Oslo, Norway and East Brunswick, NJ—A new review paper published inNutrients examines the body of evidence linking vitamin K2 to factors involved in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathogenesis. The paper concluded that K2 has the potential to slow the progression of AD and contribute to its prevention.

Researchers from the Harvard Extension School and Pacific Northwest University considered the antiapoptotic and antioxidant effects of vitamin K2 and its impact on neuroinflammation, mitochondrial dysfunction, cognition, cardiovascular health, and gut dysbiosis.

AD affects an estimated 6.2 million Americans, a number that is projected to more than double by 2050, according to a press release from NattoPharma, makers of the branded K2 ingredient MenaQ7. The National Institutes of Health notes that correcting dietary deficiencies can help prevent or delay dementia caused by AD, and that what we eat affects our ability to think and remember.

The researchers wrote in the article: “Our review is the first to consider the physiological roles of vitamin K2 in the context of AD, and, given the recent shift in AD research toward nonpharmacological interventions, our findings emphasize the timeliness and need for clinical studies involving vitamin K2.”

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Dr. Hogne Vik, NattoPharma Chief Medical Officer, said in the press release: “There is growing evidence for possible dietary risk factors in the development of AD and cognitive decline with age, such as antioxidants, omega-3s, dietary fats, and B vitamins. Moreover, research suggests that people with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to develop AD and other forms of dementia. We are gratified that Vitamin K2 is becoming a prominent part of this conversation, particularly as most of the world’s population expresses a K deficiency. A 2018 paper connected aortic stiffness with an increased risk åof dementia in older adults. By activating matrix Gla protein (MGP), vitamin K2 as MK-7 is the only compound to date shown to impact arterial calcification.

“NattoPharma’s branded Vitamin K2, MenaQ7, is the only K2 on the market clinically proven to impact cardiovascular health through its activation of MGP, and the only K2 patented for cardiovascular health,” Dr. Vik continued. “But it has also been shown to be anti-inflammatory in human cells and act as an antioxidant, improving endothelial function. There are 17 K-dependent proteins in the body, and we have a strong understanding of a few, which contribute to blood clotting, bone health, and cardiovascular health. These findings shine a light on the importance of continuing our research to articulate the health benefits of activating additional proteins, and the impact that can have on the global population.”