The B12 and K2 trials zzzzz
I did a B12 trial earlier this year. I found that B12 seemed to be useful in helping me recover from food chemical reactions (particularly amine hangovers), but the B12 gave me insomnia, irritability, palpitations, and caused weight gain, which are as bad in their own way as eating the amines in the first place.
B12 seems to have glutamate-agonist properties. I wondered whether taking it with a glutamate-antagonist might help neutralise some of the negative side effects. B6, K2, glycine, glutamine, theanine, and just being in ketosis are all potential options. I know from past experience that some of these have side effects too. B6 just gives me brain fog. Glycine makes me depressed. Glutamine doesn’t do much of anything apart from being very good at neutralising sugar cravings. Theanine had an effect but wore off very quickly, probably because the body breaks down theanine into glutamate. Ketosis makes me calm, but it isn’t strong enough to counteract the effects of the B12.
The last remaining option is vitamin K. I’ve been led to believe that vitamin K is supposed to protect against glutamate toxicity (if only I could find a pubmed study showing that I’d feel more confident about saying it). Vitamin K certainly makes me feel calm. The effect is like being in ketosis, but different. Vitamin K makes me feel drugged, like I’m on Valium. I find it hard to get worked up about anything. It also makes me feel stupid and I get very forgetful. It does not help me to control my weight, if anything, I’ve felt in the past that I’ve gained weight while taking it, though my hunger and blood sugar regulation feels under better control. K2 is supposed to help produce energy so WAPF members have blamed chronic fatigue syndrome on K2 deficiency. K2 has never made me feel more energetic. Pantothenic acid was always much better at that.
I can’t take vitamin K2 regularly because I had deep vein thrombosis a few years ago, and when I take vitamin K2 for more than a few days, the site of my DVT starts hurting and swelling. Vitamin K is involved in clotting, and old DVT sites usually have some fibrin still stuck to the inside of the leg vein just waiting to cause trouble. The only other thing that does that to me is calcium carbonate supplements. I’ve never managed to induce it with vitamin K1, but then, vitamin K1 is very hard for the body to absorb.
During this trial I took between 500mcg and 1.5mg of the Vitamin Research Products brand of vitamin K, which is largely the K2 MK4 variant, along with the adenosylcobalamin I was already using. I did not take the supplements every day, only when I had eaten something I knew I would react to.
What happens when I take B12 and K2 together?
Well, I feel calm. It doesn’t negate the positive effects of the B12 on amine hangovers, but it stops the slightly manic, overstimulated feeling and the insomnia. It doesn’t stop the weight gain. I also managed to pick up a couple of veruccas after years of not having any, possibly something to do with a K2/A antagonism (vitamin A arrests the growth of Human Papilloma Virus and was thought to help that poor tree root man who was in the news a while ago).
But I fall asleep.
I literally can’t keep my eyes open. It takes a couple of hours to kick in. At first, I couldn’t figure out what was going on, so I just thought I must have slept badly or I was just tired. But that’s not the case. I’ve been trying this one out for a couple of months now, and every single time it’s knocked me out. Great at bedtime, not so great on a Sunday morning when you want to recover from Saturday’s cheating.
Vitamin K, along with glutamate, help to form a protein called gamma-carboxyglutamate protein, or Gla protein for short. Gla protein is involved in bone formation. The only suggestion I can find in pubmed that Gla might have anything to do with sleep is this abstract:
The venom of a fish-hunting cone snail (Conus geographus) contains a novel toxin, the “sleeper” peptide, which induces a sleep-like state in mice when injected intracerebrally. We demonstrate that this peptide contains 5 mol of gamma-carboxyglutamate (Gla) in 17 amino acids. The amino acid sequence of the sleeper peptide is Gly-Glu-Gla-Gla-Leu-Gln-Gla-Asn-Gln-Gla-Leu-Ile-Arg-Gla-Lys-Ser-Asn-NH2. Gamma-carboxyglutamate in a neuroactive toxin
The effect is quite different from the effects of GABA and melatonin – they send me into light dream sleep. Melatonin is particularly awful, as it induces a hypnotic not-quite-asleep state in me with vivid dream/hallucinations and a big hangover the following morning. The B12/K2 combo doesn’t do this. The sleep is proper, deep sleep. My partner has problems getting into deep sleep, and he also reported feeling like he got deeper sleep after taking K2. He’s usually very skeptical of vitamins, but he seemed quite impressed in this case.
Yippee, I discovered something unknown to science. A phenomenal new sleep drug. Are there any researchers who would like to take this up?
Unfortunately unless I plan on giving up all my IQ points and turning into a sloth, I think I may have to pass on taking B12/K2 regularly. I went on a five day food chemical binge recently, and B12/K2 failed to stop me feeling awful, though they limited my symptoms. I spent far too much time asleep. But at least I have a backup plan for those days when my diet slips.