Study says K Status Marker Linked to Cardio Risk

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Vitamin K2’s role in vascular calcification demonstrated in Danish population study.

Clinical Biochemistry recently published a Danish population study that examined the link between inactive matrix Gla protein (MGP), a known biomarker for K-vitamins status, and cardiovascular risk, and concluded that high levels of this inactive protein were positively associated with a history of cardiovascular disease (CVD) due to the role vitamin K2 plays in vascular calcification.


According to “Undercarboxylated matrix Gla-protein: A biomarker of vitamin K2 status and cardiovascular risk”[1], dephosphorylated uncarboxylated matrix Gla-protein (dp-ucMGP) is a biomarker of functional vitamin K status. High plasma dp-ucMGP concentrations reflect a low vitamin K status and have been related to vascular calcification. The purpose of the study was to assess plasma levels of dp-ucMGP and the association between plasma dp-ucMGP, CVD-risk factors, and history of CVD in a general population.


Plasma dp-ucMGP measurements were performed using the IDS-iSYS InaKtif MGP assay in 491 consecutive participants in a Danish general population study (229 males and 262 females, aged 19–71 years). The researachers concluded: ”Increased plasma dp-ucMGP levels were positively associated with cardiovascular risk factors such as arterial stiffness (as reflected by increased ePWV), hypertension, obesity, and history of CVD events. These findings support that dp-ucMGP is a biomarker of cardiovascular risk and lend support to the hypothesis that vitamin K status plays a role in vascular calcification and risk of CVD… Prospective studies could establish the causal direction of these associations and whether increased vitamin K intake represents a preventive measure against vascular calcification and CVD-risk.

Correlation between VKDP and cardiovascular survival risk

Ex-NattoPharma is encouraged by these findings as they provide another level of evidence that vitamin K2 is an essential cardio-protective nutrient, specifically as the researchers note: “Different studies have found an association between dietary vitamin K intake and CVDs. Particularly menaquinone (K2) is associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease and all-cause mortality.”


”It still remains a common misunderstanding that vitamin K, in general, impacts arterial calcificiation, when in fact it is Vitamin K2 that is available beyond the liver to support bone and cardiovascular health,” says Dr. Hogne Vik, ex-NattoPharma Chief Medical Officer. ”Our studies with MenaQ7 have shown that K status was more efficiently improved in adults as well as children with supplementation of Vitamin K2 as MK-7.[2] Both of ex-NattoPharma’s cardiovascular intervention trials showed improved vascular health with just 180mcg – our 3-year study[3] cardiovascular study in healthy postmenopausal women showed improved arterial flexibility, and now our 1-year study[4] in men and women showed a significant decrease in dp-ucMGP.”


1 T. Jespersen, et al. Clinical Biochemistry
2 Theuwissen E, Magdeleyns EJ, Braam LAJLM, et al. Vitamin K status in healthy volunteers. Food Funct. 2014 Feb;5(2):229-34.
3 Knapen MHJ, Braam LAJLM, Drummen NE, Bekers O, Hoeks APG, Vermeer C. Menaquinone-7 supplementation improves arterial stiffness in healthy postmenopausal women: A double-blind randomised clinical trial. Thromb Haemost. 2015 May;113(5):1135-44.
4 Vermeer C and Vik H. Effect of Menaquinone-7 (vitamin K2) on vascular elasticity in healthy subjects: results from a one-year study. 2020 Vascul Dis Ther, 5: doi: 10.15761/VDT.1000179.


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