A new review published in Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine1 examines the impact calcium supplementation has on bone and cardiovascular health, and the role vitamin K2 may play in proper calcium utilization in the body. The review was funded by NattoPharma (Edison, NJ) with money from a grant from the Norwegian Research Council. The research was led by Leon Schurgers, professor of biochemistry of vascular calcification and vice chair of biochemistry at the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht University, who was additionally funded in part by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 722609, in which NattoPharma is partner.
“The work conducted…will 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 Prof. Schurgers in a press release. “In a recent study by Bolland et al., it was shown that calcium supplementation of postmenopausal women was associated with a beneficial effect on bone, but also with increased myocardial infarction, suggesting detrimental effects on the vascular system possibly by inducing increased vascular calcification. As calcium supplementation is needed for bone, the precipitation in the vessel wall needs to be inhibited.”
“We are proud that our partnership with Maastricht University and this prestigious grant has given us an opportunity to further the understanding of the necessity of obtaining adequate vitamin K2 for human health,” stated Hogne Vik, MD, PhD, MBA, NattoPharma’s chief medical officer, in a press release. “We hope these findings will earn the attention of manufacturers and consumers alike, helping them to recognize that all calcium supplementation must be paired with vitamin K2 so bone and heart health can be simultaneously supported.”
1. Wasilewski GB, et al. “The bone-vasculature axis: calcium supplementation and the role of vitamin K., Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, vol. 6 (2019)