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Vitamin K2 Deficiency Linked to Blood Pressure

Improving vitamin K2 status may benefit arterial stiffening and calcification, reducing cardiovascular complications according to a new study published by The American Heart Association into the effect excessive inactive Matrix Gla Protein (MGP).

MGP is member of a family of vitamin-K2 dependent, Gla-containing proteins. MGP has a high affinity binding to calcium ions, similar to other Gla-containing proteins. The protein acts as an inhibitor of vascular mineralisation and plays a role in bone organisation and cardiovascular health, namely increased stiffening and calcification of large arteries. This stiffening increases cardiovascular stress, which can be accurately assessed using pulse wave velocity measurements, and can be alleviated by improving one’s Vitamin K2 status.

The study, Central Hemodynamics in Relation to Circulating Desphospho-Uncarboxylated Matrix Gla Protein: A Population Study, evaluated vitamin K status (dp-ucMGP) in 835 randomly recruited Flemish individuals. The researchers found that higher inactive dp-ucMGP was associated with greater pulse wave velocity (PWV), central pressure, forward pulse wave, and backward pulse wave.

The authors concluded that, along with the current body of literature, the study’s findings show: “In people representative for the general population, higher inactive dp-ucMGP was associated with greater PWV, central pulse pressure, forward pulse wave, and backward pulse wave. These observations highlight new avenues for preserving vascular integrity and preventing cardiovascular complications (e.g., by improving a person’s vitamin K status).”