Does Vitamin K2 Prevent Calcified Heart Valves & Blocked Arteries?

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

Adam Pick is a patient, author of The Patient's Guide To Heart Valve Surgery and the founder of HeartValveSurgery.com.

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  • Michelle

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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!

  • midnighteye

    No and overdosing is not possible either. Better late than never!

  • mrhdiver

    Time has come for doctors to update their knowledge. It’s clear that Dr. Gillinov hasn’t studied vitamin K2. He doesn’t differentiate between K1 and K2 and within K2, MK-4 and MK-7. There is much evidence (scientific studies as well as anecdotal) that K2 decalcifies calcium buildup on soft tissues and reverses damage. On a personal note, my daughter’s aging dog dragged her hind legs due to severe hip dysplasia. After feeding her dog natto (fermented soybeans high in K2) for nearly 6 weeks, the dog fully recovered her ability to walk. We have no idea of course about the lessening of pain the dog experiences, but I imagine she’s feeling much better. This is very much worth investigating – beyond asking a doctor who hasn’t done any research.

  • mrhdiver

    I should add that vitamin K1 actually benefits those taking warfarin/Coumadin. The studies demonstrate this – sorry I don’t have citations handy, but you can find this with a bit of searching. If I run across it, I’ll come back an post.

  • sab1053

    Two culprits to arterial calcification are flouridated and chlorinated water. There is a direct link between these poisons and atherosclerosis. They draw calcium from the bones into the blood. There is a ton of research, but much is suppressed by the quack watch internet trolls.

  • PRPhillips

    Related to blood thinners: My husband is always asked as his blood is being drawn for testing if he is on blood thinners. The technicians remark about his thin blood routinely. Additionally, my husband has had several surgeries and before each surgery he is asked by his surgeons a week before surgery to quit taking his fish oil supplement because it thins the blood. Now if doctors know to ask patients to quit taking fish oil before surgery, why do they not prescribe fish oil to thin the blood?

  • Janet

    I have a calcified aortic valve and calcified coronary arteries. I do have a history of osteopenia also. I’m confused about whether I should take calcium or not, but my brother did mention about taking the K2. My question is which form–the MK-4 or the MK-7? I’m 62 by the way and in good health other than this valve thing. 🙁

  • mrhdiver

    A highly recommended read. Vitamin K2 has been proven effective but read this for yourself. I bought this book and loan it often. I eat natto (fermented soybeans) regularly. It is slimy and really weird, but I mix it with things like bean dips and salsas which makes it more palatable. I also make homemade sauerkraut which is high in K2.
    https://www.amazon.com/Vitamin-K2-Calcium-Paradox-Little-Known/dp/0062320041/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479221923&sr=8-1&keywords=the+calcium+and+vitamin+k2+paradox

    Also read Death by Calcium by Dr. Thomas Levy (board certified cardiologist).

    I’m 64 in excellent health and don’t take ANY medications. Not even over the counter. NONE. Just great natural foods and regular activity (figure skating 5+ hrs./week) Good luck and God bless.

  • sab1053

    Besides K2, magnesium deficiency should be considered. Magnesium is absolutely essential in that it helps keep the calcium in the bones and out of the blood that will exacerbate atherosclerosis. Dr. Carolyn Dean an expert in Magnesium states that people especially women are suseptable to osteoporosis when there is a Magnesium Deficiency. Also, doctors carelessly prescribe Vitamin D and make no mention of increasing Magnesium. Vitamin D will deplete Magnesium, Vitamin C, B6 and Boron. These doctors know nothing about cofactors of each vitamin or mineral.
    The Cardiologist should do a bit of research. Drugs don’t cure heart disease. They treat the symptoms and not the root cause. Big money comes from Big Pharma. If anyone out there wants the best treatment, see a Functional Medicine Doctor.

  • Jaylo O

    Thanks for your response.. I saw my cardiologist in January, and he knew nothing of K2. I took an article for him to read. I saw my family doctor in March and gave him the same article. He was just afraid of the K2 because the research backing it is questionable. I did start the K2 in January but after my platelets went up 200,000 points, I stopped it. I have essential thrombocystosis–meaning my platelets are elevated for who knows what reason. I did take Mag Oxide 400mg daily for heart palpitations–on the recommendation of my cardiologist–but it did nothing for the palpitations. So I need to know which is the best form of magnesium to take…and calcium too. The K2 is out of the question for now. THANKS!

  • sab1053

    The worst form of Magnesium is the oxide. Only about 4% gets absorbed. One if the best is Magnesium citrate. Oxide forms are great to relieve constipation. Why is magnesium critical? It regulates all electrolytes in the body including potassium, calcium and sodium. I would hope your​ doctor would order a magnesium test, but not a serum test. This test is not accurate because only 2 % is in the serum and the other 98% is in the cells. So, ask for an RBC Magnesium test. Back to the electrolytes, they are critical in heart function and must be in the proper ratio. If not, you might experience the palpatations. Without a detailed examination and conducting the proper tests, most doctors are guessing on how to relieve not just your symptoms but the root cause. I would recommend you consult with a Functional Medicine Doctor. They treat the root cause and not the symptoms. Masking the symptoms leaves you with the illness. I will always go to a Functional Medicine Doctor. My mom had elevated cholesterol and after the Functional Medicine Doctor ordered done tests, it turned out that she was deficient in copper. After taking a copper supplement, her cholesterol normalized. Her geriatric doctor wanted to start her on the poison Lipitor. You would be amazed at the tests that these Functional Medicine Doctors recommend. In doing so, they uncover the root cause. I can’t stress this enough.
    Hope this helps.

    Sam

  • sab1053

    You might want to go to metabolichealing.com. I saw an article that deals with alternative solution to essential thrombocytosis. One solution could be a copper toxicity.

  • Jaylo O

    Thanks a million! I’m going to check to see if there are any functional medicine doctors in the area where I live…and get myself on some magnesium citrate. I’ll let you know how things go!

  • sab1053

    I’m so glad that I got my mom to a Functional Medicine Doctor. By requesting the correct tests, he uncovered a hidden thyroid issue that that the geriatric doctor did not find. She was also copper deficient, but there are many people who are copper toxic and copper toxicity can affect your essential thrombocytosis according to some articles. A Functional Medicine Doctor will most likely order a HTMA or Hair Test Mineral Analysis. This test will check for mineral imbalances which could be defficiencies or toxicities. Blood tests for mineral I’m balances are not accurate! There may be done out of pocket expenses, but to me it was worth it to know the root cause.
    Please let me know how you do.
    Stay well

    Forgot to mention a great book called ” The Magnesium Miracle” by Dr. Carolyn Dean

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