Oslo, Norway and Edison, NJ–A paper, titled “Role of Vascular Smooth Muscle Cell Phenotypic Switching and Calcification in Aortic Aneurysm Formation: Involvement of Vitamin K-Dependent Processes” published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology addresses the role of vitamin K and vitamin K-dependent proteins (VKDPs) that are involved in vascular calcification and aneurysm.
Dr. Hogne Vik, Chief Medical Officer of NattoPharma, which announced the science in a press release, said the paper is significant because it builds on the argument that Vitamin K2 is an essential nutrient for protecting cardiovascular health, while also opening up new areas of benefits.
The review highlighted well-known and alternative pathways of vitamin K activity, NattoPharma explained, specifying that Vitamin K is known to activate Matrix Gla Protein (MGP), by which it inhibits vascular calcification; and that vitamin K has the ability to scavenge free radicals, reduce oxidative stress, and decrease vascular calcification.
“Therefore, it is tempting to postulate that vitamin K deficiency plays a role in aneurysm formation,” the researchers concluded. “Vitamin K supplementation holds the potential to lower the risk of aortic aneurysms and improve cardiovascular outcome.”
Dr. Vik added, “Once again, Vitamin K is known to activate MGP, which inhibits vascular calcification. This new paper also finds vitamin K has the ability to scavenge free radicals, reduce oxidative stress, and decrease calcification. We support the authors’ supposition that Vitamin K deficiency plays a role in aneurysm formation. Clearly, Vitamin K2 supplementation holds the potential to lower the risk of aortic aneurysms and improve cardiovascular outcomes.”
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According to the release, thew paper is the result of the Horizon 2020 grant awarded to NattoPharma’s International Research Network, coordinated by Queen Mary University of London. The grant NattoPharma participates in is called “EVOLuTION” (European Vascular Interventions and Therapeutic Innovation Network), and the money will be utilized to provide training for 11 early stage researchers (ESRs) in the management of chronic diseases in the field of cardiovascular disease.
“NattoPharma has a long history of funding research and participating in collaborative research such as was provided in the Horizon 2020 grant,” said NattoPharma CEO Kjetil Ramsøy. “The body of evidence supporting cardiovascular health benefits continues to grow and we believe will help expand both awareness and consumer demand for Vitamin K2.”