Nattopharma's vitamin K2 ingredient makes splash in arterial health space with new product launch

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Vitamin k2 Atherosclerosis Heart Blood pressure

Nattopharma's vitamin K2 ingredient makes splash in arterial health space with new product launch
Vitamin K2, recognized in recent years for its role in bone health, is now making a splash in the cardiovascular disease realm with the launch of a new product using Nattopharma’s MenaQ7 ingredient.

Formulated by Oakland, CA-based dietary supplement manufacturer SuperNutrition, the product, called SimplyOne Heart Smart, pairs MenaQ7 with vitamin A (retinol) and vitamin D3.  The product will bear claims of promoting arterial flexibility by limiting the calcification of arterial walls. The product takes advantage of MenaQ7’s action toward promoting the inclusion of calcium in the bone matrix.  In a way, arterial health is the flip side of MenaQ7’s bone health coin, said Eric Anderson, senior vice president of global sales for Norwegian firm Nattopharma.  Short version: “It puts the calcium in the bones where you want it, not in the arteries where you don’t,”​ Anderson told NutraIngedients-USA.

Long term study

Anderson said the vitamin’s action is supported by the long term Rotterdam Heart Study,​ which followed 4,800 Dutch men and women over a long period of time.  Vitamin K2 is present in the Western diet primarily in the form of natural, fermented cheese (processed cheese contains none of the vitamin, Anderson said).  The results of the long-term study were revelatory, Anderson said.

“They followed these people for 10 years, watching what these folks consumed. The highest quintile of vitamin K2 consumption had 50% less calcium in their arteries and 50% less risk of death from coronary disease. Every 9% increase in the intake of K2 showed a 9% decrease in risk,”​ he said.  The company has also done its own study showing the vitamin's action in battling arterial calcification​.

Disease, or natural aging consequence?

Making claims in the cardiovascular health space is a delicate undertaking.  High blood pressure and other risk factors are already addressed by pharmaceuticals, so staying the right side of the disease-claim divide requires some care. SuperNutrition says the product will supports arterial flexibility and elasticity, healthy blood pressure (already within normal range), and overall cardiovascular health. 

Anderson said a key question regarding arterial health is whether calcification, or ‘hardening’ of the arteries is a true disease condition or a natural consequence of aging.

“What is making our arteries turn from nice, flexible tubes to stiff, rigid pipes? These are normal metabolic functions. It’s a lifelong process;  researchers have even identified the being of arterial calcification in children.  Vitamin K2 seems to be involved with long term health outcomes,​” Anderson said.

The new heart health supplement is formulated as a chew and includes d-ribose, a functional sugar that itself has cardiovascular health claims.  The product will be formally launched at the company’s booth, No. 1379, at the upcoming Natural Products Expo West trade show in Anaheim, CA.

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