Vitamin K2 Recommended to Support Aortic Valve Calcification
Calcific aortic valve stenosis (CAVS) is a common cardiovascular condition in the aging population where no medical therapy currently exists. So the population should be excited to learn that The European Heart Journal has published an important review paper that highlights the potential of Vitamin K2 supplementation as a viable therapy for this condition.
According to researchers, once symptomatic severe CAVS has developed, the prognosis without intervention is dismal. Currently the only treatment for (symptomatic) severe CAVS is surgical or trans catheter aortic valve replacement (AVR), to which not all patients are suited. While multiple trials have attempted to repurpose commonly used pharmacological interventions to slow CAVS progression, pharmacological interventions have thus far failed to alter the course of CAVS. The review paper notes that studies have demonstrated that statins, widely used for lipid lowering in atherosclerosis and inflammation, have no effect on CAVS progression or clinical outcomes, and might actually exacerbate the condition.
However, the researchers noted promise with Vitamin K2, specifically the long-chain menaquinones (MK7), as they are transported efficiently beyond the liver. “Vitamin K supplementation is an attractive option to replenish vascular vitamin K stores to ensure optimal calcification inhibition,” the researchers wrote.
“This review is so very significant, “ says Dr. Katarzyna Maresz, president of the International Science and Health Foundation. “Recognizing that medical therapies are proving ineffective, researchers are shining a light on efficacious supplemental alternatives, which leads them to the extensive clinical research that supports the health benefits of nutrients like Vitamin K2. For example, the ground-breaking three-year cardiovascular study in healthy postmenopausal women taking just 180 mcg daily of Vitamin K2 as MK-7, which demonstrated a cessation and even regression in arterial stiffness.”
The review paper concluded: “The pathophysiological mechanisms involved in CAVS initiation and progression are being rapidly elucidated and include inflammation, fibrosis, and calcification. With this advancing knowledge, we have identified novel therapeutic targets like vitamin K and new imaging techniques that can be used to test the efficacy of novel agents and further inform our pathophysiological understanding.”
Peeters FECM, et al. Calcific aortic valve stenosis: hard disease in the heart. Euro Heart J (2017) 0,1-8.
Knapen MHJ, et al. Menaquinone-7 supplementation improves arterial stiffness in healthy postmenopausal women: double-blind randomised clinical trial. Thrombosis and Haemostasis (2015) 19;113(5).