ILSI brings together industry giants in vitamin K2 task force

By Nikki Hancocks

- Last updated on GMT

© patpitchaya / Getty Images
© patpitchaya / Getty Images

Related tags Vitamin k2

International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Europe has announced a new Vitamin K2 task force, designated to advance the scientific understanding of the health benefits of Vitamin K2 and provide evidence-based insights to enhance public awareness.

Vitamin K2, a lesser-known but crucial nutrient, plays a vital role in bone and cardiovascular health, among other functions. Despite its significance, awareness and understanding of the vitamin remain relatively low, according to the European branch of the non-profit federation.

Composed of experts from a leading suppliers including Kappa Bioscience (a Balchem company), Gnosis by Lesaffre, Novonesis and dsm-firmenich, as well as academic experts, the newly formed task force represents a significant step towards bridging the gap in awareness, ILSI said, inviting other industry stakeholders to join the initiative.

Its primary objective is to critically review the scientific evidence supporting the various health benefits attributed to vitamin K2, identify and evaluate potential biomarkers for monitoring vitamin K2 status, and conduct a comprehensive nutrition economic study to determine the potential healthcare cost savings for Europe associated with vitamin K2 supplementation.

“There is still limited awareness of vitamin K2 health benefits among the public and health communities in Europe, we therefore welcome the establishment of this strong initiative," said Dr. Delphine Saulnier, health science and technology lead, human health biosolution, at Novonesis and chair of the new taskforce. "I am enthusiastic to engage with renowned experts and scientists from academia and industry. The task force is a logic step, following the nutri-economic studies​ we contributed to in the U.S. with the Council for Responsible Nutrition showing the potential of K2 to reduce healthcare cost burdens associated with poor heart health.”

Jean-Francois Jeanne, substantiation and applications team manager at Gnosis by Lesaffre, said the team is confident this initiative should earn more visibility and recognition with the scientific community, practitioners and regulatory bodies, speed up the awareness and reveal the full power of this vitamin.

"After establishing the Vitamin K2 Scientific Advisory Committee (K2SAC), we joined the Vitamin K2 Task Force by ILSI Europe, emphasizing our dedication to highlighting the science behind Vitamin K2 and promoting collaboration," Jeanne said.

"This effort aligns with our goals to enhance product standards, educate on the benefits of Vitamin K2 and advocate for a unified approach in research and industry standards. We aim to positively influence public health and drive the sustainable growth of the Vitamin K2 market."

Anne Birkett, translation science manager ​at dsm-firmenich, noted the task force will advance scientific knowledge of this nutrient and its health benefits, "ultimately elevating awareness and understanding to help consumers make more informed nutrition choices". 

"We’re excited to share our extensive expertise on vitamins and collaborate to drive purpose-led research for the health of both people and the planet," she added. 

The outcomes of the task force activities are expected to provide updated assessments of the health benefits of different forms of vitamin K2 to the scientific, industrial and public communities. Their estimation of healthcare cost savings resulting from adequate intake of vitamin K2 will offer valuable guidance to clinicians and public health organisations.

Vitamin K2

Vitamin K is a group of nutrients divided into vitamins K1 and K2. Vitamin K1 is involved in blood coagulation, and vitamin K2 benefits bone and heart health. 

Vitamin K2 activates the calcium-binding actions of two proteins—matrix GLA protein and osteocalcin—which help to build and maintain bones.

A recent research report linking this vitamin to cardiovascular ​health, especially in combination with vitamin D, suggested a mechanism of action is the reduction in calcium deposits in coronary arteries.

Emphasizing the importance of supplementation of this vitamin, a recently published pilot study​ concluded vitamin K supplementation was more effective at reducing deficiency than a high vitamin K diet.

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