Nutritional Outlook

Nutritional Outlook, September 2013

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bone Health Pacific Nutritional, Inc. ® Inc. Pacific Nutritional of the most potent arterial calcifcation inhibitors known." But not all forms of vitamin K2, known as menaquinones, are equally efective. Tough vitamin K forms share the structural similarity of a central quinone ring, the length of their isoprenoid side chains distinguishes each form—and determines its biological activity. Te side chain of menaquinone-7, or MK-7, has seven isoprenoid units, and evidence suggests that MK-7, more than shorter-chain forms MK-4 and MK-5, optimally promotes bone and cardiovascular health. A double-blind randomized clinical trial published this year in Osteoporosis International (Knapen et al.) evaluated a three-year daily supplementation regime of 180 mcg of MK-7—in the form of NattoPharma's MenaQ7—among 244 healthy post-menopausal women ages 55 to 65. Te results showed that this sub-pharmacological, nutritional dose provided statistically signifcant cardiovascular protection and improved bone and metabolic health. Te trial also showed that a nutritional MK-7 dose provides substantial benefts in preventing age-related stifening of the human arteries. But while the dose was indeed "nutritional," getting even that much MK-7 from diet alone is challenging. Te fagship food source of vitamin K2 in its MK-7 form is natto, a traditional Japanese preparation of fermented soybeans. Given that natto is at best an "acquired taste" for American palates, consumers here may choose to look elsewhere for their MK-7. Again, supplementation could save the day. "It has become increasingly obvious that the current status of nutritional supplementation, especially with vitamin K2 subtypes, is insufcient," Badmaev says. "Additional supplementation with vitamin K2 may help prevent osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease in both men and women." In fact, Badmaev sees vitamin K2, calcium, and other bone-building supplementation as united in a "new paradigm" that "makes bone health an integral part of general well being." Tis paradigm, he predicts, will "advocate the use of multiple synergistic nutrients" that not only interact in complex ways with each other, but go beyond bones to effect changes in everything from the heart to the infammatory response. So stick around. Tings are bound to get interesting. phone: 360-253-3197 ease in a cohort of 10,555 Finnish women," he says (Pentti K.). Granted, numerous studies have yielded no evidence of such a link, and calcium's defenders point out that the calcium-rich DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) eating plan correlates with positive outcomes for hypertension and cardiovascular health. Nevertheless, the calcium-CVD story is grabbing headlines and crying out for some sort of explanation. Te answer may come in the form of vitamin K2. Badmaev says the nutrient has an increasingly recognized role as a "calcium chaperone"; that is to say, by carboxylating osteocalcin, a protein produced in bonebuilding osteoblast cells, the fat-soluble vitamin activates the protein, enabling it to shunt calcium out of circulation and into the bone, where it strengthens the collagenmineral matrix. Vitamin K2 also carboxylates and activates matrix GLA-protein (MGP), which promotes elasticity and prevents calcifcation of blood vessels. "Tis dual function of vitamin K2 is sometimes referred to as the vitamin K paradox," Badmaev says. "Vitamin K2 helps build calcium deposits in the bone via carboxylated osteocalcin, yet has the opposite efect on the circulatory system by activating MGP, which prevents calcium deposits in the arteries, and is one Kimberly J. Decker writes for the food and nutrition industries from her base in the San Francisco area, where she enjoys eating food as much as she does writing about it. Contact her at Your Best Partner in Supply Chain Management Encapsulation • Tableting • Powder Blending/Filling • Packaging • In-House Laboratory • Formulation/Product Development • Inventory Management 46 magenta cyan yellow black 2013 ■ NUTRITIONAL OUTLOOK ES314195_NO1309_046.pgs 08.30.2013 23:49 UBM

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