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New review highlights heart health benefits of vitamin K2 - Nutritional Outlook

A recent review published in Open Heart highlights evidence that vitamin K2 supplementation supports cardiovascular health.

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Photo © AdobeStock.com/Маргарита Медведева

A recent review published in Open Heart 1 highlights evidence that vitamin K2 supplementation supports cardiovascular health. According to the review, there is an alarmingly high prevalence of vitamin K deficiency and suboptimal recommended intakes among the general U.S. population. Among the ways vitamin K2 may support cardiovascular health is through the regulation of the homeostasis of soft tissue calcification by activating the anti-calcific protein called matrix Gla protein. In fact, studies have shown that there is a strong association between vitamin K deficiency, as assessed by plasma inactive MGP, and arterial stiffness, vascular calcification, heart failure and cardiovascular mortality.

In a press release, Leon Schurgers, Professor of Biochemistry of Vascular Calcification and Vice-Chair of Biochemistry at the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht University, and author to the paper, explained: "There is expanding preclinical and clinical data on vitamin K's cardiovascular benefits, with multiple ongoing clinical trials. To that end, there is a pressing need to organize our understanding of the pathophysiology, and efficacy of K2 intake as it relates to markers and outcomes of cardiovascular health.

"As we point out, there is an alarmingly high prevalence of vitamin K deficiency and suboptimal recommended intake among the general population in the United States. And yet there is a growing body of evidence that supports the potential role of vitamin K2 in cardiovascular health."

"This review covers the rapidly expanding evidence supporting the cardioprotective effects of vitamin K2 intake, mediated by activated MGP; a foundation of evidence NattoPharma and Maastricht have driven for decades, using our MenaQ7 K2 as the source material,” added Hogne Vik, MD, chief medical officer with NattoPharma – Gnosis by Lesaffre (Oslo, Norway). For example, in 2015, a three-year cardiovascular study was published in Thrombosis and Haemostasis , confirming its heart health benefits, specifically related to arterial flexibility.

Reference

  1. Hariri E et al. “Vitamin K2 ­– a neglected player in cardiovascular health: a narrative review.” Open Heart, vol. 8 (2021)