Paper examines the link between early vascular ageing and vitamin K

Nattopharma has supported a study that focuses on the role of vitamin K in counteracting oxidative stress and the ageing process

A new review paper has been published examining the link between early vascular ageing in chronic kidney disease, with a focus on the role of vitamin K's role in counteracting oxidative stress and the ageing process.

The paper, published in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation, was the result of the INTRICARE grant awarded to NattoPharma's International Research Network by the EU within the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie research and innovation programme, is an important stride solidifying vitamin K2 as an important nutrient to support healthy ageing.

According to the authors of "Early vascular ageing in chronic kidney disease: impact of inflammation, vitamin K, senescence and genomic damage", patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are characterised by an accelerated ageing process, including cardiovascular complications, persistent uraemic inflammation, muscle wasting, osteoporosis and frailty, preceding initiation of renal replacement therapy with dialysis or kidney transplantation.

The accelerated early vascular ageing (EVA) process mediated by medial vascular calcification (VC) is a hallmark of senescence (the condition or process of deterioration with age) as well as a strong predictor of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in the CKD population.

"Current clinical therapeutic strategies and novel treatments for VC have not yet been proven to prevent or reverse VC progression in patients with CKD. Knowledge of the fundamental mechanism underlying EVA is urgently needed to identify and develop novel and efficient therapeutic targets for VC and EVA," they wrote.

The paper is significant because it adds to the growing body of evidence substantiating vitamin K2 as an ageing support nutrient, according to NattoPharma Chief Medical Officer, Dr Hogne Vik.

"Compromised bone and heart health are not merely age-related issues; rather, they are signs of a vitamin K2 deficiency,” said Vik. "NattoPharma has driven the research confirming vitamin K2's important health benefits, showing in human studies with healthy and patient participants, including CKD patients, that the progression of hardening of the arteries can be halted and even regressed, and that bone strength can be improved with daily supplementation of MenaQ7 Vitamin K2."

The research team identified an accumulating body of evidence indicating that DNA damage-induced cellular senescence and "inflammaging" may largely contribute to such pathological conditions characterised by accelerated EVA.

"Growing evidence shows that nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NRF2) signalling and vitamin K play a crucial role in counteracting oxidative stress, DNA damage, senescence and inflammaging, whereby NRF2 activation and vitamin K supplementation may provide a novel treatment target for EVA," they concluded.

"This work conducted under the INTRICARE grant will highlight the accumulated research demonstrating that vitamin K2 consumption might serve as a potential therapy for patients who express intense calcification as a symptom of their condition," says Prof Schurgers, Professor of Biochemistry of Vascular Calcification and Vice Chair of Biochemistry at the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht University; and senior author and leader of the INTRICARE project. "We appreciate the support of NattoPharma."

Dr Vik also noted that the paper is a necessary step towards recognising the importance of a vitamin K2- specific RDI, an endeavor NattoPharma is currently spearheading with the help of its research partners.

"Recognition of Vitamin K2's benefits as strong and significant elucidated inhibitor of vascular and soft tissue calcification is one of the core reasons a separate RDI should be established," Vik added.

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