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Does Vitamin K2 Prevent Calcified Heart Valves & Blocked Arteries?

Posted by Adam Pick on August 10th, 2012

Over the past few weeks, I’ve received several emails from patients about the benefits of Vitamin K2 specific to heart disease.

For example, Alicja wrote to me, “Adam – Thanks for all of your help. I am sending you an article about Vitamin K2 and how it is preventing calcification of arteries, heart valve stenosis and osteoporosis. I have been taking Vitamin K2 since last September and I am feeling much better. I feel that other people should read about Vitamin K2 and its potential benefits for heart disease patients. Thanks! Alicja”

Vitamin K2 & Calcifed Heart Valve Stenosis

Within her email, Alicja forward a link to very interesting article titled, “Vitamin K2: Bone and Heart Health”. I reviewed the article and became intrigued by Vitamin K2 given its potential value for blocked arteries and calcified heart valves.  (So you know, I began using supplements and fish oil after my heart valve surgery to help with ongoing fatigue.)

Given my interest in this topic, I reached out to Doctor Marc Gillinov, MD, a leading cardiac surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and author of Heart 411. Given Dr. Gillinov’s research about heart health, I was really curious to know his thoughts about the potential Vitamin K2 benefits for patients with heart disease including valvular defects and blocked arteries.

Dr. Marc Gillinov – Heart Surgeon & Co-Author of Heart 411

As always, Dr. Gillinov was very quick to respond.

This is not evidence-based. We all ingest Vitamin K — it is found in leafy, green vegetables. There is no conclusive (or even good) evidence that supplements of Vitamin K have any health benefit. They may be particularly dangerous for those on Coumadin (Warfarin).

Similar to most discussions about nutritional supplements, there is always room to debate the safety, efficacy and actual benefits of these products. However, I wanted to address this topic so that we could all learn from Alicja and Dr. Gillinov.

I hope this helped you learn more about Vitamin K2 and its potential uses for heart health including calcified heart valves and blocked arteries.

Keep on tickin!

Adam Pick
Written by Adam Pick A dad, a husband and a patient, Adam Pick founded this website in 2006 to educate you about heart valve surgery from diagnosis to recovery.
You can get the latest updates about heart valve surgery from Adam at his Facebook, and Twitter pages. Click here to email him.

 


Michelle says on August 16th, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Hi Adam, I had my AVR at USC with Dr. Starnes on April 19, 2011. I am (now) 64. I also take fish oil, or hemp, depending upon whim actually, but also I use many other I guess you could call them…”concentrated foods” (“…let food be your medicine, and your medicine, food…”Hippocrates) to make up for, as the omegas do, our depleted food supply…as we no longer glean, or shoot (bows and arrows!) wild, ergo grass/herbaceous -fed wild game… So there are many food elements missing from our diet.

 


Dawn Cook says on August 21st, 2012 at 8:40 pm

Well, as Doc G, did my surgery, I guess I should listen to him, but the K2 does sound interesting as a supplement. Can it hurt if you have a repair and not on a bloodthinner?

 


tony mann fnp says on June 9th, 2013 at 6:56 am

Of special note. One thing pts on warfarin are not told is warfarin causes hardening of the arteries. It does and we know it does. K2 prevents that hardening and will reverse it.
Evidence based medicine could be said another way. What are drug companies willing to study? They are not willing to study things like K2 as it is already readily available, no money to be made. Further, when using nutraceuticals were are just using identified food parts to obtain better health.

 


Helen says on October 22nd, 2013 at 2:42 pm

I have been reading loads of research on the web about vitamin k2 and how important it is for making sure calcium is deposited in the bones and not in tissue and arteries. Interestingly one article placed people taking warfarin as in the same category as those with vitamin K deficiency …..as basically that’s what warfrain does. That’s why it damages unborn babies as it prevents calcium from forming in their bones.

I found the following in two different medical papers:

‘Unfortunately, the recommended dietary intake of vitamin K required for blood clot regulation is much lower than that required for optimal bone and arterial health.’

‘The anticoagulant effect of vitamin K antagonists (e.g., warfarin) may be inhibited by very high dietary or supplemental vitamin K intake. It is generally recommended that individuals using warfarin try to consume the AI for vitamin K (90-120 mcg), while avoiding large fluctuations in vitamin K intake that might interfere with the adjustment of their anticoagulant dose’.

I have been taking a vitamin K2 supplement of 100mcg for a couple of weeks now and my INR has dropped alot ( although it was dropping before that). I do feel a bit depressed about the whole thing. I know taking warfarin is ruining my bones and potentially calcifying my arteries and heart valve. Without it I can get a stroke and die. Will I ever be able to get enough vitamin K and still have a high enough INR?So I am going to see my doctor next week to see if there is an alternative to warfarin.

 


Maureen Hoganson says on December 4th, 2013 at 3:04 pm

There are two types of vitamin K! Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2 (often taken in the form of MK-7) There are definitely issues with Vitamin K rich foods that would affect Coumadin, but Vitamin K2 is found from different sources. We are not talking about the K1 from green leafy sources, but rather K2 found in healthy animal sources, as well as fermented food products like natto. I don’t think that Dr. Gillinov addressed the Vitamin K2–and there are numerous studies being done on this. Please advise. Thanks!

 

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