Securing general health with Vitamin K2

COVID-19 has captured the globe’s attention as “the only” health concern. Yet the ongoing coverage and emphasis has actually brought to light the impact that other health conditions have on our susceptibility

NattoPharma has informed the industry about a new study linking better vitamin K status in patients with COVID-19 to improved outcomes compared to patients with poor K status. The study also demonstrates a link to COVID-19 patients that had other conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, which are linked to low vitamin K status, including a breakdown of tissue fibers as measured by elastin, which is involved with pulmonary disease.

NattoPharma, the leader in K2 research, has worked tirelessly to communicate important K2 findings to the media, as well as educating practitioners and consumers. The company has shared these preliminary results and ongoing work in an effort to emphasize the importance of focusing on our best possible general health.

Better K status equals better outcomes

Preprints.org published a new paper1 examining the link between outcomes in patients with COVID-19 and low vitamin K status compared to patients with better vitamin K status and healthy controls.

What was shown is that patients with severe COVID-19 are more likely to have comorbidities such as diabetes type 2, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases, which are associated with reduced vitamin K status (specifically vitamin K2 as MK-7).

  • In fact, a comparison of patients with good outcomes (leave hospital) vs. poor outcomes (ventilator / death) are inversely correlated with vitamin K status. In other words, those with higher K status had better outcomes.
  • Vitamin K status was measured by the amount of a vitamin K-dependent protein MGP (matrix Gla protein; specifically inactive MGP, or Dp-ucMGP).
  • Dp-ucMGP (inactive MGP) levels were significantly higher in COVID-19 patients with unfavorable outcomes compared to those with less severe disease.

The researchers concluded that Vitamin K status was reduced in COVID-19 patients compared to controls and was associated with disease severity. Preliminary evidence was provided suggesting a potential mechanistic link between reduced vitamin K status and accelerated tissue degradation.

“The study represents an amazing finding,” explains Prof. Leon Schurgers, Professor of Biochemistry of Vascular Calcification and Vice Chair of Biochemistry at the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht University, and co-author of the study. “While we do not suggest vitamin K2 is a treatment for COVID-19, this study illustrates that a poor vitamin K status is linked to poor prognosis.Thus, hypothesising that improving vitamin K2 status is linked to better health outcomes including cardiovascular, and perhaps even lung health.”

While inspired by the results, the study authors remain cautious and eager for next steps. To that end, Dr. Schurgers and the team at Maastricht University are expanding the cohort and launching an intervention trial to assess whether vitamin K administration improves outcome in patients with COVID-19.

The argument for securing health

By obtaining adequate vitamin K2, the most bioactive form of vitamin K in the activation of MGP and vitamin K-dependent proteins, populations enjoy better bone and cardiovascular health. NattoPharma, the vitamin K2 leader, has promoted research on the benefits of supplemental vitamin K2 activating vitamin K-dependent proteins and validating these benefits for more than 16 years, resulting in 19+ published human studies with MenaQ7 Vitamin K2.

Most importantly, these studies were done in healthy and patient populations, adults as well as children. All of these findings share a common link: proper utilisation of calcium. When the body properly utilises calcium, it is directed to the bones. When we do not have adequate vitamin K2, K-dependent proteins are not activated and rogue calcium in the bloodstream settles into arteries and soft tissues, increasing cardiovascular concerns.

“We need adequate vitamin K2 intakes to inhibit calcification our circulatory system and tissues. Due to its very molecular structure, vitamin K2 can move beyond the liver to support other systems of the body, such as the bones and vasculature, where K1 cannot,” explains Dr. Hogne Vik, NattoPharma Chief Medical Officer, noting that the COVID-19 study builds on the body of evidence linking vitamin K status to health concerns such as peripheral arterial disease (PAD) 2 , coronary calcification 3 , dementia 4 , vascular stiffness in chronic kidney disease patients (CKD) 5 and more.

NattoPharma, with the help of its research partners at Maastricht, has shown that all ages can enjoy better health outcomes simply by improving their K status. And in these extraordinarily trying times, general health and basic nutrition are more important than ever.

References:

1. Dofferhoff AS et al. Reduced Vitamin K Status as A Potentially Modifiable Prognostic Risk Factor in COVID-19. Preprints 2020, 2020040457 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202004.0457.v1).
2. Vissers LET et al. The relationship between vitamin K and peripheral arterial disease. Atherosclerosis 252 (2016) 15e20.
3. Wei FF et al. Central Hemodynamics in Relation to Circulating Desphospho- Uncarboxylated Matrix Gla Protein: A Population Study. J Am Heart Assoc. 2019;8:e011960. DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.119.011960.
4. Cui C et al. Aortic stiffness is associated with increased risk of incident dementia in older adults. J Alzheimer’s Dis. 2018;66(1):297-306.
5. Thamratnopkoon S et al. Correlations of Plasma Desphosphorylated Uncarboxylated Matrix Gla Protein with Vascular Calcification and Vascular Stiffness in Chronic Kidney Disease. Nephron. 2017;135(3):167-172.

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