European Heart Journal has published an important review paper that highlights the potential of Vitamin K2 supplementation for calcific aortic valve stenosis (CAVS), a common cardiovascular condition in the aging population where no medical therapy currently exists.
According to researchers, once symptomatic severe CAVS has developed, the prognosis without intervention is dismal. Currently the only treatment for (symptomatic) severe CAVS is surgical or trans catheter aortic valve replacement (AVR), to which not all patients are suited. While multiple trials have attempted to repurpose commonly used pharmacological interventions to slow CAVS progression, pharmacological interventions have thus far failed to alter the course of CAVS. The review paper notes that studies have demonstrated that statins, widely used for lipid lowering in atherosclerosis and inflammation, have no effect on CAVS progression or clinical outcomes, and might actually exacerbate the condition.
However, the researchers noted promise with Vitamin K2, specifically the long-chain menaquinones (MK7), as they are transported efficiently beyond the liver. “Vitamin K supplementation is an attractive option to replenish vascular vitamin K stores to ensure optimal calcification inhibition,” the researchers wrote.
“This review is so very significant, “ says Dr. Hogne Vik, chief medical officer with NattoPharma ASA, world leaders in Vitamin K2 research and development. “Recognizing that medical therapies are proving ineffective, researchers are shining a light on efficacious supplemental alternatives, which leads them to the clinical research that NattoPharma has spearheaded. Specifically, our three-year cardiovascular study in healthy postmenopausal women taking just 180 mcg daily of Vitamin K2 as MK-7 (as MenaQ7), which demonstrated a cessation and even regression in arterial stiffness.
“The relevance of our three-year study has resulted in several studies by the medical community for patients with existing coronary artery calcification, aortic valve calcification, and peripheral artery calcification,” adds Dr. Vik.
The review paper concluded: “The pathophysiological mechanisms involved in CAVS initiation and progression are being rapidly elucidated and include inflammation, fibrosis, and calcification. With this advancing knowledge, we have identified novel therapeutic targets like vitamin K and new imaging techniques that can be used to test the efficacy of novel agents and further inform our pathophysiological understanding.”
Knapen MHJ, et al. Menaquinone-7 supplementation improves arterial stiffness in healthy postmenopausal women: double-blind randomised clinical trial. Thrombosis and Haemostasis (2015) 19;113(5).
Peeters FECM, et al. Calcific aortic valve stenosis: hard disease in the heart. Euro Heart J (2017) 0,1-8.
About NattoPharma and MenaQ7®
NattoPharma ASA, based in Norway, is the world’s leader in vitamin K2 research and development. NattoPharma is the exclusive international supplier of MenaQ7® Vitamin K2 as MK-7, the best documented, vitamin K2 as menaquinone-7 (MK-7) with guaranteed actives and stability, clinical substantiation, and international patents granted and pending, and now the new MenaQ7® Full Spectrum, which delivers menaquinones 6, 7, 8 and 9. The company has a multi-year research and development program to substantiate and discover the health benefits of vitamin K2 for applications in the marketplace for functional food and dietary supplements. With a global presence, the company established its North American subsidiary, NattoPharma USA, Inc., in Edison, NJ, and NattoPharma R&D Ltd. in Cyprus. For more information, visit www.nattopharma.com or www.menaq7.com.