Marcq-en-Baroeul, France, and East Brunswick, NJ—A poster presented at the 2ndInternational Electronic Conference on Nutrients (IECN), which took place March 25, 2022, detailed research showing that MenaQ7 Vitamin K2 as MK-7 countered induced oxidative stress in vascular smooth muscle cells, ultimately lowering oxidative stress while increasing ATP production.

IECN focuses on nutrition support for immunity and countermeasure effects on infection, inflammation, and oxidative stress, according to a press release from Gnosis by Lesaffre, makers of MenaQ7.

The poster, "Non-Canonical Role of MK-7 in Vascular Smooth Muscle Cells,” was presented by Ph.D. student Asim Cengiz Akbulut, Department of Biochemistry, CARIM, Maastricht University, with the support of his supervisor and senior author on the abstract Prof. Leon Schurgers, Professor of Biochemistry of Vascular Calcification and Vice-Chair of Biochemistry at CARIM, Maastricht University. Maastricht began working with NattoPharma—now Gnosis by Lesaffre—in 2004, in order to document the benefits of MenaQ7.

Akbulut shared findings from a recent cellular study where the vitamin K pathway was antagonized by warfarin, inducing oxidative stress in vascular smooth muscle cells, contributing to pathological phenotype perpetuating vascular calcification and cardiovascular disease. After introducing MenaQ7, measurements were taken of ATP, oxidative stress, and extracellular vesicles (EV).

Key findings included:
  • Interference with vitamin K metabolism by warfarin results in increased intracellular oxidative stress and EV secretion;
  • MK7 counteracts intracellular oxidative stress, both under normal conditions and warfarin-induced;
  • and MK7 increases ATP production, even in the presence of warfarin.
The authors concluded: "Our experiments show that in primary human SMCs, MK-7 lowers oxidative stress and EV release and increases ATP production. This pathway points to a non-canonical role of MK-7 in the prevention of vascular calcification, unrelated to its canonical role as cofactor for the posttranslational modification of MGP."

Related: 2022 Heart Health Update Review Paper Bolsters Effort to Petition for a K2-Specific RDI Review Illustrates Importance of K2 in Kids’ Health

These new findings are in line with previous research showing that vitamin K2 decreases oxidative stress, and can help inhibit inflammation.

"We are incredibly encouraged by the results of this study highlighting the potential of Vitamin K2 as MK-7 for healthy aging, as oxidative stress is involved in several age-related conditions, such as increased cardiovascular risk, chronic kidney conditions, and neurodegenerative disorders," explains Hogne Vik, Gnosis by Lesaffre Chief Medical Officer, in the press release. "This contributes nicely to our already substantial body of research showing MenaQ7 is a cardio-protective nutrient and reaffirms why the medical community is interested in the ongoing study of this important nutrient for the betterment of global health. Further, evidence showing MenaQ7 increased the production of ATP shines highlights K2 as MK-7 as a potentially essential nutrient for sports nutrition. While it is preliminary data, we are excited about the next steps of this important research to validate the additional health benefits and applications.”