In 2006, NattoPharma began a research partnership with the University of Maastricht, the Netherlands, the distinguished group that continues to lead the exploration of K2 discovery and its role in improving human health. This has resulted in many successes, such as partnership in the Horizon 2020 EU ITN grants EVOlUTION and INTRICARE and commercial success for NattoPharma products improving human health.
This renewed five-year commitment will kick-off with a research project that aims to demonstrate that vitamin K2 provides a novel solution for restoring vascular health in patients and optimizing vascular function in a healthy population.
"Our work with Maastricht has helped us not only create the Vitamin K2 category but also to keep NattoPharma on the front line of research and development. The discoveries from research continue to confirm that an adequate level of K2 guides calcium to where you need it – in your bones and teeth, and away from your arteries and blood vessels where calcification makes them stiff," says NattoPharma CEO Kjetil Ramsøy.
"The work conducted in collaboration with NattoPharma will provide further research into the role of vitamin K2 concerning calcium metabolism, impacting various aspects of our health," says Prof. Schurgers, Professor of Biochemistry of Vascular Calcification and Vice-Chair of Biochemistry at the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht University. "There is great potential in learning how these mechanisms impact cardiovascular health, but also the implications for other systems, such as bone, cartilage, brain, and pulmonary health."
A recent significant discovery linked a better vitamin K-status in COVID-19 patients to better outcomes. NattoPharma is excited to support this new research project that will further explore these findings, examining the severity of vitamin K deficiency in COVID-19 patients and investigating the role of vitamin K2 for vascular health protection in the post-COVID-19 world.
"The first study represented an amazing finding, linking poor vitamin K status on COVID patients with poor prognosis," explains Prof. Schurgers, co-author of the study. "While we do not suggest vitamin K2 is a treatment for COVID-19, we expect this next stage of research may confirm that vitamin K2 could provide a novel solution for optimizing vascular health. Vascular health is important as this system needs to supply and support other organs, thereby improving outcomes for patients with comorbidities."
NattoPharma's market-leading branded ingredient, MenaQ7®, has been the source material for all clinical trials studying vitamin K2 since 2006 when collaboration with Maastricht University began.
"We are grateful for our long and productive relationship with Maastricht and excited for future discoveries so we can continue translating it into products that serve the estimated 97% of the population eating a modern diet that is deficient of this critical vitamin," says Ramsøy.