Two papers connect Matrix Gla Protein status and aortic stiffness as factors in
compromised eye and brain health; K2 needed to activate this important protein


OSLO, NORWAY AND EDISON, NJ (10 JAN 2019) — The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and
Scientific Reports recently published papers that examined the role of aortic stiffness due to calcification
as a contributing factor to dementia and retinal arteriolar health, respectively. Both conditions are
impacted by the status of active Matrix Gla Protein (MGP), the most potent inhibitor of vascular
calcification (once activated by Vitamin K2 as MK-7), the mechanism by which K2 is now recognized as a
cardiovascular protector, and MenaQ7® from NattoPharma is the only Vitamin K2 as MK-7 clinically
validated and patented for cardiovascular health.

According to “Aortic stiffness associated with Increased Risk of Dementia in Older Adults”1, cardiovascular
disease risk factors, including age, hypertension, and diabetes, contribute to aortic stiffness and subclinical
cardiovascular and brain disease, increasing dementia risk. Aortic stiffness, measured by carotid-femoral
pulse wave velocity (cfPWV), reduces the buffering of pulsatile blood flow, exposing cerebral small arteries
to microvascular damage. The paper goes on to question whether interventions to slow arterial stiffening
(such as K2 supplementation) can reduce the risk of dementia.

Meanwhile, the paper “Inactive matrix Gla protein is a novel circulating biomarker predicting retinal
arteriolar narrowing in humans”2 examined how active MGP, “a potent inhibitor of calcification in large
arteries, protects against macrovascular complications.” The paper states that “recent studies suggested
that active MGP helps maintaining the integrity of the renal and myocardial microcirculation, but its role in
preserving the retinal microcirculation remains unknown.”

Studying a randomly recruited Flemish population, the researchers concluded that circulating inactive
MGP (dp-ucMGP) is a long-term predictor of smaller retinal arteriolar diameter in the general population.
“Our observations highlight the possibility that vitamin K supplementation might promote retinal health,”
they stated.

“Vitamin K2 as MK-7 is the only compound to date shown to impact arterial calcification through its
activation of MGP, which is why it is garnering attention from the medical community as a potential
therapy,” says Christopher Speed, Senior Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing with NattoPharma,
the world leaders in Vitamin K2 research and development. “Our branded Vitamin K2, MenaQ7, is the only
K2 on the market clinically proven to impact cardiovascular health through its activation of MGP, and the
only K2 patented for cardiovascular health.

“We at NattoPharma are optimistic that these developments have come to light,” Speed continues. “There
are 17 K-dependent proteins in the body, and we have a strong understanding of a few, which contribute
to blood clotting, bone health, and cardiovascular health. These findings shine a light on the importance of
continuing our research to articulate the health benefits of activating additional proteins, and the impact
that can have on the global population.”

1 Cui C, Sekikawa A, Kuller LH, Lopez OL, Newman AB, Kuipers AL, Mackey RH. “Aortic stiffness is associated with
increased risk of incident dementia in older adults.” J Alzheimer’s Dis. 2018;66(1):297-306.
2 Wei FF, Huang QF, Zhang ZY, Van Keer K, Thijs L, et al. “Inactive matrix gla protein is a novel circulating biomarker
predicting retinal arteriolar narrowing in humans.” Sci Rep. 2018 Oct 10;8(1):15088.


About NattoPharma and MenaQ7®
NattoPharma ASA, based in Norway, is the world’s leader in vitamin K2 research and development.
NattoPharma is the exclusive international supplier of MenaQ7® Vitamin K2 as MK-7, the best
documented, vitamin K2 as menaquinone-7 (MK-7) with guaranteed actives and stability, clinical
substantiation, and international patents granted and pending; and now the new MenaQ7® Full Spectrum,
which delivers menaquinones 6, 7, and 9. The company has a multi-year research and development
program to substantiate and discover the health benefits of Vitamin K2 for applications in the marketplace
for functional food and dietary supplements. With a global presence, the company established its North
American subsidiary, NattoPharma USA, Inc., in Edison, NJ, and NattoPharma R&D Ltd. in Cyprus. For more
information, visit or

For more information, please contact:
Kate Quackenbush, NattoPharma Director of Communications
Phone: 609-643-0749 x 220 E-mail: