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New NRC-backed study to explore role of K2 in calcium metabolism

By Will Chu , 21-Apr-2017
Last updated on 21-Apr-2017 at 15:30 GMT2017-04-21T15:30:25Z

Over supplementation of calcium can cause a number of health issues that vitamin K2 may be able to rectify. ©iStock
Over supplementation of calcium can cause a number of health issues that vitamin K2 may be able to rectify. ©iStock

The Norwegian Research Council will fund a four year study to explore the relationship between calcium metabolism and vitamin K2, says NattoPharma.

The project will assess the influence of supplemental vitamin K2 on calcium metabolism in postmenopausal bone loss and chronic kidney failure.

Dietary calcium is associated with benefits such as bone health. However, evidence points to health issues that can be caused by high calcium consumption as a result of excessive supplementation.

Pairing vitamin K2 with a high-calcium regimen has been suggested as an approach. The vitamin is thought to promote arterial flexibility by preventing accumulation of arterial calcium.

More importantly its supplementation could address calcium content in the body that are out of balance.

‘Manufacturers can’t ignore evidence’

“This will be the first study that demonstrates K2’s impact on calcium metabolism in vivo; however, we have shown in human studies with healthy participants that the progression of hardening of the arteries can be halted and even regressed,” said Dr Hogne Vik, NattoPharma chief medical officer.

'This study will help to provide further evidence that calcium without adequate Vitamin K2 consumption might end up in the soft tissues where it is not wanted, rather than in the bone matrix, where it is needed.'

“Calcium supplement manufacturers must recognize the importance of pairing calcium with Vitamin K2. They cannot ignore the growing body of evidence that K2 is required for the body to properly metabolize and utilize calcium.”

Research will be led by Dr Leon Schurgers, associate professor of Biochemistry at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

Using preclinical models, the project will also use NattoPharma’s MenaQ7 Vitamin K2 as MK-7 in order to determine its effects on calcium utilisation.

“This study will help to provide further evidence that calcium without adequate Vitamin K2 consumption might end up in the soft tissues where it is not wanted, rather than in the bone matrix, where it is needed,” said  Dr Schurgers.

NattoPharma had previously demonstrated in its three-year interventional study that adding 0.18 milligrams (180 micrograms (mcg)) of MenaQ7 Vitamin K2 as MK-7 to a daily intake was enough to improve arterial health and flexibility.

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