How to Get Vitamin K2 with Dairy Sensitivity

Answered on July 06, 2015
Created June 27, 2015 at 10:56 PM

I'm a nursing mother.  I deal with severe autoimmunity and have been on the autoimmune paleo diet for about a year.  

I seem to negatively respond to dairy, perhaps even organic sources of dairy.  My child seems to be sensitive to cow's milk protein, so that has kept me away from dairy as well.  Both my child and I do poorly with soy as well even organic soy sources.

I feel I'm probably definitely deficient in vitamin k2 and probably calcium as well

Is it possible to get adequate sources of vitamin k2 without dairy?  It seems that plant sources may not be enough.

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4 Answers



on June 28, 2015
at 04:01 PM

You could get natto, or you could buy actual Vitamin K2 pills.


Edit: to expand on this:


Sadly, natto is made from soy, and would likely be estrogenic.  I don't know for sure whether the bacteria that ferment it would break down the phytoestrogens, but likely they do not.

There is a way to make natto from lentils, which on the order of magnitude of badness of legumes would be the least offensive as compared to soy which would be the worst.  You'd soak and cook the lentils for a long time, then innoculate them with a little bit of actual natto, and let them ferment to make natto from lentils.  see: http://www.pitonatto.blogspot.com/2006/03/green-lentil-natto.html but no clue as to how much Vitamin K content it would have, though there's no reason it would have less than soy based natto, it just hasn't been tested.

There is also K2 in beef and pork, though not in any great amounts: https://www.med.unc.edu/im/files/patient-education-handouts/nutrition-and-diet-files/Vitamin%20K%20%20Content%20of%20Common%20Foods.pdf and http://chriskresser.com/vitamin-k2-the-missing-nutrient/

This is the stuff I take, it does seem to contain anything objectiomable, but it also doesn't say the source of the K1, K2 fractions: http://www.amazon.com/Life-Extension-Advanced-Softgels-90-Count/dp/B004GW4S0G


Maybe you could try it and see if you do ok with it, if not maybe try another brand.



on June 28, 2015
at 11:07 PM

Thank you so much for your input.  Since I'm sensitive to soy as is my child, is there anything I need to be careful of with natto?  From what I'm gathering it is a fermented form of soy, but I could be incorrect.  Is natto estrogenic?



on June 30, 2015
at 10:47 AM

@PalmTreeBird, I've updated the answer above with answers to your comment, hope this helps.



on June 30, 2015
at 09:58 PM

I usually make my own natto, and I have made it with adzuki, lentils, chickpeas and white beans besides soy. A successful fermentation only depends on proper temperature and humidity, and you can get stringy natto with any of those substrates. I bought the spores at Cultures of Health, and I ferment in aluminum oven pans inside a large ice chest. I keep a light inside the chest attached to a dimmer, to obtain the proper temperature.



on July 06, 2015
at 11:36 PM

K2 is in fermented vegetables, but I have no idea how much you are getting.  I know in Okinawa which is one of the blue zones they don't really do much dairy--fermented or otherwise--but there is natto and also a lot of pickled vegetables. 

I take a liquid, oil based D3/K2 supplement by Thorne, but I don't know the origin of the K2.  A dose is a very small volume--just 2 drops.     



on June 29, 2015
at 12:38 PM

I second Ray's suggestion of natto. The one day fermentation at 42C does destroy a lot of toxins. I do not eat soy, but natto and miso (a one year ferment) seem to give me no trouble. Also, one tablespoon of natto gives you ten times the estimated RDA and reactions to such small amounts are more limited. MK-7 is also longer lasting in the human body than MK-4, twice a week is enough.

I hypothesize that animals who are coprophagous do have a lot of K2 as well as B12 in their tissues, due to their greater exposure to bacterial byproducts, although there are not a lot of data out there. Certainly rabbit meat has ten times the B12 of, say, beef. Besides rabbit, other coprophagous animals include a bunch of well known edible insects. There is always liver, too.


on June 28, 2015
at 04:24 PM

You must get K2 from animal sources or a supplement.  Have you tried raw milk? Much of the inability to digest milk comes from the denaturing of the protiens and fats from the pastuerization and homogization process. Colostrum can be very helpful for healing leaky gut, which can play a big role in autoimmune disease. Since you are on a "paleo" website, I'll assume you know to eliminate grains from the diet and go as organic as you can :).


on June 28, 2015
at 11:04 PM

Thank you so much for your input.  That is what I was gathering too--that K2 needed to come from animal sources.  

As far as raw milk goes, where would I find a good source for that?

If I went the supplement route, is there anything I need to bec areful with there?

**I also thought of this:  Would goat's milk and goat's milk products be a good source of vitamin K2 and maybe a gentler source than cow's milk?  ***I guess I'm concerned about cow's milk protein still being a problem for my nursing child, which the child would get via my breastmilk.***

Thank you so much for your help! 


P.S.  I've thought about colostrum being beneficial too. It's nice to see someone else has thought of that. Where is a good source for colostrum found? Is it as beneficial when it's not from cows?

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