Supplement Perspectives
Partnering with a Lab for Long-Term Success

How Research Empowers Ethical Development

NattoPharma USA’s Eric Anderson explains how partnering with research facilities helped his company reach a new level.

As consumers more assertively question efficacy, safety, and label claims of their dietary supplements, we believe that the number of suppliers collaborating with research institutes and universities will–or at least should–incline steeply and rapidly.

NattoPharma is solely committed to Vitamin K2 as Menaquinone-7 (MK-7), both in research and development and sales and marketing. As a singular ingredient company, we are galvanized by continuous research in the form of human clinical trials. This activity is the result of key partnerships that have shaped our ingredient, MenaQ7®.

How have we gone about doing this?

Through a long-term agreement, since 2006 NattoPharma has been in a close R&D collaboration with VitaK BV, the world's largest research group dedicated to vitamin K, with extensive expertise in all aspects of vitamin K and vitamin K-dependent proteins. VitaK is a wholly owned subsidiary of Maastricht University, the Netherlands.

As an independent laboratory, VitaK is frequently asked to evaluate vitamin K content in foods and supplements. In 2008, VitaK announced that MenaQ7® natural vitamin K2 as menaquinone-7 was the first product to earn the VitaK2 Seal of Quality and Efficacy in both oil and powder form, for use in dietary supplements and food enrichment. VitaK2 is the trademark registered by VitaK at Maastricht University as a quality label for vitamin K products with proven quality, efficacy, and safety.

To strengthen our research, NattoPharma also signed a new and long-term research agreement with the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, (CARIM), University of Maastricht, in 2013. These agreements provide NattoPharma with the option to study mechanisms of action of vitamin K2 and to further evaluate the impact of vitamin K2 on human health.

These R&D agreements and contacts with other outstanding medical institutions enable Nattopharma to explore and strengthen our present recommendations and future use of MenaQ7® products. Further, the alliance with research institutions allows for technological innovations in the ingredients themselves, such as MenaQ7® Crystals.

Poaching science from competitors that have invested to ensure their product delivers on its promise has made some unscrupulous companies a lot of money, but we believe this harms innovation and the industry as a whole. Suppliers that are able to work closely with venerable research institutions will provide their customers, retailers, and, ultimately, the consumers with first-in-class, trustworthy supplements that boast scientific traceability.

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