Vitamin K2 prevents Cardiovascular Disease and maintains Bone Strength
The benefits of vitamin K for cardiovascular disease gained attention by the findings of a Dutch study called the “Rotterdam study” (Geleijnse et al) examining heart health benefits of dietary Vitamin K and their role in preventing Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) in 2004. The study, which involved over 4,800 people over a ten year period, revealed that increased dietary intake of specifically vitamin K2 significantly reduced the risk of CHD mortality by 50% as compared to low dietary vitamin K2 intake. In this study, vitamin K1 had no effect at all.
Now, new clinical research carried out by researchers of VitaK at the University of Maastricht revealed that vitamin K2 can stop the calcification of the arteries and may actually even reverse it (Schurgers et al.). The new study is published this month in the American Hematology Society Journal Blood. According to Dr. Leon Schurgers “arterial calcification is a major and independent risk factor for cardiovascular mortality. This new study demonstrated that in rats with existing arterial calcifications the total amount of aortic calcium could decrease by 37% in 6 weeks during a high vitamin K2 diet”.
Dr Leon Schurgers comments: “These latest findings on the role of vitamin K2 intake are an exciting development for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, as our trial showed that vitamin K2 supplementation was capable of reversing the effects of arterial calcification.” Vitamin K2 activates the vitamin K-dependent protein Matrix Gla-Protein (MGP) which plays an important role in preventing calcium from depositing in the arteries.
A second study published in Osteoporosis International and conducted at VitaK has led to new insights concerning vitamin K2 and general health benefits for bone. Vitamin K2 plays a key role in the synthesis of osteocalcin which has a vital function in the maintenance of strong bones. In a study among 350 elderly postmenopausal women it was found that a daily supplement of vitamin K2 completely blocked loss of bone strength whereas in the placebo group the bone strength decreased by 1.5% per year.