Menaquinone-7 as a novel pharmacological therapy in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: A clinical study (Abdel Rahman MS, et al.)
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the entire body, but particularly the joints. In addition to being extremely painful, RA can have a tremendous impact on one’s mobility, which significantly compromises one’s lifestyle. But a new study points to Vitamin K2 as MK-7 as an agent that could potentially offer a solution to RA sufferers.
Menaquinones (MKs) have been reported to induce apoptosis in RA synovial cells. Recently, menaquinone 4 (MK-4) was proven as a new potential agent for the treatment of RA. However, menaquinone 7 (MK-7) has greater bioavailability and efficacy than MK-4 after oral administration. Yet, the therapeutic benefits of MK-7 in the management of patients with RA have never been addressed.
To that end, researchers designed a study of an Egyptian population in Assiut University Hospitals to clarify the therapeutic role of MK-7 added to normal therapeutic regimen of RA in patients with different stages of the disease, with a clinical follow up through a randomized clinical trial. This cross sectional study enrolled 84 RA patients (24 male, 60 female) (average age=47.2 years), who were divided into MK-7-treated group (n=42) and MK-7 naïve group (n=42). MK-7 capsules (100 mcg) were administered daily for three months in the first group without changing in other medications. The clinical and biochemical markers on RA patients treated with MK-7 and naïve group were assessed. In MK-7 treated group, serum concentrations of MK-7 were monitored before and after three months of MK-7 administration.
For the MK-7 treated group, the results showed a statistically significant decrease in the levels of the following markers of inflammation:
- Erythrocyte Sedimentation Rate (ESR)
- RA ‘disease activity score’ (assessing 28 joints)
- C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
- Matrix Metalloproteinase (MMP-3)
In addition, MK-7 also increased the level of the active form of osteocalcin, an important marker of bone health. The benefits noted with MK-7 were directly related to increased levels of MK-7 in the blood.
According to the researchers, the results suggest that MK-7 improves disease activity in RA patients. Therefore, MK-7 represents a new promising agent for RA in combination therapy with other disease modifying antirheumatic drugs.
Dr. Katarzyna Maresz, president of the International Science and Health Foundation, has previously presented preliminary evidence that vitamin K2 as MK-7 had a positive effect on inflammation, and feels this new study builds upon the evidence that vitamin K2 can help sufferers of inflammatory conditions, such as RA.
“At present, conventional treatment of RA has been primarily in managing the disease and suppressing its symptoms. But with the results of this limited trial study, MK-7 represents a promising new therapy for RA, in combination therapy with other disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs presently being administered,” she says.
AbdelRahman MS , Alkady EA, Ahmed S . Menaquinone7 as a novel pharmacological therapy in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis: A clinical study. Eur J Pharmacol. 2015 Jun 11;761:273278. doi: 10.1016/j.ejphar.2015.06.014. [Epub ahead of print]