Adding to the already-strong body of clinical evidence confirming Vitamin K2 as MK-7 inhibits arterial calcification and acts as an antioxidant, a study recently published in Vascular Pharmacology shows K2 as MK-7 boosts nitric oxide (NO), improving NO-dependent endothelial function. The study used MenaQ7® Vitamin K2 as MK-7, supplied by NattoPharma.

Endothelial dysfunction has been associated with many health issues, including being a well-established response to cardiovascular risk factors and precedes the development of atherosclerosis, a disease of the arteries characterized by the development deposition of plaques of and by vascular inflammation fatty material on the inner walls. Given the fact that endothelial function determines cardiovascular health, researchers hypothesised that the positive effects of vitamin K2 intake on cardiovascular mortality could be linked to the vitamin K-dependent regulation of endothelial function.

According to researchers, "The aim was to examine the effects of vitamin K2 – MK-7 on endothelial dysfunction, in ApoE/LDLR-/- mice at the early and late stages of disease development, in the absence and in the presence of atherosclerotic plaques, respectively."

"We are incredibly encouraged by the results of this study highlighting new pharmacological activity of Vitamin K2 as MK-7," explains Hogne Vik, NattoPharma chief medical officer.

In ApoE/LDLR-/- mice at the stage prior to atherosclerosis development, four-week treatment with K2-MK-7, given at a low dose (0.05 mg/kg), "improved acetylcholine- and flow-induced, endothelium-dependent vasodilation in aorta or in femoral artery, as assessed in vivo by MRI. This effect, was associated with an increased NO production, as evidenced by EPR measurements in ex vivo aorta."

The study concluded that low dose of Vitamin K2 – MK-7 compatible with effective doses for K2 – MK-7 recommended for humans, to provide benefits for cardiovascular health, plays an important role in the regulation of endothelial function.

"The study demonstrated that vitamin K2 – MK-7 improved NO-dependent endothelial function in mice, and the results showed that K2 – MK-7 provided a vaso-protective effect independently whether endothelial dysfunction was treated with vitamin K2 – MK-7 prior to or concurrently with the occurrence of atherosclerotic plaques," explains Vik. "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 ongoing study of this important nutrient for the betterment of global health."

References available on request.