Human Study Suggests Vitamin K2 Reverses Arterial Calcification
At the 2012 Vitafoods Convention in Geneva, Dr. Cees Vermeer, from the VitaK laboratory at Maastricht University, presented new data showing significant benefits for improved bone strength and prevention of cardiovascular aging with daily supplementation of vitamin K2 in the form of natural MK-7.
In the study, 244 healthy postmenopausal women received 180 mcg of MK-7 daily, or a placebo, for 3 years. Bone mineral density, bone strength, and vascular characteristics are measured by ultrasound and pulse-wave velocity (PWV, which evaluates age-related stiffening of blood vessels).
After at least 2 years, the bone-related benefits of MK-7 supplementation included a statistically significant protection of the most vulnerable bone structures (vertebrae and the hip), and a clinically relevant improvement at the site of the femoral neck.
With respect to the cardiovascular benefits, the study showed substantial benefits in preventing age-related stiffening of arteries in the MK-7 group, while the placebo group saw an increase in the PWV.
However, the most amazing finding was that “nutritional doses” of MK-7 not only prevented stiffening, it also resulted in an unprecedented statistically significant improvement of blood vessel elasticity both measured with ultrasound and PWV. Of course, based on the mechanism of vitamin K’s activity, this implies that pre-existing calcification in the arteries was reversed.
Previously, the benefits of vitamin K on bone and vascular health had been demonstrated with “pharmacological doses” of synthetic forms of vitamin K (as MK-4) of up to 45 mg daily (note 1 mg = 1000 mcg). Remarkably, the effects of MK-7 at 180 mcg/day were even more pronounced than those in trials using a high dose of one of the synthetic forms of vitamin K.
Recent evidence suggests that the loss in elasticity of the arteries caused by calcium deposits in the arterial wall (called arterial calcification) is the #1 predictor of a cardiovascular “event” (like heart attack or stroke). The results of this study show that we can not only prevent this from happening (which we already knew from previous studies), but we can actually reverse it (previously only seen in an animal study)!
This means we now have human evidence to show that simple daily intake of vitamin K2 in the form of MK-7 supplementation can reverse the #1 predictor of heart attacks and strokes! So take your vitamin K, now!