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Bad Ingredient?

January 31st, 2006, 04:11 PM
Just how bad is Menadione Sodium Bisulphite Complex (source of Vitamin K activity)? If you check out the article at it sounds like it is really bad but it is in most of the premium and super premium brands and even some holistic brands. Does anyone know for sure? :confused:

January 31st, 2006, 05:10 PM
So far, I haven't been able to find anything bad about it. To me, it's the bisulfite part that is bad, not the vitamin K3 part... I found vitamins for humans with Menadione in them.:confused:

Solid gold Wolf King doesn't have it as far as I can tell.

January 31st, 2006, 05:42 PM
I searched around Mordanna and I found out that they're basing it on studies done in Germany... I'd like to see these studies. It's rare that an important study won't be recreated in some way at a different institution in a different country just to test its validity.

Mordanna bugs me. After searching their site, they seem to always reference themselves. It's generally a good website for info, but if they don't start posting proper references, I'm going to question their integrity.

January 31st, 2006, 10:12 PM
You`re right about it being a German study. The Europeans are more advanced in matters dealing with stuff like that though. Just like they`re more into homeopathy and natural cures. What scares me about menadione sodium bisulfite is the toxicity to the liver as I have lost three dogs to liver cancer so that`s why I`m so concerned. When I get a chance I`m going to search for "menadione sodium bisulfite studies" on Google. Thanks for your thoughts.:) I`ll see what else I can find out.:confused:

January 31st, 2006, 10:15 PM
Let me know if you find anything.:)

February 1st, 2006, 02:12 PM
I haven`t found any more studies yet.:( I`ve emailed lots of pet food companies but so far only one reply from Petcurean the makers of Go Natural. They said they are looking into removing it from their product...they will if they can get enough Vitamin K from natural sources. Canidae, California Naturals and Innova do not use it either. I`ve joined a couple of other pet forums to try and get more input. I hate being confused.:confused:

February 1st, 2006, 09:31 PM
It's hard too because some companies would probably remove ingredients just because of rumors that are damaging sales...

February 2nd, 2006, 02:20 PM
As far as I can see, Eagle Pack Holistic Food, which I feed Montana, does not contain Menadione Sodium Bisulphate Complex.

February 2nd, 2006, 06:09 PM
Performatrin has Menadione Sodium Bisulphate Complex in it. But it's the second to last ingredient. So it's probably such a small amount.

February 2nd, 2006, 09:56 PM
It always would be near the end because it's vitamin K... The vitamins are in tiny quantities.

February 13th, 2006, 06:57 PM
I found this:

"Menadione (vitamin K3), which is not used as a nutritional supplemental form of vitamin K for humans, has been reported to cause adverse reactions, including hemolytic anemia."

The article includes references.

February 27th, 2006, 05:20 PM
I received a couple of emails regarding menadione sodium bisulfite complex:

Karyn Bischoff DVM, MS,Diplomate ABVT, Clinical Toxicologist. Animal Health Diagnostic Center Cornell University wrote:

Vitamin K3 known cause of kidney failure in horses but no information on adverse effects in dogs. Some information suggests Vitamin K3 causes some level of free radical production. Dog food should contain antioxidants like Vitamin E to offer protection against free radical damage. If you have concerns and there is dog food available without Vitamin K3, then choose one of those.

Steffani MacDonald, Manager Pet Food Certification Program, Canadian Veterinary Medical Association wrote:

Usually animals with a healthy GI tract do not need a source of Vitamin K. I have forwarded your concerns on to our nutritionist.

I`m still waiting to hear back and will post when I do.

I found another article at:

March 8th, 2006, 10:11 PM
I found a good article at:

March 8th, 2006, 11:37 PM
Ok, so it's bad for newborn babies:
noted that synthetic preparations of K3 were best avoided for
nutritional purposes, due to their link with haemolysis and liver damage in the newborn
And good for avoiding a certain cancer pathway:
The carcinogenic activity of benzo(a)pyrene has been shown to be
increased by vitamin K1, as a result of induction of cytochrome P450 1A1 (CYP1A1). In contrast, vitamin K3
decreased CYP1A1 activity.

And bad in very high doses:
High doses of water-soluble vitamin K3 (menadione) may result in oxidative damage, red cell fragility and the formation of methaemoglobin. High doses of vitamin K3 given to premature infants to treat intracranial and pulmonary haemorrhage have been reported to have caused hyperbilirubinaemia and overloading of the immature liver, resulting in kernicterus and brain toxicity. Fewer cases have been reported recently as a safer level has been established.

Ok then this part looks scary:
Parenteral administration of high doses of K3 to dogs caused methaemoglobinaemia, urobilinuria and urobilinogenuria, and fatal liver damage.But then again, it's from this study:
Molitor, H. and Robinson, H.J. (1940) Oral and parenteral toxicity of vitamin K1, phthicol and 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone. Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine 43, 125-128.And the doses they used were enormous. Hmm.... Usually when an article is cited from wayyyyyy back when, it's because the other more recent data either don't agree with it, or there is none. Judging by the fact that the other articles cited are mostly post 1990, I'm thinking the newer articles simply don't agree with what they want to say. But I'll try to find out more to be sure.

March 9th, 2006, 12:23 AM
You can read more about vitamin toxicity here.

March 9th, 2006, 12:32 AM
I found an article that says K3 protects the stomach from ulcers (in rats): Menadione protects gastric mucosa against ethanol-induced ulcers, by Tariq M, Experimental and Toxicologic Pathology 2005 Apr;56(6):393-9.

Ok... The quote in my previous post under "And good for avoiding a certain cancer pathway", is wrong. I found a study from 2005 saying that in rats treated with menadione, CYP1A1 levels increased up to 11-fold...:eek:
Rat hepatic CYP1A1 and CYP1A2 induction by menadione, Sidorova YA et al., Toxicology Letters. 2005 Feb 15;155(2):253-8.

Another article from 1989 where a dog was poisoned and administered vitamin K3... This quote from the abstract of "Brodifacoum poisoning in a dog," by K. Booth (from N Z Vet J. 1989 Jun;37(2):74-5).
The dog was treated successfully by administering 1 litre of whole blood intravenously, intramuscular vitamin K1 and a three week course of oral vitamin K3.

This article from 2005 says that vitamins K2, K3 and K5 have anti-tumor effects for a certain cancer:
Vitamins K2, K3 and K5 exert in vivo antitumor effects on hepatocellular carcinoma by regulating the expression of G1 phase-related cell cycle molecules, by Kuriyama, S., et al, International Journal of Oncology, Aug;27(2):505-11.

But then this one analyses WHY K3 is good at fighting tumors and it has to do with its ability to promote cell death: Vitamin K3 triggers human leukemia cell death through hydrogen peroxide generation and histone hyperacetylation, by Lin, C. et al., Die Pharmazie. 2005 Oct;60(10):765-71.
Basically, if I understand it correctly (it's a fairly complicated article), the K3 causes hydrogen peroxide to be produced with the help of vitamin C, and the hydrogen peroxide leads to cell death, thus creating a cancer fighting agent (in humans).

But this article (Ascorbate potentiates the cytotoxicity of menadione leading to an oxidative stress that kills cancer cells by a non-apoptotic caspase-3 independent form of cell death, Verrax J et al., Apoptosis. 2004 Mar;9(2):223-33.) says that cell death only occurs if there is vitamin C around (which there would be because that is often another ingredient in dog foods and one our doggies need):
Hepatocarcinoma cells (TLT) were incubated in the presence of ascorbate and menadione, either alone or in combination. Cell death was only observed when such compounds were added simultaneously, most probably due to hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) generated by ascorbate-driven menadione redox cycling.

But then it reduces cell death in certain neurons?
On the other hand, neurotoxicity of rotenone and paraquat but not of 3-NPA, antimycin or azide was significantly abolished by menadione (vitamin K3, 2-methyl-1,4-naphthoquinone). This neuroprotective effect of menadione was associated with a decrease of rotenone-induced free radical production. From: Menadione reduces rotenone-induced cell death in cerebellar granule neurons, Isaev NK et al., Neuroreport. 2004 Oct 5;15(14):2227-31.

Ok, I give up and I'm going to bed... :D

But my summary from the last hour of reading is that there are no studies done past 1968 on K3 in dogs, other than ones where K3 is used as a treatment for poisoning with blood thinners (such as Warfarin). Other studies involve using K3 as a toxin to induce illness or liver failure, but the doses are very high, much higher than those of dog foods.

There are a lot of studies on K3's anti-tumor effects in humans, mostly involving rats, mice or hamsters, that usually say the anti-cancer effects are caused when K3 reacts with something else, usually something rich in oxygen, to produce "free radicals". Free radicals are harmful in a healthy body. They degrade DNA- think of them as little laser beams firing away, damaging stuff. Anti-oxidants protect us against free radicals. But then vitamin C is an anti-oxidant and it somehow helps K3 do its damage... So C doesn't count. You need vitamin A or E.

So the bottom line is if you feed a food with K3, there are benefits and risks to it. If you feed some sort of anti-oxidant, IMO, you reduce the risks.

Did that help anybody, or just confuse and abuse?:o

March 11th, 2006, 10:12 PM
Yes I`m even more confused.:confused: But I am still trying to get unbiased info and will post here when I get anything worth looking at.:fingerscr

March 19th, 2006, 10:56 PM
Well, I still can`t find out any more info on menadione sodium bisulfite and not getting any more replies to the tons of emails I sent out.

I`ve decided on Timberwolf Organics and when I bought it I picked up the pamphlet on it. This is what they have to say"

"Timberwolf does not put vitamin K3 (menadione sodium bisulfite) in any of their formulas because of health risks to animals, and rely instead on high levels of foods that are high in vitamin K1 such as alfalfa, kelp, oats, egg yolk, and liver."

March 19th, 2006, 11:01 PM
Regardless of the info we find or don't find on K3, it's always better to have vitamins from the food rather than supplements.

March 20th, 2006, 11:31 AM
I certainly agree with that!!:thumbs up