug per the federal Controlled Substances Act, putting it in the same class as marijuana (and heroin, by the way).
Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity and the Science of EMFs
Movement of planet Earth's molten iron core generates a weak static geomagnetic field that varies in strength over millennia but currently ranges from 0.25 to 0.65 gauss. This is the native field in which all life has evolved.
3 Tips to Get New Patients After a Talk
One of the most effective ways to bring in new patients predictably, especially when an acupuncturist enjoys teaching, is by doing talks. It can also bring in another stream of income, beyond just seeing more patients one-on-one.
Differentiating Qi Under the Needle (Part 2)
While classic sages have said a lot on this topic, I will share my own experience with the sensations under the needle with you. You, in turn, will also need to gain your own understanding of them through daily clinical observation, thinking, and practice.
Neuroscience 101: Understanding Opioid Addiction and How Chiropractic Can Help
Opioids now account for nearly two-thirds of all overdose-related deaths in the U.S. This insidious bane is no respecter of gender, age, race or ethnicity, with nearly all categories experiencing increases.
Case Study: Forefoot Pain
Patient presents with a history of forefoot pain. Discomfort has become worse in the past six months. He has difficulty completing his four-hour shifts as a part-time hairdresser.
Pain in the Butt (Pt. 1)
Many of my patients (and probably many of yours) come in with pain and/or tenderness in the buttock region. First, I assess where the painful and/or tender spots are located and what these points represent.
Flying Into the Year of the Pig: Making Way for the Impossible
The first of the new year has passed, and some of our New Year's resolutions may have already come and gone. Fortunately, we will celebrate the Chinese New Year this month, and will welcome in the Year of the Pig.
Quickie Seminar Adjustments Have No Place in Chiropractic
Recently, I observed chiropractors treating each other in the vendor area at the annual meeting of a chiropractic association. "Quickie" chiropractic adjustments and other hands-on procedures were administered without appropriate history taking, physical examination, diagnosis or informed consent.
The Role of TCM When Treating Mental Illnesses
Mental illness is common in the U.S., nearly 20 percent of adults live with a mental illness which vary in degree of severity—ranging from mild to moderate, to severe. It is not exaggerated to say that mental illness is an epidemic.
Simple Screening Tests for Stroke and Other Brain Lesions
The drift test, arm rolling and finger rolling are three useful assessments in the identification of upper motor neuron dysfunction.
Top Social Media Do's & Don'ts for Chiropractors
For years, health care practitioners have avoided embarking on the social media highway, primarily due to patient HIPAA privacy issues and the time needed to give the process due diligence.
Outcomes for Any Occasion
Outcome assessment tools (OATs) are a necessary part of documentation and patient care. They are used to show patient progress and help practitioners show changes as a result of their treatment interventions.
Quick Sacroiliac Assessment: Treating Different Types of Pain
The lower back is a generator for a number of types of pain. The lower back involves several different articulations – the lumbar spine with vertebral bodies, discs, and facets – the sacroiliac joints – and the lumbosacral junction.
Know Your Clinical Flags: 5 Different Colors to Consider
In health care, the term red flag is used to describe signs and symptoms that can indicate the presence of serious health conditions. These conditions generally carry an increased likelihood for serious complications, disability or even death.
December, 2014, Vol. 14, Issue 12
The Power of Vitamin K
By James P. Meschino, DC, MS
You may have heard rumblings in recent years that vitamin K helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, and is administered intravenously by some integrative medical doctors who combine it with high-dose vitamin C in cancer treatment.
Our original understanding of vitamin K involves its established role as a coenzyme in specific carboxylation reactions required for the synthesis of several clotting factors. In fact, drugs such as warfarin (and related vitamin K epoxide reductase inhibitors) work by limiting the ability of vitamin K to synthesize prothrombin and several other clotting proteins (Factors VII, IX and X). As such, these drugs act as blood thinners and are accompanied by the potential for certain side effects, such as easy bruising and internal bleeding.1 So, how then might vitamin K also be associated with osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and cancer treatment?
Primary Forms of Vitamin K
You must first recognize that there are three primary forms of vitamin K, known as vitamin K1, vitamin K2 and vitamin K3. To make it more confusing, there are several forms of vitamin K2. Here is the overview:
Vitamin K1: Phylloquinone is found in appreciable amounts in plant foods, especially green, leafy vegetables (broccoli, lettuce, collards, spinach, Brussels sprouts, etc.), as well as soybeans, soy products, lentils, canola and olive oil and several other foods (liver, salad dressing, coleslaw). Absorption is surprisingly low (5–20 percent, depending on the food).
Vitamin K2 Menaquinone – There are several forms of menaquinone:
Menaquinone-9 (MK-9) is produced by intestinal bacteria, but not absorbed to any appreciable degree by the body.1
Menaquinone-7 (MK-7), derived from fermented soy (especially natto), is absorbed well and appears to play a key role in bone density via osteocalcin synthesis. MK-7 is also sold in supplement form is some countries.2
Menaquinone-4 (MK-4) is formed within animal bodies, often after they are injected with vitamin K3 (synthetic vitamin K, known as menadione). Menadione is put into poultry and swine rations, and appreciates in their tissues. These animals convert much of menadione to MK-4. Much of the vitamin K2 found in the body is usually from these sources (not gut bacteria-synthesized). Possibly gut-synthesized vitamin K2 (MK-9) is synthesized too far down the intestinal tract to allow absorption, whereas MK-4 found in poultry, swine products, and MK-7 from fermented soy products (natto) and vitamin K2 supplements (vitamin K1, MK-7 and prescription MK-4 in Japan) are absorbed in the small intestine within chylomicrons, upon concurrent consumption of fat. MK-4 shows impressive anti-cancer properties, such as apoptosis in leukemia and other malignant cells lines, and it appears to have a stronger influence on osteoblastic activity than does phylloquinone (K1).1
Vitamin K3: Menadione is a synthetic vitamin K. Menadione is no longer administered to humans who have a vitamin K deficiency, or injected into newborns shortly after birth, because it is associated with toxicity.1 Vitamin K does not pass from the placenta to the fetus very well. In a significant number of pregnancies, breast milk is virtually devoid of vitamin K, and newborns have no bacterial flora to synthesize their own vitamin K. Thus, classic vitamin K deficiency bleeding in the newborn usually occurs after 24 hours (usually the second day), and as late as the first week, with an incidence ranging between 0.25-1.7 cases per 100 births.1,6
Newborn infants were originally given an intramuscular injection of vitamin K3, but it caused hemolytic anemia, liver damage and brain damage (from excess bilirubin) as a side effect in some cases. Vitamin K is now administered to newborns as vitamin K1.1,7 Vitamin K1 is also the form of vitamin K used to correct vitamin K deficiencies in adults.1
However, vitamin K3 (menadione) is the form of vitamin K used intravenously, along with high-dose vitamin C, in cancer treatment (ratio is 100:1 of vitamin C: vitamin K3) by integrative practitioners, as discussed below.
To consume the amount of vitamin K associated with a decreased risk of hip fracture in the Framingham Heart Study (about 250 mcg/day), an individual would need to eat a little more than 1/2 cup of chopped broccoli or a large salad of mixed greens every day, which is very attainable. This provides evidence that vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 from food alone, may be all that is required to support bone density function.1 This fact is intriguing when you consider that the average intake of vitamin K from the mixed North American diet is estimated to be between 300-500 mcg per day.3
In Japan, oral doses of 45 mg of MK-4 are given to osteoporosis patients, which has resulted in increased bone density and/or reduced fractures, and increased markers of bone formation. The pooled evidence involving seven Japanese trials shows that vitamin K2 supplementation has shown a 60 percent reduction in vertebral fractures and an 80 percent reduction in hip and other non-vertebral fractures. Thus, MK-4 administration to patients with osteoporosis may be an additional method to help manage their disease.7
Calcification of the fibrous cap is a late and significant step in the atherosclerosis process. Preventing arterial calcification may reduce deaths from vascular events. Once again, vitamin K2 appears to play a more important role than vitamin K1 in this regard.
Many vitamin K enthusiasts argue in favor of taking a vitamin K2 supplement to help prevent, slow or reverse the development of atherosclerosis, and to prevent and treat osteoporosis. Vitamin K2, in the form of MK-7, is available in Canada. In the U.S., only vitamin K1 is available in supplements, according to Medline Plus (National Institutes of Health).5
Protein S is also synthesized by osteoblasts, but its role in bone metabolism is unclear. However, children with inherited protein S deficiency suffer complications related to increased blood clotting, as well as decreased bone density.1
The anticancer effects of sodium ascorbate (vitamin C) and vitamin K3, administered separately or in combination, on human ovarian, breast, endometrial and skin cancer cells lines has been demonstrated. When given separately, vitamin C or K3 has a growth-inhibiting action only at high concentrations, but when combined into a single lower-concentration mixture, they exhibit synergistic inhibition of cell growth that is 10-50 times greater that the single administration of vitamin C or vitamin K3 applied individually.
Studies show that these vitamins are toxic to certain cancer cells, but not to normal human cells in experimental studies. The combination of sodium ascorbate and vitamin K3 may also been shown to prevent metastasis in experimental studies.
Vitamin K3 appears to kill cancer cells via a mechanism called autoschizic cell death. Autoschizis, is a novel type of cell death characterized by exaggerated cell membrane damage and progressive loss of cell contents. During this process, the nucleus becomes smaller and cell size decreases by one-half to one-third of its original size. Co-administration of sodium ascorbate and K3 induces a cell cycle block on cancer cells, making it harder for them to grow and divide. This is called a G1/S block.
Antibiotics and Vitamin K Deficiency
A pre-existing low vitamin K state increases the risk of vitamin K deficiency with antibiotic use. As such, patients taking antibiotics should ensure they are eating sufficient dark green, leafy vegetables to acquire some additional vitamin K.1 In addition, they may also be inclined to supplement with vitamin K during this period.
Click here for previous articles by James P. Meschino, DC, MS.
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