Researchers link therapeutic value of vitamin K2-dependent mechanisms to reducing large artery stiffening in heart failure

After having assessed the relationship between warfarin use, dephospho-uncarboxylated MGP (dp-ucMGP) levels, and arterial stiffness in heart failure (HF), researchers from US believe that vitamin K2 supplementation may have great therapeutic potential of preventing or reducing arterial stiffness in patients diagnosed with HF with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF) and HF with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF). The results of this important observational study have recently been published in Hypertension.

Knowing that large artery stiffening contributes to the pathophysiology of HF and associated comorbidities, and matrix Gla-protein (MGP), whose activation is vitamin K-dependent, is a potent inhibitor of vascular calcification, the researchers enrolled 348 subjects, including 96 with HFpEF, 53 with HFrEF, and 199 without HF for the purpose of estimating the progression of large artery stiffening among these participants. To that end their carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity was measured using arterial tonometry, and dp-ucMGP was measured with ELISA. The authors have observed increased levels of dp-ucMGP in both HFrEF (582 pmol/L; 95% CI, 444-721 pmol/L) and HFpEF (549 pmol/L; 95% CI, 455-643 pmol/L) compared with controls (426 pmol/L; 95% CI, 377-475 pmol/L; ANCOVA P=0.0067). Levels of dp-ucMGP were positively associated with carotid-femoral pulse wave velocity (standardized β, 0.31; 95% CI, 0.19-0.42; P<0.0001), which was also true in analyses restricted to patients with HF (standardized β, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.16-0.52; P=0.0002).

“This study provides real insight into how we can better help patients with heart failure by correcting their vitamin K2 deficiency,” says Dr. Katarzyna Maresz, president of the International Science and Health Foundation. “Vitamin K2’s mechanism of inhibiting calcification might be particularly beneficial in reducing large artery stiffening, therefore its role as a cardiovascular support nutrient cannot be underestimated when dealing with  heart failure issues.

“Randomized controlled trials should be planned to evaluate this hypothesis,” she adds.


Hashmath Z, Lee J, Gaddam S, Ansari B, Oldland G, Javaid K, Mustafa A, Vasim I, Akers S, Chirinos JA (2019) Vitamin K Status, Warfarin Use, and Arterial Stiffness in Heart Failure, Hypertension 73(2): 364-370, doi: 10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.118.12157


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