Gnosis by Lesaffre (Gnosis) is eager to share new insights highlighting most women are at greater risk of developing heart disease than previously thought, as new studies have suggested that reproductive factors and menopause factors are implicated in the development of adverse cardiovascular conditions. While the findings are alarming, it punctuates the importance of Gnosis’ clinically validated MenaQ7® Vitamin K2 as MK-7.
One observational study has concluded that an earlier first birth, a higher number of births, and menarche at younger ages are linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular conditions in women. The researchers, from the Imperial College London’s National Heart & Lung Institute, performed a comprehensive analysis of reproductive factors specific to women and their links to a range of cardiovascular diseases, including atrial fibrillation (irregular heart rate), coronary heart disease, heart failure, and stroke.
Using a technique called Mendelian Randomization, the researchers revealed an association between the genes that predict reproductive factors and the risk of multiple cardiovascular diseases. According to British Heart Foundation data, coronary heart disease kills more than twice as many women as breast cancer in the UK.
“Women are often mischaracterized as being at low risk for cardiovascular disease, leading to delays in diagnosis. Even when they are diagnosed, they tend to receive less targeted treatment than men,” states Dr. Maddalena Ardissino, of the National Heart and Lung Institute at Imperial College, London, and lead study author.
Her colleague, Dr. Fu Siong Ng, senior author of the study, noted, “Many of the previous studies on cardiovascular disease have focused on men, but our research shows that there are sex-specific factors that influence the risk for women.”
Earlier research has established a causative link between menopause and increased risk of cardiovascular disease. In their review, El Khoudary et al. highlight that women transitioning through menopause experience “their arteries become more vulnerable to disease, getting thicker and stiffer.” They note that reported findings “underline the significance of MT [menopause transition] as a time of accelerating CVD risk, thereby emphasizing the importance of monitoring women’s health during midlife, a critical window for implementing early intervention strategies to reduce CVD risk.”
One such strategy is simple and proven: supplementing with vitamin K2 menaquinone-7 (MK-7). In two groundbreaking human clinical trials[3,4], daily supplementation with 180 mcg of MenaQ7â Vitamin K2 as MK-7 was found to protect cardiovascular function in women. Namely, activating the K-dependent protein Matrix Gla Protein (MGP) led to improved arterial stiffness in the supplement groups.
“Gnosis by Lesaffre works with world-renowned researchers to confirm the safe and effective health benefits of MenaQ7 Vitamin K2 as MK-7,” says Jean-Francois Jeanne, Substantiation & Applications Team Manager. “Elucidating the important mechanism of activating K-dependent proteins, including osteocalcin and MGP, was foundational to that work.
“Supplementing with K2 as MK-7 is a simple, natural tool for women to protect their heart and cardiovascular system,” he continues. “As new research emerges that confirms the high risk of heart disease in women, the greater the need for sustainable, natural and inexpensive tools such as vitamin K2 as MenaQ7 for protecting the cardiovascular structure and function in women as they age.”
1 Ardissino M, et al. “Sex‐Specific Reproductive Factors Augment Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Women: A Mendelian Randomization Study. Journal of the American Heart Association, 2023
2 El Khoudary SR, et al. “Menopause Transition and Cardiovascular Disease Risk: Implications for Timing of Early Prevention: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association” Circulation 2020 142(25):e506-e532
3 Vermeer C and Vik H, “Effect of Menaquinone-7 (vitamin K2) on vascular elasticity in healthy subjects: results from a one-year study” Vascul Dis Ther, 2020 5:1-4.
4 Knapen MHJ, et al. “Menaquinone-7 supplementation improves arterial stiffness in healthy postmenopausal women: double-blind randomised clinical trial” Thrombosis and Haemostasis 2015 113.5