The RCT included the administration of Gnosis’ fermented vitamin K Menaquinone-7 (MK-7) supplement for a year-long intervention period in pre-, peri- and post-menopausal women aged 40-70 years, which observed significantly improved markers of vascular calcification and stiffness in all intervention groups.
In post-menopausal women suffering from high vascular stiffness, this was found to be significantly attenuated following supplementation compared to the further intervention groups.
The significance of the findings for menopausal women at risk to such cardiovascular conditions was discussed at the recent European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress on August 27th, where the abstract was presented by the lead author Femke de Vries.
“This abstract strengthens the proof that K2 as MenaQ7 supports healthy cardiovascular function in ageing women and can serve as an inexpensive tool for protecting heart health,” commented Professor Leon Schurgers, lead researcher on the post-hoc analysis and chair of the Gnosis Vitamin K2 Scientific Advisory Committee.
The abstract has been published in the European Heart Journal and the post-hoc analysis will be published in a peer-reviewed journal later this year.
“Gnosis is thrilled that this review of our one-year study has uncovered an important revelation,” said Sophie Legrain-Raspaud, Gnosis Research & Application Director.
“We have espoused the importance of Vitamin K2 for cardiovascular health with our substantial body of evidence, but to have these findings presented at such an esteemed event as the European Society of Cardiology only punctuates the importance of this vital nutrient for the betterment of human health,” she added.
It has been reported that the hormonal declines associated with menopause can increase the risk of conditions such as hypertension and vascular stiffness, as well as accelerated vascular aging. Therefore, menopausal women may have a heightened risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
It has been previously noted that an improved vitamin K2 status may regulate blood pressure status and arterial stiffness, and thus, reduce the risk of CVD in at-risk women.
MK-7 serves as a cofactor for vitamin K-dependent protein carboxylation. The vitamin K-dependent matrix Gla protein (MGP) is synthesized in the vasculature and has been shown to inhibit vascular calcification and stiffness.
Therefore, the researchers investigated the effects of 180 mcg MK-7 supplementation on vascular stiffness in 166 pre-, peri-, and post-menopausal women. The measurements of regional carotid-femoral (cf-PWV) and carotid-radial (cr-PWV) pulse wave velocities, vessel wall characteristics, and arterial blood pressure were all taken at baseline and after one year of intervention.
It was observed that in all supplemented groups there was significant reduction in circulating inactive MGP, suggesting reductions in vascular calcification and stiffness.
Vascular parameters, such intima-media thickness and carotid artery diameter, were significantly increased in post-menopausal women compared to pre- and peri-menopausal women. The post-menopausal women had significantly improved stiffness index with reduced blood pressure measures following MK-7 supplementation.
Scientifically backed benefits
The researchers emphasised: “Our results confirm that hormonal changes affect the vasculature and that post-menopausal women [exhibit] increased vascular stiffness reflected by functional vascular damage. Further, MK-7 supplementation significantly attenuates arterial stiffness in post-menopausal women, in which women with increased stiffness benefit most on blood pressure.”
The new findings add to over 22 existing clinical trials conducted by the company, which have suggested further health benefits for bone and cardiovascular health following MenaQ7 supplementation.
Gnosis supply a range of further fermentation-derived solutions for nutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, and functional foods and beverages, including probiotics, yeasts, and further active ingredients to support a range of health areas.