Vitamin K2, DNA, and Methylation in Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder: Vitamin K2 as a Natural Treatment for Autism and Autoimmune Diseases
DISCLAIMER: CONSULT WITH A DOCTOR BEFORE DECIDING ON A TREATMENT PLAN FOR CANCER OR ANY OTHER DISEASE.
Vitamin K2 is a nutrient that has the ability to activate a number of different genes both indirectly and directly. Among the genes that can be activated are those that impact the physical characteristics of human cells (known as phenotypes). This is an interesting little function that’s unique to vitamin K2. It has the ability to turn on or turn off certain genes.
Additionally, vitamin K2 can activate genes that impact molecules that are involved with cellular signaling, either directly or indirectly. This is an important fact that’s relevant to the natural treatment of autism because signaling molecules play a role in the Cell Danger Response by Dr. Naviaux who has used suramin to cure autism.
Autism is a childhood disease that seems to be triggered, at least in some children, by vaccines or exposure to toxins at an early age. Some experts, like Dr. Naviaux have theorized that an infection or toxin exposure can cause cells in the body to go into a semi- or total state of dormancy that he refers to as the Cell Danger Response. When some of the cells go into this state of dormancy, the patient feels a lot of inexplicable fatigue, muscle pain, inability to concentrate, inability to rest, and also an inability to feel totally awake. Partial shut down of some of the cells in the body can lead to symptoms that vary depending on which cells have gone into the state of dormancy and how many of them are in this state of dormancy. Total shut-down of these cells looks like something known as Resignation Syndrome, a comatose state that happens when a person is severely threatened either emotionally or physically. When I worked in long-term care facilities, I often watched patients die as a result of Resignation Syndrome, though no one has a name for this health problem back then. Certain patients who were totally find one day would suddenly refuse to eat, refuse to socialize, and some of them would even lose body parts like toes as a result of their hunger strike. But these patients had not set their will against eating or against life. Rather, they had gone into a state of Resignation Syndrome where they weren’t fully conscious or alive anymore. Click here to read more about Dr. Naviaux’s work with Suramin as a cure for autism and his theories regarding resignation syndrome. Dr. Naviaux has compared autism and autism spectrum disorders to Resignation Syndrome.
Chlorine Dioxide Solution is a substance that has been used by parents to cure autism naturally at home. It works by doing one or more of the following things:
- It releases reactive oxygen species that:
- Kill pathogens that are overwhelming the patient’s body, causing their immune system to go into a Cell Danger Response state.
- Binds to heavy metals that might be triggering a Cell Danger Response to remove the heavy metals from the body.
- Act as cell signaling molecules to “wake” cells that are in a dormant state, which explains why many autoimmune disease sufferers and autism sufferers experience a positive boost of energy after they begin dosing with chlorine dioxide solution.
Vitamin K2 causes human cells to release the exact same reactive oxygen species (the superoxide anion) that’s released when a person takes chlorine dioxide solution, though the release of this superoxide anion doesn’t happen for 2 to 3 days after the person takes a dose of vitamin K2. In contrast, when a person takes chlorine dioxide solution, the superoxide anion is released by the chlorine dioxide solution itself immediately. Nonetheless, it can be helpful to note that both of these substances (vitamin K2 and chlorine dioxide solution) produce the superoxide anion because this reactive oxygen species has powerful effects on autism and autism spectrum disorders. It works by killing pathogens, removing toxins from the body, and acting as a signaling molecule between cells.
Shortly after the superoxide anion is released as a result of taking vitamin K2, human cells then release Cytochrome C, the main photoreceptor in human cells that regulate circadian rhythms, a topic we expand on in greater depth at this link.
So vitamin K2 causes the release of superoxide anions that can act as cellular messengers that revive dormant cells and bring them back to a wakeful state. And vitamin K2 initiates this superoxide anion release which then triggers the release of Cytochrome C, a substance inside our human cells that interacts in healthy ways with natural sunlight.
Vitamin K2 can activate certain genes either directly or indirectly. Enzymes that recycle vitamin K2 exist in various human tissues. A subset of these enzymes have been shown to be present in higher quantities in brain tissues, which has inspired scientists to look more closely at how vitamin K2 works on the brain. Studies have shown that vitamin K2 exerts a protective effect on brain cells. In patients with Parkinson’s disease, the MK-4 form of vitamin K2 was able to improve energy production in brain cells while rescuing PINK-1 mutations (NOTE: MK-4 is still technically a synthetic form of vitamin K2, but the fact that it was valuable in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease suggest that natural MK-7 vitamin K2 would be just as effective if not more effective as a treatment for this condition).
Recently, research has identified a neural protective mechanism of action of vitamin K2 via the P38 MAP kinase pathway. And also, a number of vitamin K2 analogues play an important role in neuronal differentiation. Patients with multiple sclerosis tend to have vitamin K2 deficiency, and further, vitamin K2 deficiency has been correlated with neurological spasms and optic nerve lesions.
But now that we’ve noted some of the important pharmacokinetic effects and the neurological relevance of vitamin K2 in terms of health and disease, let’s return to the idea of methylation.
Methylation is a function in the body that regulates the reproductive system, the cardiovascular system, the nervous system, and our body’s detoxification efforts. Methylation and demethylation is essentially just the transfer of methyl groups to form compounds in the body that are bioactive. Bioactivity is the operative function of methylation. When a compound is methylated, it becomes bioactive.
Methyl groups consist of just 1 carbon atom and 3 surrounding hydrogen atoms and they are added to (or subtracted from) various compounds in the body to make them more bioactive. Some of the substances and structures in the body that are affected by methyl groups include:
- Amino Acids
- Red Blood Cells
The methylation of DNA involves the attachment of methyl groups to specific segments of the DNA to tell the body which genes ought to be switched on or switched off. At this point, I want to remind readers that vitamin K2 and methyl groups both operate to switch genes on and off in the body.
I would also like to take this opportunity to note that chronic, low-level organophosphate exposure can cause DNA methylation changes that are observable in the blood and saliva. And as a corollary to this fact, I also need to point out that vitamin K2 plays a protective role in the body against, at the very least, the buildup of organophosphates in bone tissues. If organophosphates disrupt the methylation of DNA in a manner that impacts human health in a negative way, it would be ideal to limit exposure to organophosphates in children with autism. Or if it isn’t possible to limit exposure, the next best thing would be to protecti the body from the negative effects of organophosphate exposure. A slow, chronic, low-level exposure to organophosphates (as opposed to receiving a massive dose of organophosphates) would be almost unnoticeable in terms of health effects if organophosphates did not buildup in bone tissues and it seems that vitamin K2 may be protect from bioaccumulation of organophosphates.
It could also be valuable, at this juncture, to note that a number of vaccines contain toxic phosphates that make the body more vulnerable to phosphate exposures (including to organophosphate as well as to food additives). Thus, it appears as though we’re circling around a set of molecules that have relevance in regard to a cure for autism:
- Methyl groups
- Vitamin K2 and quinones
DNA methylation is clearly impacted by vitamin D based on scientific research and several experts are exploring how diseases like autism develop through the interaction between vitamin D and DNA, but many scientists who are very familiar with vitamin D are not aware that vitamin K2 even exists. It’s hard to believe that this kind of disconnect exists among scientists who are supposed to be doing cutting edge work, but the fact is, scientists only get paid to study certain topics. Funding is only available to promote the research interests of Big Pharma. So studies into unpopular topics like vitamin K2 are often self-funded by independent or private entities or they’re funded by Big Pharma to create skewed and biased research results that support the use of toxic pharmaceuticals rather than natural substances that actually cure disease. While vitamin D is a popular and very fundable research topic due to the fact that it actually can make things like iodine deficiency and soft tissue calcification worse (which also promoting bone deterioration), vitamin K2 is hidden and less likely to receive funding from Big Pharma foundations. In fact, many of the articles about vitamin K2 are “retracted” for various reasons, particularly the ones that point to vitamin K2 as a cure for disease. So the intimate relationship between vitamin D and vitamin K2 in terms of DNA methylation remains obscured in the scientific literature.
However, there are, of course, reasons to believe that pineal gland calcification may play a role in autism and autism spectrum disorders. Pineal gland calcification can cause a sort of chronic jet lag that can explain not only daytime behavioral issues in autism sufferers but also nighttime autism insomnia. Read more about pineal gland calcification here. So there are compelling reasons to look closely at vitamin K2 as a nutrient deficiency that plays a role in autism and autism spectrum disorders.
Vitamin K2 and Methylation Problems in Autistic Kids
Vitamin K2 contains quinones with prenyl side chains from isopentenyl diphosphates formed by the 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol-4-phosphate pathway. Vitamin K2’s methyl groups come from SAM-e. These are super-technical terms, but the important takeaway here is the fact that vitamin K2 is manufactured through the basic shikimate pathway which has been described as a “metabolic tree with many branches”. The Shikimate Pathway is a metabolic pathway that is used for the biosynthesis of folates (vitamin B9) and the aromatic amino acids which include tyrosine, phenylalanine, and tryptophan as well as vitamin K2, glutathione, ubiquinone, cysteine, phosphatidylcholine, and more.
There are seven enzymes that are involved in the Shikimate Pathway. These enzymes include:
- DAHP synthase
- 3-dehydroquinate synthase
- 3-dehydroquinate dehydratase
- Shikimate dehydrogenase
- Shikimate kinase
- EPSP synthase
- Chorismate synthase.
The basic shikimate pathway starts with two substrates:
- Phosphoenol pyruvate
Note that both of the above substrates contain phosphorus or phosphates.
The shikimate pathway ends with Chorismate which is a substrate for the three aromatic amino acids that can then be converted into neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine / noradrenaline, epinephrine / adrenaline, or serotonin:
Methylation Disturbances in Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorder
In autism and autism spectrum disorder, disturbances in the expression of genes have been noted and they include the following:
- Genes encoding the oxytocin receptor.
- Genes encoding RELN.
- Genes encoding SHANK3.
Studies have shown that hypomethylation of the whole DNA sequence is found in the brain and blood cells of patients with autism. Scientists who are working intensively with this material note that certain environmental factors particularly impact autism risk. These environmental factors include:
- Vitamin D levels
- Folate levels
- Toxic exposures
- Bisphenol A (BPA)
- Sodium valproate exposure during pregnancy
Sodium valproate exposure during pregnancy has been used by some scientists to study the development of autism. After a child with autism is born, the use of probiotics and prebiotics can alleviate certain symptoms of the disease, which points again to the idea that the vitamin K2-producing gut flora in autistic children may have been killed by toxic exposure to something like RoundUp / glyphosate, BPA, or sodium valproate. Given that vitamin K2 is produced naturally in the human body as long as the proper bacterial flora are present, this fact is another noteworthy tidbit that further supports the idea that vitamin K2 deficiency plays a role in the development of autism.
Other Important Links:
Beulens, J. W. J. et al. (2013). The role of menaquinones (vitamin K2) in human health. Retrieved November 3, 2022 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23590754/
Halder, M. et al. (2019). Vitamin K: Double Bonds beyond Coagulation Insights into Differences between Vitamin K1 and K2 in Health and Disease. Retrieved November 3, 2022 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30791399/
Iguchi, T. et al. (2005). Combined treatment of leukemia cells with vitamin K2 and 1alpha, 25-dihydroxy vitamin D3 enhances monocytic differentiation along with becoming resistant by induction of cytoplasmic p21CIP1. Retrieved November 6, 2022 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16142303/
Shibayama-Imazu, T. et al.(2008). Vitamin K2-mediated apoptosis in cancer cells: role of mitochondrial transmembrane potential. Retrieved October 27, 2022 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18374196/
Lamson, D. W. and Plaza, S. M. (2003). The anticancer effects of vitamin K. Retrieved October 27, 2022 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12946240/
Schwalfenberg, G. K. (2017). Vitamins K1 and K2: The Emerging Group of Vitamins Required for Human Health. Retrieved October 27, 2022 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5494092/
Imazu, T. S. et al. (2008). Induction of apoptosis in PA-1 ovarian cancer cells by vitamin K2 is associated with an increase in the level of TR3/Nur77 and its accumulation in mitochondria and nuclei. Retrieved November 6, 2022 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18202854/
Nakaya, K. et al. (2012). Vitamin K2 as a Chemotherapeutic Agent for Treating Ovarian Cancer. Retrieved November 6, 2022 from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/221924820_Vitamin_K2_as_a_Chemotherapeutic_Agent_for_Treating_Ovarian_Cancer
Zirlik, A. & Bode, C. (2017). Vitamin K antagonists: relative strengths and weaknesses vs. direct oral anticoagulants for stroke prevention in patients with atrial fibrillation. Retrieved November 6, 2022 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27896543/
Koul, B. (2019). .Genus Psoralea: A review of the traditional and modern uses, phytochemistry and pharmacology. Retrieved November 6, 2022 from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874118313783?via%3Dihub
Ong, L. T. C. et al. (2020). Vitamin D and its Effects on DNA Methylation in Development, Aging, and Disease. Retrieved November 6, 2022 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33079481/
Hamza, M. et al. (2017). Epigenetics’ implication in autism spectrum disorders: A review. Retrieved November 6, 2022 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27692350/
Stadelmaier, R. et al. (2017). Exposure to Sodium Valproate during Pregnancy: Facial Features and Signs of Autism. Retrieved November 6, 2022 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28635121/
Wikipedia (2022). Shikimate Pathway. Retrieved November 6, 2022 from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shikimate_pathway
Blusztajn, J. K. et al. (1987). Phosphatidylcholine as a precursor of choline for acetylcholine synthesis. Retrieved November 6, 2022 from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3316498/
Stills, S. (n.d.). COVID-19 – a new reason to get more vitamin K. Retrieved November 18, 2022 from https://www.womenshealthnetwork.com/other-womens-health/could-vitamin-k-protect-against-serious-covid-19-symptoms/