MAASTRICHT, Netherlands--(BUSINESS WIRE)--On February 19th, an important study was published in the online version of the scientific journal Thrombosis and Haemostasis*. In this research, the first of its kind, the long-term effect of vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7) on the health of blood vessels was examined. The study found that, after three years, the vascular stiffness in the vitamin K2-group had not only decreased, but the flexibility of the vascular wall had also improved.
The effect was marked most in women who had a higher degree of vascular stiffness at the beginning of the study. In the placebo group the vessel stiffness increased slightly. Calcification in the blood vessels has a negative impact on one's life expectancy. Vitamin K2 ensures that calcium remains in the bones and will not sediment in the artery wall. This can add ten years to a person's biological age, depending on the degree of calcification.
These results confirmed that MenaQ7 vitamin K2 did not only inhibited age-related stiffening of the artery walls, but also made an unprecedented statistically significant improvement of vascular elasticity.
Renowned vitamin K2 scientist and study research team leader Cees Vermeer states: “Our data demonstrated that a nutritional dose of vitamin K2 in fact improves cardiovascular outcomes.”
This Dutch study was conducted at the University of Maastricht and confirms a link that had already emerged in two large Dutch population studies (with over 20,000 participants), namely, a lower risk of calcification in the blood vessels in the case of higher vitamin K2 consumption through food.
The newly published study was conducted among 244 healthy, postmenopausal women between the ages 55 and 65. This research shows that supplementing the diet with vitamin K2 results in reduction of arterial stiffness.
Vascular stiffness increases with age and is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. The fact is vascular stiffness due to calcium deposits in the vascular wall causes unfavourable structural and functional changes in the vessel wall.
Particular to this study is that the vitamin K-dose used falls within the diet range. For three years, daily, one half of the study group received 180 micrograms (mcg) of natural vitamin K2 in the form of menaquinone-7 (MK-7), and the other half got a placebo.
In the new Maastricht study, the vascular stiffness was measured using two different methods: echo-tracking (ultrasound technique) and pulse wave velocity (PWV).
Furthermore, supplementation with vitamin K2 had a beneficial effect on the blood levels of a protein that plays a very important role in the prevention of arteriosclerosis.
This protein, the matrix-Gla-protein (MGP), only exhibits this inhibiting effect on calcification when it is activated by vitamin K. In case of an insufficient intake of vitamin K2 through the diet, the blood level of inactive MGP is higher than with a sufficient supply of vitamin K2.
Inactive MGP is associated with mortality from cardiovascular disease and is used as a marker for the risk of cardiovascular disease.
After three years of supplementation with vitamin K2, the blood levels of inactive MGP decreased by 50% compared to the placebo. This also indicates a reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease.
“This study, which is actually showing an improvement in endothelial function, has the potential to dramatically impact the way we view prevention when it comes to cardiovascular health. Further clinical studies will be important to confirm these exciting findings,” said Dennis Goodman, MD, board-certified cardiologist and Director of Integrative Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York.
The researchers expect that nutritional supplementation with vitamin K2 will also yield the same results in men as it did with the women who participated in this study.
* “The Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis (JTH) is the official journal of the International JTH Society and is the leading medical journal in the fields of thrombosis and haemostasis”
M. H. J. Knapen, L. A. J. L. M. Braam, N. E. Drummen, O. Bekers, A. P. G. Hoeks, C. Vermeer. Menaquinone-7 supplementation improves arterial stiffness in healthy postmenopausal women: double-blind randomised clinical trial. Thrombosis and Haemostasis. 2015;113:
Epub ahead of print: February 19, 2015.
Vitamin K2, in the form of menaquinone-7, originally comes from fermented foods. Bacteria, such as Bacillus licheniformis from lichen and Bacillus subtilis natto from fermented soya, can produce large quantities of vitamin K2. This natural form of vitamin K2 is easily digestible, remains in the body for much longer and has a stronger effect than other forms of vitamin K.
Vitamin K is important for coagulation, but recent findings show that vitamin K is at least as important as vitamin D to preserve normal bones, for all ages. In addition vitamin K, particularly vitamin K2, has several other functions that are important for a normal physiology.
Several specific proteins are dependent on vitamin K2 for their mechanism. These proteins are involved in handling calcium and are important for good bone building and to protect against calcium deposits in the blood vessels. Vitamin K2 is necessary to activate these non-active proteins.
In this study 180 microgram of MenaQ7 vitamin K2 was used.
MenaQ7 Forte of Springfield Nutraceuticals contains 180 microgram of natural vitamin K2 crystals. This offers a higher purity of over 95% pure menaquinone-7.
MenaQ7 Forte contains the 100% trans-shape – the desired shape for human consumption.