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Research capsule: Vitamin K2, Kyowa Hakko's absorbable B5

Vitamin K2

Vital stats: Menaquinone-7 (vitamin K2), lipid-soluble vitamin available in natural and synthetic forms.

Study claim: Vitamin K2 supplements decreased the levels of protein forms linked to cardiovascular disease and vitamin K deficiency in hemodialysis patients.

Published: Westenfeld R, et al. Effect of vitamin K2 supplementation on functional vitamin k deficiency in hemodialysis patients: a randomized trial. Am J Kidney Dis 2012;59(2):186-95.

Abstract: A 6-week study of 52 hemodialysis patients found that supplementing with vitamin K2 decreases the levels of uncarboxylated MGP, uncarboxylated osteocalcin and uncarboxylated prothrombin, inactive proteins linked to vitamin K deficiency. Uncarboxylated MGP is also associated with cardiovascular disease.

Hemodialysis subjects were found to have 4.5-fold higher dephosphorylated-uncarboxylated MGP levels and 8.4-fold higher uncarboxylated osteocalcin levels compared with controls at the start of the study. Subjects received vitamin K2 at 45, 135, or 360 μg/d.

Vitamin K2 supplements resulted in a 77 percent reduction rate of dephosphorylated-uncarboxylated MGP levels for patients who received the 135 μg and a 93 percent reduction rate for those who took the 360 μg.

Researchers confirmed that most hemodialysis patients suffer from a functional vitamin K deficiency. They found that vitamin K2 supplements increased the bioactivity of protein forms that protect against the vascular calcifications experienced by hemodialysis patients.

Potential applications: Hemodialysis patients suffer severe vascular calcifications that can lead to cardiovascular disease. Supplementing with vitamin K2 can help inhibit these calcifications by increasing bioactive proteins and decreasing the levels of inactive proteins.

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Vital stats: Kyowa Hakko USA, Pantesin, absorbable and active form of vitamin B5 (Pantethine)

Study claim: Patients with low to moderate cardiovascular disease risk experienced significantly reduced total cholesterol and LPL cholesterol levels while supplementing with Pantesin. 

Published: Rumberger JA, et al. Pantethine, a derivative of vitamin B5 used as a nutritional supplement, favorably alters low-density lipoprotein cholesterol metabolism in low to moderate cardiovascular risk North American subjects: a triple-blinded placebo and diet-controlled investigation. Nutr Res 2011;31(8):608-15.

Abstract: Researchers tested the safety and effectiveness of Pantesin for reducing cholesterol levels in individuals with low to moderate cardiovascular disease risk. The 16-week triple-blinded study found that taking Pantesin as a supplement while maintaining a therapeutic lifestyle change diet significantly reduced total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels.

The study involved 120 subjects who began a therapeutic lifestyle change diet four weeks prior to testing. Both the test and placebo groups continued on the diet for the duration. Those who received the Pantesin supplement took 600 mg/d for the first eight weeks and 900 mg/d for weeks 9 through 16.

The Pantesin supplement taken with the therapeutic lifestyle change diet reduced total cholesterol by 3 percent and LPL cholesterol by 4 percent in comparison to the placebo. These reductions (P<.005) are significant even for low-risk patients because prior studies show that each 1 mg/dL (0.026 mmol/L) reduction in LDL cholesterol is associated with a 1 percent reduction in overall future cardio vascular disease risk.

Potential applications: As a highly absorbable form of vitamin B5, Pantesin can be used as a safe and effective supplement to lower cholesterol levels. Pantesin also aids in the metabolism of amino acids, carbohydrates and lipids. 


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