Should we be counseling on Vitamin K and Statin Drugs?

Feb 04, 2016

We have always taken a very conservative approach to statin drugs, making sure we alert our clients to the downfalss, as there are many when assessing benefit vs risk. We have followed the research and do not feel that only looking at lipids is the best way to assess and prevent heart disease, and we have been very worried about the depletion of CoQ10, which is necessary for creation of energy in the mitochondria of the cells.

CoQ10 should be an automatic recommendation and counseling tool...and now it looks like Vitamin K should be too.

Now researching is published in the March issue of Expert Review Clinical Pharmacology indicates that things might be worse than we thought, as statin drugs also inhibit “the synthesis of vitamin K2, the cofactor for matrix Gla-protein activation, which in turn protects arteries from calcification.” 

Vitamin K2 plays a critical role in the activation of matrix Gla protein (MGP), which inhibits soft tissue and cardiovascular calcification. MGP is present in bone, blood vessel, lung, heart and kidney soft tissues. MGP binds calcium and protects blood vessels from calcification, but only when in its active form, which requires adequate intakes of vitamin K2.

We recently reported on the study “Menaquinone-7 Supplementation Improves Arterial Stiffness in Healthy Postmenopausal Women” which is the first study showing that long-term use of vitamin K2 in the form of MK-7 beneficially affects cardiovascular health.

 “The women taking the MenaQ7vitamin K2 did not experience the typical age-related progression of arterial wall stiffening, and even made a statistically significant improvement of vascular elasticity, compared to the placebo group,” Vermeer continues. “Our data demonstrated that a nutritional dose of vitamin K2 in fact improves cardiovascular outcomes.”

Unfortunately, statins inhibit vitamin K2 synthesis in the body, thereby accelerating coronary artery calcification, an important marker of the progress of atherosclerosis, according to researchers.

“This new paper speaks directly to statins interrupting the mechanism of action by which vitamin K2 inhibits calcification,” said Hogne Vik, NattoPharma CEO. “Conversely, research clearly demonstrates that increasing dietary vitamin K2, specifically vitamin K2 as menaquinone-7, can improve vitamin K2 levels in the blood and tissues, thus promoting cardiovascular health.” 

Adding fuel to the fire, statin drugs have also shown to enhance type II diabetes, another risk factor to heart disease. We believe that statin usage should clearly be necessary, when other natural options are not appropriate or fail. And if one needs to be on statin therapy, it is critical to consider both CoQ10 and Vitamin K2 therapy. 

And remember, only recommend the highest in quality supplements AND have the patient talk with their doctor if on blood thinners with CoQ10 and Vitamin K.