A rolling landscape made entirely of yellow and white pills.


Back to the ’70s for asthma treatment

asthma, iron, vitamin D, vitamin K

Update July 2022:  This problem improved a lot when I started doing vagus nerve stimulation exercises. I also noticed that on days following activity that involved lifting very heavy (for me) items, my breathing would be easier.

About six years ago I realized I was getting very tired every time I visited a home with a resident cat. It was annoying but easy enough to avoid. Then, after a round of weekly 50,000 IU vitamin D doses, I got a day-long burning-lung, wheezing, iron-vise-on-the-ribs reaction that made me wonder if my appointment with my maker had been moved up.

Off I was sent to yet another fancy-ass specialist for blood tests and breathing into a bellows thing and x-rays, which had to be taken twice because I apparently have “really long lungs” that did not fit on the x-ray plate. The diagnosis was a one-off asthmatic allergic reaction.

Thinking the big vitamin D dose was just too big, I tried smaller doses of 1,000 IU, but the effects were similar. I then considered the possibility that it had overwhelmed my levels of the competing fat-soluble vitamins A and E. Vitamin A did help slightly, but not enough.

It finally occurred to me that I had forgotten about vitamin K, another fat-soluble vitamin. According to PubMed, a 1970s Japanese study treating asthma with vitamin K was quite successful.

I took 1,000 IU of vitamin K2 (menaquinone 7) for two weeks before my next attempt at vitamin D again, this time working up to 6,000 IU. Voila! Almost no reaction, and iron got rid of that. Eventually I could do without the iron entirely. I guess that since both vitamin K and iron are involved in oxygen transport, they can back each other up to a point. It just took a while for the vitamin K to build up to needed levels.

I have yet to test this on feline exposure. Since that seems to be an immune system issue, I’m guessing that something else is involved.

4 thoughts on “Back to the ’70s for asthma treatment”

  1. I have been taking 10,000iu for about a month now.
    I was taking 4000iu for about a year and when I had my D level tested I was still only 32ng. I live in Canada and my doctor told me to increase my dose at least another 4000iu for the winter months as I was on the low side of normal. It was easier to just take a 10,000 iu pill once a day. I also developed a cough 18 months ago that little has helped. no difference taking the D3. I have tried everything. Taking puffers, steroids, acupuncture, etc. Last week I read somewhere that if you are taking a high dose of D3 you should also be taking K2 MK7. I started taking a 100mcg 5 days ago and today I can not believe how well my breathing is and have hardly coughed the whole day. I do hope this is the answer I have been looking for. I also have become allergic to cats and this is what set off the coughing 18 months ago.

    • That is great news. I’ve been using M4 and now I’m wondering if I wouldn’t need as much if I switch to M7. It also just occurred to me that I recently spent three days in a house with two cats and a dog, with no breathing issues. I hadn’t been exposed to an animal for a long time. I wonder if that’s related to the vitamin K. Or the fact that the house is cleaned very thoroughly, very often.

  2. Hi there,

    Thanks for posting your results. I was also on vitamin D regularly (4000IU per day) throughout the winter and still needed one puff of symbicort each and every single day (an asthma preventative) but this week I’ve been taking half a teaspoon of natto every morning (contains around 50mcg of K2 MK7) and had noticed ytd and today that I have not used a single puff and with no wheezing. This was the first time I had considered K2 as a possible cause. Will keep tabs on it.



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