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Vitamin K2 helps keep blood vessels flexible, protects the hip and may ease joint symptoms
Vitamin K2 and blood vessel flexibility – a link to longevity (1)

In the first study on long-term vitamin K2 supplementation and cardiovascular health, 244 healthy postmenopausal women took 180 mcg of vitamin K2 – menaquinone 7 per day, or a placebo. After three years, while the placebo group had an increase in blood vessel stiffness, women who took vitamin K2 saw an average 33 percent improvement in blood vessel flexibility.

Discussing the findings, doctors said it was remarkable that the women taking vitamin K2 not only did not experience the typical age-related stiffening of the arterial walls, but also saw measurable improvements in vascular elasticity across the entire circulatory system compared to the placebo group. Arterial flexibility has a direct link to longevity.

Vitamin K2 helps protect the hip (2)

Vitamin K2 maintained bone strength and reduced risk for hip fracture in postmenopausal women, according to results from a new study.

Researchers from the University of Maastricht, Netherlands, followed 325 postmenopausal women without osteoporosis with an average age of 66 and an average body mass index of 27 who were overweight but not obese. Scientists gave the women a placebo or 15 mg of vitamin K2 (MK-4, menatetrenone) three times per day for three years.

The doctors noted that the MK-4 form of vitamin K2 is synthetic and only remains in the body for several hours compared to menaquinone (MK-7) the natural form of vitamin K2, which remains in the body for several days. The doctors explained this is why the dosage in the study was higher than the typical dose for vitamin K2.

At the start of the study and after each year, researchers measured the amount of minerals in the bone and bone strength. After three years, those who had taken vitamin K2 had increased bone mineral content and width of the hip bone (femoral neck) compared to placebo. Doctors noted the femoral neck is the part of the hip that fractures most frequently in the elderly. Overall, researchers reported that bone strength remained unchanged in those who had taken vitamin K2, while it decreased significantly in the placebo group.

Doctors concluded that vitamin K2 increased the bone mineral content and width at the femoral neck, allowing this important part of the hip to remain strong, even though overall bone mineral density (BMD) declined after menopause, and suggested that manufacturers create a low-dose supplement using the natural menaquinone MK-7 form of vitamin K2.

MK-7 (a form of vitamin K2) may ease joint symptoms (3)

In normal joints, the synovium is a thin, delicate lining that provides nutrients for cartilage. Synovial cells make joint lubricants, collagen, and fibronectin for structural joint support. In rheumatoid arthritis (RA), this lining thickens and inflames. MK-7 is one of the menaquinones, which doctors believe kill RA synovial cells.

A recent study found MK-4 beneficial in RA, but MK-7 is more bioavailable, hence this study. In the study, 84 men and women with RA took 100 mcg of MK-7 per day, or a placebo, while continuing on other medications. After three months, while the placebo group had not changed, those taking MK-7 had measurably lower levels of two types of inflammation, fewer of the proteins that degrade connective tissue in RA, and lower disease activity scores in 28 joints.


References:
1. Thrombosis and Haemostasis; 2015, Vol. 113, No. 5, 1135-44
2. Osteoporos Int. 2007 Jul;18(7):963-72.
3. European Journal of Pharmacology; 2015 Aug 15; 761:273-8.

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