Oslo, Norway and Metuchen, NJ — NattoPharma, a researcher and developer of vitamin K2 products, has been awarded a grant by the Norwegian Research Council. The grant will be used to fund a 4-year project documenting how the absence or presence of vitamin K2, MK7 effects the metabolism of calcium in the body. The research portion of the study will take place in the Netherlands at the Maastricht University in the Department of Biochemistry. Dr. Leon Schurgar, senior scientist and associate professor of biochemistry at Maastricht and the Cardiovascular Research Institute of Maastricht (CARIM) will lead the project, which will use NattoPharma’s MenaQ7 Vitamin K2 and MK-7.

It is hoped that the use of calcium in preclinical models for chronic kidney failure and postmenopausal bone loss will assist in discovering how supplemental calcium is metabolized in the parameters set by the study.

“This will be the first study that demonstrates K2’s impact on calcium metabolismin vivo; however, we have shown in human studies with healthy participants that the progression of hardening of the arteries can be halted and even regressed,” said Dr. Hogne Vik, NattoPharma chief medical officer in a press release. “Calcium supplement manufacturers must recognize the importance of pairing calcium with Vitamin K2. They cannot ignore the growing body of evidence that K2 is required for the body to properly metabolize and utilize calcium.”

Following the innovative three-year study sponsored by NattoPharma showing improved arterial flexibility and health, the new grant may add even more legitimacy of Vitamin K2 as a positive cardiovascular supporter.

“This study will help to provide further evidence that calcium without adequate Vitamin K2 consumption might end up in the soft tissues where it is not wanted, rather than in the bone matrix, where it is needed,” said Dr. Schurgers. In a recent study by “Bolland et al. it was shown that calcium supplementation of postmenopausal women was associated a beneficial effect on bone, but also with increased myocardial infarction, suggesting detrimental effects on the vascular system possibly by increased vascular calcification. As calcium supplementation is needed for bone, the precipitation in the vessel wall needs to be inhibited.”