At the Vitafoods convention in Geneva, taking place as I write this, Dr. Cees Vermeer, at VitaK laboratory (of Maastricht University), presented new data showing significant benefits for improved bone strength and prevention of cardiovascular aging with daily supplementation of natural MK-7.
In the study, 244 healthy postmenopausal women received 180 µg of MK-7 daily, or placebo, for 3 years. The clinical endpoints included bone mineral density, bone strength, and vascular characteristics measured by ultrasound and pulse-wave velocity (PWV, which evaluates age-related stiffening of blood vessels).
After at least 2 years, the bone-related benefits of MK-7 supplementation included a statistically significant protection of the most vulnerable bone structures (vertebrae and the hip), and a clinically relevant improvement at the site of the femoral neck.
With respect to the cardiovascular benefits, the study showed substantial benefits in preventing age-related stiffening of arteries in the MK-7 group, while the placebo group saw an increase in the PWV.
However, the most amazing finding was that "nutritional doses" of MK-7 not only prevented stiffening, it also resulted in an unprecedented statistically significant improvement of blood vessel elasticity both measured with ultrasound and PWV. Of course, based on the mechanism of vitamin K's activity, this implies that pre-existing calcification in the arteries was reversed (although it would have been icing on the cake, if the study actually measured the calcium content in the blood vessels).
Previously, the benefits of vitamin K on bone and vascular health had been demonstrated with "pharmacological doses" of synthetic forms of vitamin K (as MK-4) of up to 45 mg daily (note 1 mg = 1000 µg). Remarkably, the effects of MK-7 at 180 µg/day were even more pronounced than those in trials using a high dose of one of the synthetic forms of vitamin K.
Now, I'm not sure if you understand the profoundity of this study (...and before you say, "profoundity is not even a word"...it is now...I just made it up), so let me explain. Recent evidence suggests that the loss in elasticity of the arteries caused by calcium deposits in the arterial wall (called arterial calcification) is the #1 predictor of a cardiovascular "event" (like heart attack or stroke). The results of this study show that we can not only prevent this from happening (which we already knew from previous studies), but we can actually REVERSE it (previously only seen in an animal study)!!!
This means we now have human evidence to show that simple daily MK-7 supplementation can reverse the #1 predictor of heart attacks and strokes! So take your vitamin K, now. Go!
BTW--if you haven't already--isn't it about time you subscribe to Know Guff?
Source: Presentation at VitaFoods, Geneva, Switzerland, May 22, 2012.
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