Natto: Use of Vitamin K-Antagonizing Drugs to Thin Blood Challenged: New Alternatives

DOACs are beneficial without promoting unwanted calcification.

OSLO, NORWAY and METUCHEN, NJ (November 18 2015) – Nutrients, an international, peer-reviewed, open journal for studies related to Human Nutrition, recently published a review1 from Maastricht University (the Netherlands) that updates on oral anticoagulant (OAC) treatment with a special focus on calcification of the vasculature and the role of vitamin K. Most importantly, the review includes recently developed alternative anticoagulant drugs – called direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) – which researchers deem a safer alternative as they do not pose the negative side effects that typically accompany OACs.

Vitamin K-antagonists (VKA) are the most widely used anticoagulant drugs to treat patients at risk of arterial and venous thrombosis for the past 50 years. Due to unfavorable pharmacokinetics, VKAs have a small therapeutic window, require frequent monitoring, and are susceptible to drug and nutritional interactions. According to researchers, an important interaction is reducing vitamin K status of the vasculature, which may lead to increased arterial calcification.

The limitations of VKAs stimulated the development of alternative anticoagulant drugs, resulting in DOACs, which specifically target either coagulation factor Xa or thrombin more consistently. Further, DOACs do not present nutrient interaction, such as vitamin K, and therefore may actually have benefits for coronary artery disease.

“Oral anticoagulants block the activity of vitamin K-dependent proteins, which has been shown to increase calcification, thereby negatively impacting cardiovascular health. Clearly anticoagulant alternatives that do not interfere with vitamin K would be a better option,” says Hogne Vik, CEO of NattoPharma, exclusive global supplier of MenaQ7® Vitamin K2 as MK-7. NattoPharma also has a long-standing relationship with Maastricht University, and this review is a result of that collaboration.

By activating K-dependent proteins in the body, Vitamin K2 as MK-7 helps the body to properly utilize calcium – directing it to the bones where it is needed, and away from the arteries and blood vessels where calcium can deposit and cause harm. Multiple clinical studies have confirmed that MenaQ7 Vitamin K2 as MK-7 effectively and safely does this; most notably in a 2013 study published in Osteoporosis International2 and a 2015 study published in Thrombosis and Haemostasis3, respectively.

Further, the researchers write, “Presently, ongoing clinical trials are addressing whether vitamin K supplementation can halt or regress vascular calcification. The outcome of these trials will pave the way to test whether co-supplementation of Vitamin K2 with DOACs can benefit both coagulation and calcification.”

“Accumulation of vitamin K from dietary and supplement sources has been shown to be beneficial for bone and cardiovascular health,” Vik continues. “We welcome further understanding and acceptance of alternatives to traditional OACs, and hope this trend further shapes the standard of care.”

To view the new review in Nutrition, visit:


1 van Gorp RH, Schurgers LJ. New Insights into the Pros and Cons of the Clinical Use of Vitamin K Antagonists (VKAs) Versus Direct Oral Anticoagulants (DOACs). Nutrients 2015, 7, 1–20; doi:10.3390/nu7115479

2 Knapen MHJ et al. Three-year low-dose menaquinone-7 supplementation helps decrease bone loss in healthy postmenopausal women. Osteoporos Int. 2013 Sep;24(9):2499-507.

3 Knapen MHJ et al. Menaquinone-7 supplementation improves arterial stiffness in healthy postmenopausal women: double-blind randomised clinical trial. Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 2015; 19;113(5).

# # #

About MenaQ7®

MenaQ7® is the best documented, commercially available vitamin K2 as MK-7 with guaranteed actives and stability, clinical substantiation, and international patents granted and pending. MenaQ7® is available in two varieties: natural vitamin K2 as MK-7 Crystals and nature-identical synthetic vitamin K2 as MK-7 PURE. For more information on the health benefits of MenaQ7, visit

About NattoPharma

NattoPharma ASA, based in Norway, is the world’s leader in vitamin K2 research and development. NattoPharma is the exclusive international supplier of MenaQ7® Vitamin K2 as MK-7, and has a multi-year research and development program to substantiate and discover the health benefits of vitamin K2 for applications in the marketplace for functional food and dietary supplements. With a global presence, the company established its North American subsidiary, NattoPharma USA, Inc., in Metuchen, NJ. For more information, visit

For more information, please contact:

Hogne Vik, CEO NattoPharma

Cell phone: +47 97 53 53 26


Kate Quackenbush, Director of Communications

NattoPharma USA, Inc.

Phone: 609-643-0749



About Us

NattoPharma, the world leader in Vitamin K2 Research and Development, has invested millions of dollars in in-vitro, in-vivo, and clinical studies to document the effects of MenaQ7® Vitamin K2 as MK-7. This commitment has created the only patented and clinically validated K2 on the market. After establishing the first commercial Vitamin K2 with its flagship brand, MenaQ7®, NattoPharma has consistently answered and met market needs through the development of new production technologies:• In 2012, the company introduced MenaQ7® Crystals, which represented an important breakthrough in the new generation of Vitamin K2 products, producing the purest natural MK-7 available.• In 2014, NattoPharma introduced the only all-trans nature-identical synthesized Vitamin K2, MenaQ7® PURE. Not only did the company succeed in changing the market with MenaQ7® PURE – offering a high-quality, competitively priced ingredient – but its efforts were rewarded with the NutrAward for Best Functional Ingredient at Natural Products West/engredea 2015. Vitamin K2 is essential for the body to utilize calcium to build healthy, strong bones and to inhibit calcium deposits in the arteries. Published clinical studies have demonstrated the high bioavailability and proof of efficacy for Nattopharma’s all-trans MK-7 products in healthy and diseased populations, for bone and cardiovascular health. NattoPharma continues to build its competitive advantage through focuson IPR and has patents both granted and pending related to relevant healthbenefits and market segments, creating extra value for its customers. And NattoPharma staff consists of professionals people with longstanding experience in medical and biochemical research as well as pharmaceutical and food supplement development. By understanding and controlling the chemistry, NattoPharma provides the market all-trans MK-7 products, while our sales and marketing team has extensive knowledge of international market demands with which it supports our partners.