Dr. Hogne Vik, chief medical officer for Norwegian supplier NattoPharma, made a presentation at a recent pharmaceutical trade show in Sao Paulo. The talk, on the cardioprotective properties of the menaquinone 7 form of the vitamin (Nattopharma’s version is branded as MenaQ7), was attended by a roomful of physicians.
Detailing the research suite
“There were more than 600 MDs, many of them cardiologists, that attended the presentation,” said Eric Anderson, senior VP of global sales and marketing for Nattopharma. The presentation was part of a pharmaceutical show and speaks to the differing regulations in Brazil concerning functional ingredients.
“Right now MenaQ7 is classified as a food supplement,” Anderson said. “But in Brazil they have a formal registration process manufacturers can go through so that they can increase the dose and make stronger claims.”
Vik’s presentation was in support of the launch of a product called Doiska MenaQ7. "Dois" is "Two" in Portuguese, and “ka” signifies “K”.
The product is being marketed by Biolab Farmacêutica, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in Brazil, and the No. 1 pharmaceutical company for cardiology prescriptions. The event was co-hosted by NattoPharma and had representatives on hand to explain the substantial body of science supporting MenaQ7 Vitamin K2 as MK-7, specifically the cardiovascular benefits.
Anderson said Vik laid out the research that the company has performed on the product, including a study on healthy volunteers that showed for the first time in a direct way the effect the vitamin has on arterial health.
“It was shown with the placebo their arteries stiffened over the course of the study, so from an arterial standpoint they continued to age. In the treatment group, their arterial wall stiffness actually regressed, so their arteries got ‘younger',” Anderson said.
Research supports sales
Anderson said this was the first time for many of the Brazilian cardiologists to hear the results of the company’s research, which also includes important data on MenaQ7 and bone health. He said he believes it will provide a good launching platform for Biolab’s supplement in Brazil, which will become part of a wider trend for the ingredient.
“We fully expect that cardiologists will recommend MenaQ7. In Brazil, the supplements are sold in the drugstores and doctors do write prescriptions for them,” he said.
“Worldwide, sales of vitamin K2 have doubled in the past year. We have a lot of competitors in vitamin K2, but we believe MenaQ7 is the best supported by research. We now have 17 published studies on MenaQ7. Clearly there is a choice, and the onus is on us to get that information out there,” Anderson said.