Vitamin K2 and Nattokinase

April 20th, 2010

(2003) How much Vitamin K2 is in Nattokinase and what is synthetic K2? Does it differ in structure from non-synthetic K2?

Does the Endokinase product also contain any natural K2?
Many thanks in advance.


Dear Doctors:
Unfortunately, the NATTOKINASE has removed ALL Vitamin K-2, which they then sell us separately and which we put into the MULTIPLE BAM (Beyond ANY MULTIPLE). This multiple containing K2 is found in Beyond Chelation Improved and in Beyond Vitamins and is available all by itself for those NOT wanting any oral detoxification with Essential Daily Defense.

Sincerely,
Garry F. Gordon, MD,DO,MD(H)


K2 A SIMPLE WAY TO IMPROVE BONE AND VASCULAR HEALTH
By Dr. Ralph E. Holsworth, Jr, D.O.

INTRODUCTION
Vitamin K exists in two natural forms, K1 and K2. All K vitamins are fat-soluble micronutrients. Vitamin K2 enables an enzyme (carboxylase) to change an amino acid (Gla) into specific proteins (osteocalcin and matrix Gla-protein). These specialized Gla-proteins produced in the bone (cartilage) and blood vessels bind calcium and direct the occurrence of calcium throughout the body. Therefore, Vitamin K2 (a.k.a., menaquinone-7) via these Gla-proteins regulates mineralization of bone and prevents calcification of blood vessels. In 1929, Danish scientist, Dr. Henrik Dam discovered Vitamin K. The Danish meaning literally means “Koagulation” vitamins essential for proper blood clotting. In 1984, scientists reported patients with osteoporotic fractures had circulating Vitamin K levels which were 70% lower than age- and sex-matched control group (1)in bone and the decreased incidence of bone fractures in elderly patients. In the Rotterdam study, clinical analysis of 4,500 patients showed a correlation between long-term Vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7) intake and the lower incidence of aortic calcification (2).

In contrast to Vitamin K1, Vitamin K2 does not concentrate in the liver. Vitamin K2 works primarily outside of the liver (extrahepatic) in the bone and blood vessels. The richest natural source of Vitamin K2 is derived from a Japanese folk medicinal food called Natto.

HISTORY
According to legend, the first person to originate traditional Japanese natto was the famous warrior Yoshiie Minamoto during the Heian era of Japanese history (794-1192 A.D.). The horse was an extremely important to the Japanese samurai warrior of the period and great care was given to provide suitable provisions for the horses when armies were on the move. Typically, boiled soybeans were cooled down, dried in the sun and packed immediately in rice straw bags for transport with the army. If the army was on a rapid deployment, the boiled soybeans were packed hastily into the rice straw bags without cooling or drying. The rice straw just happened to contain a harmless and naturally-occurring microorganism, Bacillus subtilis natto that fermented the soybeans and produced natto with its characteristic sticky texture.

Initially, the soybeans were presumed to have spoiled until Yoshiie Minamoto observed that his horses were “picky eaters” and demonstrated a preference for the “spoiled” soybeans or natto. One day, Minamoto demonstrated tremendous courage and dipped his finger into the seemingly “rotten goo”. To his astonishment, the fermented soybeans were not only edible but had a distinct Umami flavor. Minamoto was responsible for introducing natto to the northwestern Japan where he ruled. To this day, natto is especially popular in that region of Japan and a folk remedy for fatigue, beriberi, dysentery, heart and vascular diseases.

VITAMIN K AND BONE HEALTH

Low Vitamin K Intake As A Risk Factor for Osteoporosis
In 1984, scientists reported patients with osteoporotic fractures had circulating Vitamin K levels which were 70% lower than an age- and sex-matched control group (1). These data were later confirmed showing that low blood level of vitamin K is also associated with loss bone mineral density, which independently is a risk factor for fracture (10-12). The beneficial effect of Vitamin K2 is related to the carboxylation of matrix-Gla Protein (MGP). Similar to another protein called osteoclacin that determines the mineralization and placement of calcium into bone. Studies show that Vitamin K1 is not as effective as Vitamin K2 for the prevention of bone loss. It was shown in the rat model vitamin K2 prevented calcification, whereas vitamin K1 had little effect (5).

Vitamin K2 supplementation is one way of insuring that arteries and bones receive sufficient amounts of Vitamin K2 to prevent osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, respectively.

VITAMIN K AND VASCULAR HEALTH

Low Vitamin K Intake as a Risk Factor for Cardiovascular Disease
In the Rotterdam study, clinical analysis of 4,500 patients showed a correlation between long-term Vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7) intake and the lower incidence of aortic calcification (2). For vitamin K1 the observed associations were weaker, which is consistent from Schurgers et al., suggesting preferential uptake of K2 by the blood vessel wall. The beneficial effect of Vitamin K2 is related to the carboxylation of matrix-Gla Protein (MGP).

Arteries without atherosclerosis (plaque) have 20-50 fold increase in Vitamin K2 concentration than arteries with plaque in the same human body (8). Arteries were found to be more flexible and elastic than other arteries without Vitamin K2.

Arteries without atherosclerosis (plaque) have 20-50 fold increase in Vitamin K2 concentration than arteries with plaque in the same human body (8). Arteries were found to be more flexible and elastic than other arteries without Vitamin K2. Arteries in children are very flexible and stretch with sporadic increases in blood pressures but return to their initial form after the stress. This ability of the artery to stretch and “bounce back into shape” is called compliance. As we age, arteries begin to resemble the mineral deposits in old water pipes, becoming stiff and hard. Increased blood pressure as we grow older may reflect the lowering of compliance of our blood vessels. Our vessels thicken with calcium and other oxidized fats gradually narrowing the channels and restricting blood flow. The increased pressure on the narrowing patency, creates a “back pressure” which increases our blood pressure and the work of the heart. Eventually, the heart tires on the increased work and begins to fail. This failure is called “congestive heart failure.”
Vitamin K2 supplementation is one way of insuring that arteries and bones receive sufficient amounts of Vitamin K2 to prevent osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease, respectively.

KEY POINTS

· ABSORPTION – You only get what you absorb and with only a 10% absorption of Vitamin K1 from vegetables, you are receiving “pennies on the dollars.”

· PREVENTION OF ATHEROSCLEROSIS – Vitamin K2 suppresses the progress of atherosclerotic plaques, intima thickening and pulmonary atherosclerosis (3). Populations that consume higher levels of vitamin K2 have fewer cardiovascular related health issues, and research comparing healthy artery walls to artery walls with high calcification have 20-30 times higher vitamin K2 concentrations (4). · PREVENTION OF BONE LOSS/FRACTURES – Studies show that Vitamin K1 is not as effective as Vitamin K2 for the prevention of bone loss. It was shown in the rat model vitamin K2 prevented calcification, whereas vitamin K1 had little effect (5).

SUPPLEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS: Benefits for bone and vascular health are in the order of 100 micrograms per day of supplemental Vitamin K2 (8).

TO PREVENT POTENTIAL INTERFERENCE WITH ORAL ANTICOAGULANTS, SUPPLEMENTAL OVER-THE-COUNTER (OTC) VITAMIN K SUPPLEMENTS (either K1 or K2) SHOULD NOT EXCEED A DAILY DOSE OF 100 MICROGRAMS PER DAY (8).

REFERENCES
1. J. P. Hart, A. Catterall , R.A. Dodds, L. Klenerman, M.J. Shearer, L. Bitensky, J. Chayen; Lancet 283 (1984).
2. J.M. Geleijnse, C. Vermeer, L.J. Schurgeers, D.E. Grobbe, H.A.P. Pols, J.C.M. Witterman;Thromb. Haemostas. (Suppl July) P 473, 2001.
3. Kawashima H., et. al., Jpn. J. Pharmacol. 75 135-143 (1997).
4. Vermeer, C., Schurgeers, L.J., VitaK and Cardiovascular Research Institute CARIM), University of Maastricht, The Netherlands.
5. H.M.H. Spronk, et. al., J.Vasc. Resear., in press.
6. Sumi, H., Accumulation of Vitamin K (menaquinone-7) in Plasma after Ingestion of Natto and Natto Bacilli (B. subtilis natto).
7. Lavienja A.J.L.M. Braam, Arnold P.G. Hoeks, Fred Brouns, Karly Hamulyak, Monique J.W. Gerichhausen, Cees Vermeer, Beneficial effects of vitamins D and K on the elastic properties of the vessel wall in post-menopausal women: A Follow-up Study.
8. Cees Vermeer, Lavienja Braam, Vitamin K supplementation: A simple way to bone and cardiovascular health, AgroFOOD industry hi-tech, Nov/Dec 2003, 17-20.
9. Certificate of analysis of Vitamin K2 powder (menaquinone-7).
10. J. P. Hart, A. Catterall , R.A. Dodds, L. Klenerman, M.J. Shearer, L. Bitensky, J. Chayen, J. Reeve, P.N. Sambrook; J.Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 60 1268-1269 (1985).

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  2. Effects of Nattokinase
  3. IV Vitamin C and Calcium
  4. High Dose Vitamin study in JAMA
  5. Calcium Levels During Chelation

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