Oslo, Norway, and Edison, NJ—Vitamin K supplementation may be an option to inhibit vascular micro-calcification, according to a new review paper published inThe European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. The review paper is the result of an INTRICARE grant awarded to NattoPharma’s International Research Network by the European Union.

The authors, according to a press release from NattoPharma, identified the most suitable technique for detecting micro-calcification and assessed state-of-the-art meta-analysis and clinical studies to identify potential treatment options and, specifically, to evaluate the use of vitamin K to preserve vascular health. “Despite recent medical advances, cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death worldwide,” said Prof. Schurgers, Professor of Biochemistry of Vascular Calcification and Vice Chair of Biochemistry at the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht University. “Our exhaustive, structured PubMed search showed that18F-socium fluoride (18F-NaF) PET is the most suitable technique for detecting active micro-calcification, a hallmark of atherosclerosis.”

Once they identified the appropriate technique for detection, the authors weighed pros and cons of available treatments. They concluded: "Vitamin K supplementation should be considered as a possible safe and cost-effective option to inhibit vascular (micro)-calcification."
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NattoPharma’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Hoogne Vik explained in the release: “There are some who view atherosclerosis as an age-related condition—that calcification simply builds up over time. NattoPharma contends that this condition is not simply age-related; rather, that atherosclerosis is the product of a vitamin deficiency: vitamin K2. Matrix Gla Protein (MGP) is the most potent known inhibitor of vascular calcification to date. MGP is a K-dependent protein already present in the body, but it needs adequate Vitamin K2 in order to be activated to perform its function.”

“The work conducted in collaboration with NattoPharma under the INTRICARE grant has not only helped us shine a light on the most reliable technique for detecting active micro-calcification, providing some hope in getting ahead of compromised cardiovascular health, but also the science supporting various therapy options, including supplementation,” added Prof. Schurgers. “Essentially, this work will help drive awareness how we can ‘lock in’ on the effects of vascular calcification (18F-NaF PET) and ‘load’ a suitable, cost-effective bullet (vitamin K).”