Another Nutritionist's OPINION ABOUT VITAMIN K3

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Sometime ago, Diane posted her article :see: about Vitamin K3 (found in wet & dry food) and why it's bad :thumbdown: for dogs.  Click here to read members' discussions in the thread.

Diane's article :see: is reproduced hereunder for quick :book: reference:-
Quote from: LadyDiane555 on March 22, 2009, 02:29:43 PM


BY: Diane Jansey, Canine Nutritionist
Bestow Bichon Frise, Orange California

What is vitamin K3 and should this be in the food that you feed your dog?  Vitamin K3 is a synthetic that is very controversial in today’s pet food formulations. Some formulators say this will not hurt your dogs and others stating this will cause harm in the long term and possible hurt your dog within a short period of time.


Vitamin K3 has many different names menadione, dimethylprimidinol sulfate, menadione sodium bisulfate, menadione sodium bisulfite, menadione dimethylprimidinol sulfate and often listed as a “source of vitamin K activity” or “vitamin K supplement”.  All of the above compounds are the same product that was taken out of use in all human food products back in 1969 by the FDA.  K3 was taken out of products allowed for human consumption because the human body could not process this derivative of vitamin K as it was water soluble and would not be absorbed or utilized in the system bypassing the natural pathways of the body and in fact caused a host of health problems that will be listed below.

Menadione (K3) is a synthetic version of vitamin K.  Vitamin K in its natural form is known as Phylloquinine and is derived from plant sources.  While Vitamin K2 called Menaquinone is synthesized by bacteria in the digestive tract and subsequently used by the body. 

Menadione (K3) is a very inexpensive product and is added to our pet food formulations out of being misinformed “to help with blood clotting”.  This is incorrect assumption of the dog food companies as it has been proven to be inferior and proven to be ineffective for blood clotting.  If your pet were having issues with internal bleeding after being poisoned or from a surgery, the Veterinarian would use a Vitamin K1 as a recovering antidote. Other manufacturers who use K3 will state that “it stabilizes the product for extended shelf life”, while this is perhaps the real reason for using the K3 in that it will essentially wrap the food, treat, or chew in a “veil of plastic wrap”.  None of the manufacturers has acknowledged the proven and known side effects of using this substance in their formulations of pet foods, treats and chews.

Here are some things to consider, that many dog food companies offer natural sources of vitamin K in their formulations by use of liver, fish meal, green leafy plants (seaweed, alfalfa, kelp, kale, spirulina, parsley, and broccoli).  The National Research Council was not able to demonstrate a dietary requirement for vitamin K in dogs during tests when natural ingredients were fed.  Last but not least many dog food companies do not use vitamin K3 in their formulation and yet get their AFFCO stamp, distribute nationally and have had dogs live full life spans without developing deficiencies.

On the other side of the facts, here are some good reasons to make sure that you do not use a dog food with K3 in the formula. K3 has been known to reduce the function of the liver by causing cytotoxicity in liver cells.  K3 causes formation of free radicles from the enzymes of leucocytes in the cells.  K3 has shown to weaken the immune system and allowing autoimmune diseases to increase in our breeding population.  Damages the natural vitamin K usage by tricking the system to think it has correct usage at the cellular level.  Can cause hemolytic anemia even in small doses. Can increase allergic reactions and eczema at the tissue level as well as other skin irritations and irritations of the mucous membranes.  K3 has a cumulative effect and can even be detected in the meat and milk of animals supplemented with K3 and all MENADIONE derivatives.

The last thing to consider is the FDA has banned synthetic Vitamin K from over the counter as well as being banned from any food that is used for human consumption due to its toxicity. European countries have banned the use of K3 in any foods or supplements due to the side effects.  All this goes back to read the label, and know what is in the food before feeding it to your pet. 

Hoffman-La Roche Professional Services 7/30/1999
The Background, why Synkavit (a synthetic vit K product) was in 1969 removed from the market, was presumably in the realization that vit. K is practically none toxic in comparison the K3/K4 version.

Hoffman-La Roche Corporate Health Protection 10/03/2000
The better is always the enemy of the good. Vit K1 is undisputedly better that Vit. K3

Hoffmann-La Roche Professional Services 6/28/1999
Synkavit Roche had hemolytic side effects as we know today, so that at the time many newborns suffered permanent damage (there were also deaths).  This promoted the recall of the product in 1967 and instead the harmless KONAKION was introduced.

Mark Rosenbloom, MD, MBA, FACEP, Adjunct Associate Professor of Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University.  This particular toxicity is typically associated with formula-fed infants or those receiving synthetic  vitamin K-3 (menadione injections.  Because of its toxicity menodione is no longer used for the treatment of vit.K deficiency.

Prof. Dr. Wolfram, Technical University Munich 12/14/2000
Menodione (vit.K3) is cheaper because it does not occur naturally.  It is also burdened with considerable side effects.  It is unsuitable for use in humans.

Naturally, this brought about concern :sweatdrop: / panic :scared: amongst members here (including those who didn't respond to Diane's article/thread).  Some members have taken the initiative to write & question the company (that produces the kibble their Bichon is on) "Why is K3 included in their formula?" :mellow:

Here is one such correspondence from xx-member:-
Quote from: xx-member

I have a ______ old bichon frise who has been on      kibble name/formula     , from puppy to present. He loves it, seems to thrive on it, I am pleased with it. Recently I have heard and read some very disturbing facts about Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex and hoped you would explain to me why your company includes it in their food, and what the long term effects , if any, on my beloved Bichon will be. Anxiously awaiting your response.

xx-member was hesitant/unsure :hmmm: about sharing the kibble-company's response because she DOESN'T WANT TO 'stir the pot' :boxing: so to speak.  She ran it by me and I came to the same conclusion :nodding: as she did... which is... we should :nodding: share this information :see: with everyone on the forum :meeting: because information/education :graduate: about things that affect our Bichons is so important.

Before I post the response from the kibble-company's nutritionist, let me say loud & clear, this is NOT :noway: A PERSONAL ATTACK on Diane & her article.  xx-member & I are also NOT :noway: LOOKING TO PROMOTE AN ARGUMENT with Diane.  We appreciate the information/article :see: that Diane has posted.

Like Diane's article, this information :see: is posted for the benefit of our members.  It's not that xx-member or I want to dictate what our members should or should not do.  The decision :thinking: is theirs to make.  And as with most decisions , it should be an informed one :graduate: (and that can only happen when one has as much information as possible).

Hence the posting of this other nutritionist's opinion about K3:-
Quote from: Dr. Summers, Nutritionist

Dear xx

Thanks you for your inquiry. Let me begin by saying that I am delighted that your Bichon is thriving on the ___________ dry kibble.

Menadione sodium bisulfate complex is a source of Vitamin K. There have been statements made that Vitamin K is harmful to dogs, and this may be a reason you have heard concerns about the use of Menadione Sodium Bisulfite Complex. I have had previous inquires about the safety of menadione sodium bisulfite complex and have replied with the following; "There is "inter-net" information telling dog owners that menadione, which is another name for Vitamin K, is not safe for dogs. I have done a thorough search for scientific information on the effect of menadione on dogs and to date, have not found any scientific information that suggests menadione is unsafe for dogs at the levels used in dog foods.

I am also not aware of any other research that suggests menadione is toxic to other animals. My background and training is in science and therefore, I choose to believe the science.  I have responded in the same manner to all the menadione inquires that I have received and have requested any of the scientific information that the "sender" has in his/her possession. To date I have never received any information."

If you have questions, please contact me.

Dr. X.X. Summers
Nutritionist, xx Inc.

Quote from: xx-member

I appreciate your response. I have attached an article on Vitamin K3 that I would appreciate your passing by your Nutritionist, Dr. Summers. If she could let me know what she thinks of it, I would be very appreciative. I am very concerned with these conflicting opinions.

Quote from: Dr.Summers, Nutritionist

Dear xx
At least this latest article on the negative effects of Vitamin K is complete with some references; the supposed sources of the information. I believe the last reference quoted was the initial article written about the negative effects of Vitamin K on dogs. I have read a translation of the initial article, and it sadly did not include valid references, nor did the author connect the dots in the statements being made about Vitamin K.

In the attached article, there are similar statements about Vitamin K which bounce between true statements and misleading or false statements. I admit that I could be more knowledgeable about Vitamin K, but I don't think that would help me understand the attached article.

I have not read the references quoted in the article, and typically it would take hours and hours to try and locate them. The last two are most likely in German which I am unable to read. Ideally, I would like to take each statement in the article, look at the references and see if the information supported the statements. For example, in the 4th paragraph the article said that, " K3 is proven to be ineffective for blood clotting." K3 is not the most active form of Vitamin K as the body has to convert it into the more active form of Vitamin K. K3 is therefore less effective for blood clotting, but it is not ineffective. Why not use the active form of Vitamin K in pet food? The more active the form, the greater the chance of toxicity. That is a primary reason why K1 form is not used in pet food or human supplements.

I find the article offensive because it is preys on people's concern for their pets while counting on their lack of knowledge to understand which statements are true and which ones are false. I even have trouble sorting the truth from the fiction. I admit I have some assumptions about Vitamin K, ( K3 in particular) which may be wrong and p[possibly should be updated. Unfortunately, this article does nothing to help me understand whether or not Vitamin K could possibly have some negative effects and ultimately leaves you to have to draw your own conclusions.
Dr. X.X. Summers
Nutritionist, xx Inc.

Quote from: xx-member

Please accept my appreciation for your response.  If you discover anything further regarding K3 and it's side effects, I would be very interested.

Thank you Del and member xx for deciding to post this for us all. I appreciate it immensely :bouquet:

Princess Lucy Loulou:
Me too Del and member xx,  :nodding: now weve got all the info we can make up our own minds  :thumbup:

Thank goodness I don't have to make up my mind as Charley is on raw food, but then there are debates about that too :wink: :chef: :hungry:


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