The Nation's Health + [Vitamin K2]

The formula for aortic valve disease?

I've discussed this question before:

Can aortic valve stenosis be stopped or reversed using a regimen of nutritional supplements?

I had a striking experience this past week. Don has coronary plaque and began the Track Your Plaque program. However, discovery of a murmur led to an echocardiogram that measured his effective aortic valve area at 1.5 cm2. (Normal is between 2.5-3.0 cm2.)

Because of his aortic valve issue, I suggested that, in addition to the 10,000 units of vitamin D required to increase his 25-hydroxy vitamin D level to 70 ng/ml, he also add vitamin K2, 1000 mcg per day, along with elimination of all calcium supplements. (I asked Don to use a K2 supplement that contained both forms, short-acting MK-4 and long-acting MK-7.)

One year later, another echocardiogram: aortic valve area 2.6 cm2--an incredible increase.

This is not supposed to happen. By conventional thinking, aortic valve stenosis can only get worse, never get better. But I've now witnessed this in approximately 10% of the people with aortic valve stenosis. The majority just stop getting worse, an occasional person gets worse, while a few, like Don, get better.

Aortic valve stenosis is to the aortic valve as degenerative arthritis is to your knees: A form of wear-and-tear that leads to progressive dysfunction. When the aortic valve becomes stiff enough (i.e., "stenotic"), then it leads to chest pains, lightheadedness or losing consciousness, heart failure, and, eventually, death. Bad problem.

Aortic stenosis typically starts in your 50s with calcification of the valve, getting worse and worse until the calcium makes the valve "leaflets" unable to move. The treatment: a new valve, a major undertaking involving an open heart procedure.

What if taking vitamins D and K2 and avoiding calcium do not just reverse or stop aortic valve stenosis once established, but prevents it in the first place? Tantalizing possibility.

Pressures on my time being what they are, I've not had the freedom to put together a prospective study to further examine this fascinating question. But it is definitely worth pursuing.