New evidence showing improving K status preserves vascular integrity, prevents cardiovascular complications

MGP requires vitamin K–dependent activation. Once activated, this protein is a potent locally acting inhibitor of calcification in large arteries and protects against macrovascular complications and stiffening of the aorta. A hypothesis that the central hemodynamic load, to which the left ventricle is exposed, might be associated with inactive desphospho‐uncarboxylated Matrix Gla protein (dp‐ucMGP) was tested by the authors of an article that has recently been published in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

The researchers randomly recruited 835 Flemish individuals for the purpose of this statistical analysis and conducted central hemodynamic measures that in the long term are associated with all‐cause and cardiovascular mortality or a composite cardiovascular outcome and concentric remodeling of the left ventricle. Plasma dp‐ucMGP of the participants of this population study was measured using an ELISA‐based assay. The authors also derived central pulse pressure and carotid‐femoral pulse wave velocity (PWV) from applanation tonometry and calculated forward and backward pulse waves using an automated, pressure‐based wave separation analysis algorithm. They observed that participants with higher level of inactive dp‐ucMGP had greater PWV, central pulse pressure, and forward and backward wave amplitudes.

The authors arrived at a conclusion that their observations “[…] along with the literature, highlight new avenues for preserving vascular integrity, maintaining left ventricular structure and function, and preventing cardiovascular complications (e.g., by improving a person’s vitamin K status).”

“This research articulates the importance of pulse wave velocity measurements in gauging cardiovascular impact. Also blood pressure measurements confirm a link between low vitamin K2 status and the risk of cardiovascular disease, since participants of this population study who had higher level of dp‐ucMGP had also higher blood pressure,” says Dr. Katarzyna Maresz, president of the International Science and Health Foundation. “Similarly as this one, a lot of previous studies showed that by improving one’s vitamin K2 status, one can serve a protective role to the cardiovascular system,” she recaps.


Wei FF, Thijs L, Cauwenberghs N, Yang WY, Zhang ZY, Yu CG, Kuznetsova T, Nawrot TS, Struijker-Boudier HAJ, Verhamme P, Vermeer C, Staessen JA (2019) Central Hemodynamics in Relation to Circulating Desphospho-Uncarboxylated Matrix Gla Protein: A Population Study, J Am Heart Assoc. 8(7): e011960, doi: 10.1161/JAHA.119.011960


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