An article published by John Hopkins Medicine refers to several studies in which vitamin supplements have been shown to have a negligible effect on the health of the participants. They recommend eating a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and minimizing the sodium, sugar, trans fats, and saturated fats you eat to better take care of your health. According to a review of eight smaller Japanese clinical trials, vitamin K2 supplementation increases bone mineral density and reduces the incidence of fractures in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis. This reaction allows proteins to bind to calcium, which in turn is important in blood clotting.
In 2011, a study of 78 postmenopausal Korean women examined the effects of administering 15 mg of vitamin K2 three times a day. After 6 months of treatment, the lumbar BMD of the group receiving vitamin K2 was significantly increased. The concentration of ucOC decreased, compared to no change in the control group, according to the findings of Shiraki et al. This study revealed new information about the possible effects of vitamin K2 that may lower triglyceride concentrations.
Other VKDPs involved in the prevention of vascular calcification include GRP, periostine, Gas6, OC, TMG 3, TMG 4, PRGP 1, PRGP 2 and PLF. In a study that lasted 7 to 10 years, people with the highest intake of vitamin K2 were 52% less likely to develop natural vitamin k2 arterial calcification and had a 57% lower risk of dying from heart disease. In controlled human studies, researchers have also observed that vitamin K2 supplements generally improve bone and heart health, while vitamin K1 has no significant benefits.
Another cell surface protein called heparan sulfate proteoglycan plays a role in the absorption of vitamin K into bone. One study found that removing these from the surface caused a reduction in the absorption of phylloquinone. Vitamin K can interact with some medications, including the blood thinner warfarin.
Vitamin K2 possesses the ability to prevent and reverse vascular calcification, as demonstrated by Jiang et al. If these studies were reproduced in a human sample, this could allow for radical changes in the current treatment of cardiovascular disease. Along with other platelet and anticoagulant medications, the use of vitamin K2 to prevent vascular calcification should be further investigated to confirm whether it is beneficial and what doses are needed to produce these effects. The aforementioned study caught the attention of the International Osteoporosis Foundation, prompting Knapen et al. to conduct a randomized control study. The study checked for many confounding variables, including subjects with a history of anticoagulant therapy, hormone replacement therapy, or an additional treatment that could interfere with vitamin K2 functionality.
The scarcity of MK-7-rich fermented foods, such as natto, in the Western diet may be responsible for these results. Discovered in the 1920s, vitamin K is similar to vitamin B in that it is more of a family of nutrients than a single compound. For example, vitamin K1 is a nutrient that occurs naturally in leafy greens, while vitamin K2, a fat-soluble micronutrient, is typically found in meats, cheeses, eggs, fermented dairy products, and other fermented foods such as natto. K2 is the lesser-known vitamin K, but it attracts the attention of researchers and supplement users because of its wide range of potential uses. Vitamin K is crucial for blood clotting and bone metabolism, among other functions.
As a result, less calcium and phosphate is freely available in the blood, which reduces the risk of vascular calcification.
Unlike some of the previous studies mentioned in this review, this study found no effect on serum osteocalcin levels, indicating that bone mineralization did not increase. This raises the question of whether vitamin K2 has any benefit in the treatment of osteoporosis and, if so, whether it can only prevent the incidence of fractures at mild levels, as reported by Kobayshi et al. However, the importance of this study is uncertain, as it was conducted on animal subjects rather than humans. In 2002, Ozuru et al. wanted to determine the effect of vitamin K2 by measuring biochemical response in a prospective cohort study. After receiving the vitamin, bone biomarkers, such as carboxylated and non-carbylated osteocalcin, and BMD were evaluated.
Two studies in the review looked at the incidence of fractures in subjects after receiving vitamin K2, with no significant changes found. However, four studies conducted in osteoporotic patients showed a significant decrease in the incidence of fractures in the vitamin K2 group, compared to the control groups. One problem raised with the results of previous experiments is that they may be biased by the presence of vitamin K2-fermenting bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Therefore, when subjects are given additional supplements, they should be marked isotopic to increase sensitivity.