Vitamin K1 / K2 (K-1) Supplements, Sources, Information, Side Effects - Pg 3

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Vitamin K Exerts Impressive Positive Side Effects on Arterial Health
Reprinted by permission from Pat Whittington of Complementary Prescriptions

A new animal study has found that vitamin K may prevent calcification of the arteries.

Arterial calcification is generally regarded as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.  Matrix Gla-protein (MGP) is a potent inhibitor of arterial calcification and its activity depends on vitamin K2.  In rats, inactivation of MGP by treatment with the vitamin K-antagonist warfarin leads to rapid calcification of the arteries.  Consequently, researchers decided to investigate whether a vitamin-K-rich diet can regress arterial calcification that is free from negative side effects.

First, the researchers divided the rats into two groups, a control group with vitamin K added to the diet, and a group given warfarin, which induces arterial hardening in rats by acting as a vitamin K-antagonist.  After six weeks of warfarin treatment, the rats showed signs of significant arterial hardening.  For an additional six weeks, the study authors then further divided the rodents initially treated with warfarin into four groups:

Animals fed a standard diet plus warfarin, a standard diet plus vitamin K1 at normal dose (5 micrograms per gram of food), a standard diet plus high-dose vitamin K1 (100 micrograms per gram of food), or the standard diet plus high-dose vitamin K2 (100 micrograms per gram of food).  During the second six-week period, the calcifications side effects in the warfarin-treated control group continued.  The arterial calcification also continued in the normal dose vitamin K1 group, indicating that vitamin K1 received from the diet in normal amounts had no effect.  By contrast, in both groups that consumed high doses of vitamin K1 and K2 arterial calcium content declined by about 50 percent.  Additionally, arterial distensibility (positive elasticity of the blood vessels) was restored by the vitamin-K-rich diet.  The high-vitamin-K diet not only prevented calcification in the animals but also regressed existing arterial calcification.  Furthermore, by measuring antibodies for MGP (Matrix Gla-protein, a potent inhibitor of arterial calcification) researchers determined that local vitamin-K deficiency was demonstrated at sites of calcification.

The fact that the vitamin K2 concentration in the tissues of both high-dose groups was similar indicated that vitamin K1 was converted into vitamin K2 when consumed at these higher doses.

The researchers concluded, "This is the first study in rats demonstrating that arterial calcification and the resulting negative side effects of decreased arterial distensibility are reversible by high vitamin K intake."

Reference:
Schurgers LJ, Spronk HM, Soute BA, Schiffers PM, Demey JG, Vermeer C. Regression of warfarin-induced medial elastocalcinosis by high intake of vitamin K in rats. Blood. 2006 Nov 30; [Epub ahead of print].


Vitamin K for Hearts ; Good Health

Daily Mail

04-25-07

VITAMIN K2 may stop hardening of the arteries, according to new research.

Hardening, or calcification of the arteries is a key risk factor in heart disease and stroke, which are responsible for more than 110,000 deaths in the UK each year.

The new laboratory research at the University of Maastricht, in the Netherlands, found that arterial calcification was reduced by up to 50 per cent in animals that ate a diet rich in the supplement vitamin K2.

A second study in Holland, involving nearly 5,000 people, found that increased intake of the side effects free vitamin may have significantly reduced the risk of dying from heart disease.

Professor Cees Vermeer, of the University of Maastricht, says: 'Our trial showed that vitamin K2 supplementation was capable of supporting the reversal of arterial calcification.'

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