Vitamin K2 and Artery Calcification (Part 2): The Matrix Gla Protein

Vitamin K2 and Artery Calcification (Part 2): The Matrix Gla Protein


Here’s the thing. I felt like if I heard
one more time or read one more sentence about Weston Price or we need to to be
eating animals that have been raised on grass instead of corn, that my eyes were
gonna cross. So what’s all this buzz about K2?
Sometimes, it feels like there’s a lot more heat than light around this subject.
I recently read that book “Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox” by the lady from
Canada who’s got a doctorate in nutrition. And here’s the thing. I felt
like if I heard one more time or read one more sentence about Weston Price or
we need to to be eating animals that have been raised on grass instead of
corn that my eyes were gonna cross. Let’s not throw the baby out with the
bathwater. When you start actually digging into the science behind some of
these issues, there’s some very interesting science there, and we’re
gonna cover just the beginning of an early side story around the science in
this video. It’s gonna start with a discussion about an article from a
standard American medicine cardiology journal, the Journal of the
American College of Cardiology, JACC. This article was in 2015 in June. I’ll show
you that in a minute. But here’s the title and it’s intriguing given the
topic we’re talking about. “Vascular Calcification, Arterial Damage, and
Decline in Renal Function May Be Triggered by the Inhibition of the
Vitamin K-Dependent Protein Matrix Gamma- carboxyglutamic acid (Gla/MGP) by vitamin
K antagonists.” Maybe we can simplify that just a minute. Basically the story is
this. We have known for a long time that people on K1 inhibitors (specifically
warfarin) tend to get a significant a lot of increase in calcification of their
arteries. Now what’s that got to do with K2? I’ll leave that for a little bit
later. But it does, and I’ll tell you this, it’s some of that connection has to do
with GLA the matrix protein. But let’s don’t get too far ahead of
ourselves again. Where was that article? Journal of the American College of
Cardiology, June 16, 2015. Here’s a couple of points about it.
“Matrix gla protein (MGP) inhibits the…” well let’s be patient with me as we go
through some jargon for a minute… “the osteoinductive function of bone
morphogenic protein. The function of MGP depends on gamma-carboxyglutamic
acid residues, which are modified in a vitamin K-dependent manner.” So let’s go
back, make that simple, and translate. Basically what they’re saying is MGP,
this protein, has a significant impact on deposition of calcium. It is also
impacted by an enzyme. That matrix gla
protein is impacted by vitamin K. In fact, it’s dependent on vitamin K. So guess
what? In addition to blocking things like warfarin… when they block vitamin K1, they
block the K1’s ability to change this gla protein. In other words, this
calcification depends on a protein called MGP (matrix gla protein). That
protein, in turn, is activated by vitamin K. Vitamin K, in turn, if it’s deactivated
by warfarin, then takes you back to where you’re starting to get a lot of
calcification. That’s the basic point. Warfarin inhibits the function of MGP which, in turn, antagonizes or stops the the inhibitory role of MGP in the
process of vascular calcification, therefore, resulting in arterial damage
and decline in renal function. If that still sounds a little bit confusing,
maybe this next couple of images will help. Here’s the matrix gla protein. It’s
non-carboxylated, so it’s not active. There’s a process called “gamma-
carboxylation” that activates this matrix gla protein. However, vitamin K
antagonists (like warfarin) stop that gamma-carboxylation. If warfarin stops
that gamma-carboxylation, then the matrix gla protein cannot be activated. If it’s
not activated, it can’t participate in helping pull calcium out of the arteries.
So that’s the connection and it has to do with basically inhibition
of an activator. That’s where a little bit confusing. To show this on
the cake and if you’re thinking about, “Well, wait a minute. This is all K1,
Brewer. We’re talking about K2. They’re very different.” I understand that but as
I said earlier, there is a connection in this metabolism, and it has to do with
the carboxylation. So if you look at warfarin metabolism, it comes in and
blocks vitamin K reductase and oxidation of vitamin K and therefore it blocks the development of gamma of the MGP development. Basically now, here’s
another way of looking at it and it starts to get back to the vitamin
K2 than the menaquinone. The matrix gla protein… remember that… and if you’re
thinking, “Brewer, those are very that’s an ugly image.” I understand that. Nope, no
apologies. That matrix gla protein you see means uncarbonated. So if you want to activate the matrix gla protein, you need to carboxylate it. The matrix
gla protein decreases calcium and therefore inhibits vascular
calcification. We’re going to study in other videos… we’re going to look at
osteocalcin which is a different enzyme. It does exactly the opposite of matrix
gla protein. When it is functioning, it increases calcification and actually
promotes bone minerals mineralization. So matrix gla protein pulls it out of the
vascular area, and osteocalcin puts it in the bone. Now this has probably been a
little bit much in terms of trying to get the connections. I will cover it… will
do several other videos in this area. I just wanted to show the sciences. Again,
it’s also pretty clear on these actual enzymes. This, for example, is the
actual amino acid series involved with the protein so that is the
protein itself, gla protein, matrix gla protein, in amino acid format.
So again, maybe this is a little bit confusing. I hope not. It’s just the first
in a series that I’m going to be doing on K2. Actually, it’s not the first. I’m
doing another series on K2. If you’ve made it through all this stuttering and
stammering, and you’re still there, I appreciate your interest. My name is Ford Brewer. I started off as
an ER doc. Then I became very frustrated with the fact that most
things that bring people into the ER were preventable like heart attack and
stroke. I went to John Hopkins to get training and ended up running the
program there in prevention. There I trained dozens of docs and again that
was three decades ago. Since then, I’ve trained thousands of docs and even more
importantly supervised those docs and even most importantly helped thousands
of patients prevent things like heart attack and stroke. Waiting for it for the
disease and hoping for a cure for this kind of devastation doesn’t work. Come to
Louisville on November 8 and 9. We have a boot camp type of environment for two
days where you learn all the things that you didn’t learn from your doc in terms
of heart attack stroke prevention things like cardiovascular inflammation, how to
detect it, how to measure things like insulin resistance (the number one cause
of inflammation), how to detect it, how to measure it, how to stop it, how to manage
it. You also get… you can get the labs there for that event if you’d like to
get a complete evaluation in addition you get an arterial scan called a CIMT.
To get the right one of those is fairly difficult so I’m looking forward to
seeing you there. Thanks.

38 Replies to “Vitamin K2 and Artery Calcification (Part 2): The Matrix Gla Protein”

  1. Doc whats the connection with decline in Renal Function…. I had a tumor removed from my Kidney . Could it be that that was calcification due to K2 was not available while taking a load of yoghurt every day ? Next to deteriorizing of my spinal discs ?

  2. Indeed this video was difficult to understand, and I have a biomedical background ( Biology and Chemistry). I look forward to the next lectures on the series. I would look forward to hearing about K2 and Diabetes. Thank you for series .

  3. make it simpler does k2 prevent calcification simp;e yes or no and how much do you take and for how l0ng per body weight and age need simpler info please

  4. I've been supplementing K2with D3 for the last 24 months. Currently taking Warfarin for the last 4 years. My understanding of K2 is that it removes calcification from your bloodstream and puts it where it needs to be in your bones and teeth. Dr. Berg(youtube channel explains this is in laymen's detail in several videos). So being Warfarin is a K1 antagonist, does K2 neutral this out ?

  5. 6 months ago my CAC score was 73. Im 60 years old. Started taking k2 and mk7 on a daily basis right after the CAC test. I will get another CAC test in october and report my results.

  6. So you are saying that after spending 9 months on a ranch eating grass and mothers milk a ruminant animal fed a single % of their diet in the form of corn to induce diabetes and marble muscle tissue with fat does not shed its 100% grass fed fat rich in K2 in 5-6 months until harvested at 14-15 months of age ?

    Huh… Who knew ?

  7. i am concerned about removing the calcium which is keeping the plaque in place with k2 . i have calcified arteries and plaque. thank you good doctor

  8. Hi Dr. Brewer. Normally, even if I don't understand all the science behind what you are saying, it is easy for me to follow your videos. Very interested in K2, but this was one choppy, confusing video.

  9. Okay. It sounds like K2 allows Matrix Gla protein to carboxylate and become active in transporting calcium AWAY from arteries.

    It can be very helpful to:
    1. State the conclusion.
    2. Present the information from which the conclusion is derived.
    3. Restate the conclusion….because we'll get lost in the weeds in the middle of step 2.

  10. Dr. Brewer thank you again for an excellent presentation. The question I need answered is do you currently take k2 mk7 ? I have been on D3 and K2 for two years. I am 61 years old, CAC 130 grass,grain and sugar free and use a cyclical Keto lifestyle.

  11. Still watching. I will have to watch this video two or three times or maybe more to decide what you are talking about. Your newer format is clearer than the shaky piece of paper you started out with. I look forward to seeing a text in the description that is word for word what you say in the video. Now that would be educational !

  12. I'm confused. Are you frustrated with people eating red meat as related to Heart Disease/Artery Calcification or are you frustrated with people believing grass fed beef is safer to consume.

  13. Wow Doc, no doubt you got your act together but man, talk about being lost, lol! Anyway, when are you coming to Philly so I can get my CIMT. Keep up with everything you do, it's really appreciated

  14. Very confusing video. K1 affect blood coagulstion. K2, in mk-4 and mk-7 form, together with D3 and magnesium, takes calcium to bones rather than arteries. I am a 64 year old postmenopausal women who had a diagnosis of spinal osteopenia in my lower bsck. I4 months later, my spinal density increased by 2.7%.

  15. Is it worth taking K1 as well? Why the focus on k2? I didn’t understand the connection to calcification. Many thanks!

  16. i love the topic, research you've done and knowledge you have Dr , but please could you have a dumbed down summary at the end, I have a Bachelor of Nursing but this was going way over my head, cheers Mike.

  17. Hi there chap. Am glad you are doing the science. It's important if you consider the implications. Am a fan of K2 and take a supplement. Also I eat unpasteurised sauerkraut. Yum yum

  18. I love your videos, however this one was difficult to follow. I need to know simply, if I am on 75 MG of Clopidogrel,
    Can I take K2?

  19. Dr. Brewer, my doctors insist that I remain on warfarin because of a-fib and because they want to replace two valves in the future. They refuse to prescribe any other blood thinner. I need to find someone who can help me transition from warfarin to something less damaging to my cardio-vascular system, brain, etc.. I am also looking for a nutritionist who will help me deal with my heart disease more effectively. I've had no luck finding anybody besides shallow, narrow minded MD's. Would you know someone who might be able to help me? I live just outside Knoxville, Tennessee. Sylvia

  20. Hi Ford, in a video you did a while ago on K2 you stated with authority that having calcium plagues cover over the arterial plaque deposit is protective and a good thing. But I get the sense so far that this dissertation on K2 is heading in the opposite direction: that calcium may not be so protective of the plagues and will conclude that calcium removal is a good thing after all. Am I right?

  21. The problem here is specifying which K2 you are talking about and which tissues you look at. Yes K2 is pleomorphic because it has many forms and we are not specifying which form for which tissue. Mk-7 removes calcium from plaque and that calcium is then available in the blood for calcifying bone. Does that render the decalcified plaque potentially dangerous? No evidence. Mk4 action is to bind to osteocalcin in osteoblasts which results in carboxylation of glutamic acids residues and then Calcium is added to hydroxyapetite and bone is built. There are different forms of osteocalcin in other tissues of the body and those forms have different functions. To make things more fun, MK7 can be converted to MK4. Only small amounts of K1 can be converted to K2 so we really need it from our diet and yes grass fed beef and chicken produce K2 rich cheese and eggs. Grass fed and finished animals also have more K2 in their own flesh. More fun info – MK4 cannot be manufactured by bacteria in our gut but the other MKs can be. This is getting long so just one more fun fact: MK4 -13 all have different half-lives in the blood and are stored (or not) in different tissues. Confused ? well so is the literature because nobody is specifying enough . Orah Ruth Kamienny MS PA retired

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