“The range of ways in which poor nerve health manifests are wide, including disabling pain, muscle weakness, cramps, numbness and loss of sensation in body parts,” Jeff Lind, national director of B2B sales at Novozymes OneHealth, told NutraIngredients-USA. “This research program, currently consisting of five clinical studies using MenaquinGold, expands indications to a new area of vitamin K2 health benefits.”
OneHealth, the health unit of Danish biosolutions company Novozymes, recently debuted its suite of probiotics, enzymes and other bioactives in the US as part of its mission to “provide one in a trillion solutions” to pressing health challenges related to modern lifestyle.
Vitamin K2 and the many bodily functions
Unlike most nutraceuticals that act on one bodily system or health indication, Lind said that vitamin K2 – also known as menaquinone – has a broad range of health effects across bone health, cardiovascular health, nerve health, muscle cramping and peak oxygen intake.
“Vitamin K2 activates several Vitamin K2 dependent proteins (over 15 have been identified) which is why it has effects on several bodily functions and systems,” he explained.
Most dietary vitamin K2 is found in dairy, fermented foods and animal products. Natto, a sticky Japanese dish made from fermented soybeans, is the richest source, but it is also present in hard cheese, calf liver, dark meat chicken, grass-fed butter, sauerkraut and egg yolk.
“As vital as this nutrient is to so many bodily systems, it is not readily found in the Western diet, so supplementation is necessary!” Lind said, adding that it should not be confused with vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) sourced from plant foods like green leafy vegetables.
Novozymes’ MenaquinGold is produced through a non-synthetic, chickpea-based submerged fermentation process using the Bacillus licheniformis bacterium strain at the company’s in-house cGMP, soy-free manufacturing facility in Mumbai, India. The resulting product is all trans/no cis isomer, meaning that menaquinone is preserved in its most bioavailable form.
Science for the nerves
In addition to the known benefits in more established categories like bone and heart health, Novozymes’ own growing body of science shows that MenaquinGold can play a protective role in nerve health, which can be affected by a range of conditions.
The five clinical studies to date evaluate the efficacy, tolerability and safety of the vitamin K2-7 supplementation in patients with peripheral neuropathy associated with vitamin B12 deficiency and type-2 diabetes mellitus, as well as drug-induced neuropathy in patients with multiple myeloma cancer. All trials pointed to its therapeutic potential in managing the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy.
“What’s driving the demand is the multi-systems that K2 affects, which is being fueled by the science conducted by Novozymes OneHealth using MenaquinGold,” Lind said. “The buzz is just starting to trickle through to consumers and once it does the demand for K2 will skyrocket.”
At Expo West
Beyond its use in dietary supplements, Novozymes OneHealth is positioning MenaquinGold for applications in functional food products. At Expo West, it will feature sample prototypes, including several beverage forms of a “Smart Calcium” combination with MenaquinGold to optimize calcium utilization, along with sports nutrition applications in protein bar and stick pack forms.
Products for brain, oral and protective immune health will also be on display, including Pylopass to reduce Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the gut, ProbioBrain for mental wellness and BioFresh products to eliminate bad breath and oral biofilm.
Novozymes will host a happy hour at its booth #4652 from 4:30-6 p.m. on March 10.