New peer-reviewed research highlights potential of vitamin K2 MK-7 for heart health

(Image: Balchem)

Research in the cardiovascular health space has underscored vitamin K2 MK-7’s potential as a heart health supplement. The latest findings from a peer-reviewed paper published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC) have revealed the potentially positive effects of vitamin K2 MK-7 and vitamin D intake on coronary artery calcification (CAC) progression specifically.

The aortic valve decalcification trial, also known as the AVADEC study, is a clinical trial investigating the impact of daily vitamin K2 and D supplementation on CAC progression – which is strongly associated with a higher risk of heart disease and negative cardiovascular events. No significant effect was observed on the CAC score in the total group.

However, the peer-reviewed research in JACC did find that two years all-trans vitamin K2 MK-7 (720 µg/d K2VITAL DELTA vitamin K2 MK-7) and vitamin D (25 µg/d) intervention in a subgroup analysis of participants at high-risk of CAC (CAC score ≥ 400 AU) with no prior ischemic heart disease (heart weakening) significantly slowed down the progression of the CAC score. Statin users also displayed a significant slowdown in the progression of the CAC score following vitamin K2 and D intervention. A further observation was that the number of adverse “events” in patients – such as acute myocardial infarction, coronary revascularisation and all-cause death – was lower in the group receiving vitamin K2 MK-7 and D supplementation compared to placebo.

Principal investigator of the study, Professor Axel Diederichsen, Odense University Hospital in Denmark, commented: “Scientific observations reveal that vitamin K2 and D supplementation play an important role in heart health – but there is limited research that delves deeper into the mechanism of action behind this benefit. Our research set out to fill this gap in knowledge, with discoveries from the subgroup analyses offering promising insights into the role of both vitamins in calcification in specific populations.”

Potential of K2 MK-7 in arterial health

In addition to its possible role in CAC progression, the potential of vitamin K2 MK-7 has been investigated in arterial health too. One recent study demonstrated that 24 weeks 375 µg/d K2 MK-7 intake provided a beneficial impact on lowering the rate of arterial stiffness progression in chronic hemodialysis patients with diabetes. Whereas another trial highlighted the effect of 360 µg/d K2 MK-7 on arterial elasticity in vitamin K-deficient kidney transplant recipients after 12 weeks; concluding that K2 intervention supports healthy progression of arterial stiffness.

Trygve Bergeland, Director Nutrition Science, Kappa Bioscience (now a Balchem company), said: “As an industry leader in vitamin K2 MK-7 scientific excellence, we remain at the forefront of cutting-edge research in the field – and we are excited to have uncovered findings that are important for the future of our understanding of the heart health space. These latest discoveries in CAC progression and arterial stiffness signify a step forward for heart health solutions and will most certainly open up new development opportunities. It’s particularly exciting that our K2VITAL DELTA vitamin K2 MK-7 is projected to be at the heart of innovation.”

Balchem’s K2VITAL DELTA ingredient provides typically 99.7% all-trans vitamin K2 MK-7 – identical to the K2 molecule found in nature and fully bioactive.