Oslo, Norway, and East Brunswick, NJ—Open Hearthas published a review paper pointing out the overlooked role of vitamin K2 in cardiovascular health, especially in the United States, where K deficiency is significant.

The paper was written by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic and at Maastricht University, the long-time research partner of NattoPharma – Gnosis by Lesaffre, makers of MenaQ7 K2.

“Vitamin K2, a Neglected Player in Cardiovascular Health: A Narrative Review” presents data necessary for the effort to petition for a K2-specific Recommended Daily Intake, according to Prof. Leon Schurgers, Professor of Biochemistry of Vascular Calcification and Vice-Chair of Biochemistry at the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht University, and author of the paper. In a press release from NattoPharma, he explained: "There is expanding preclinical and clinical data on vitamin K's cardiovascular benefits, with multiple ongoing clinical trials. To that end, there is a pressing need to organize our understanding of the pathophysiology, and efficacy of K2 intake as it relates to markers and outcomes of cardiovascular health. As we point out, there is an alarmingly high prevalence of vitamin K deficiency and suboptimal recommended intake among the general population in the United States. And yet there is a growing body of evidence that supports the potential role of vitamin K2 in cardiovascular health."

The review aims to summarize the literature for scientists and clinicians. The authors write: "By providing an organized framework of the available evidence, we then elucidate the association of vitamin K2 deficiency and MGP on the various markers cardiovascular health. In the second section, this review outlines the clinical impact of dietary and supplemental K2 intake on these outcomes, citing the data of its use as a novel and practical addition to our arsenal of cardioprotective therapies."

Related: The “Better Together” Combination of K2 & D3 Animal Study Shows Potential for K2 in Kidney Disease Healthy Aging Event Talks Top Trends

NattoPharma’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Hogne Vik, cited growing data on the effects of K2—including a 3-year cardiovascular study published in 2015 and a 1-year cardiovascular study published in 2020—as part of the reason for the review. "This review covers the rapidly expanding evidence supporting the cardioprotective effects of vitamin K2 intake, mediated by activated MGP; a foundation of evidence NattoPharma and Maastricht have driven for decades, using our MenaQ7 K2 as the source material.”

The authors concluded: “Vitamin K2 supplementation appears safe and practical, and randomized clinical trials can investigate its use ... With evidence mounting, the definitive role of vitamin K2 supplementation in delaying progression of vascular and valvular calcifications remains the subject of multiple clinical trials. Nonetheless, vitamin K2 and MGP utility in various patient populations … grows commensurate with the data supporting its efficacy in improving cardiac function and decelerating arterial stiffness."