September 2011/NutraSolutions -- Vitamin K was discovered in 1929, and it was deemed essential, due to its ability to prevent a decrease in prothrombin, a coagulation factor necessary for normal clotting of blood. Over the past decade, vitamin K has also been linked to bone health and cardiovascular health.
Vitamin K2

Natural vitamin K2, as menaquinone-7 (MK-7), is the most bioavailable, longest-lasting and most bioactive form of vitamin K. Research by P.L. Thomas & Co. on its proprietary MK-7 MenaquinGold™ is extending the scientific base for vitamin K, through assessments of alleviating muscle cramping and improving aerobic capacity.

Cramping involves a painful contraction of a muscle group, most commonly in the legs (referred to as systremma). Generally associated with sports injury, muscle cramping also affects 30% and 50% of people over the ages of 60 and 80, respectively. In a clinical trial, MenaquinGold (100µg /day for 3 months) was assessed for its effectiveness in patients with idiopathic muscle cramps1.

In the clinical trial, Group A included 9 patients suffering 1-5 cramps per week, with a severity rating of “2” to “9” for 1-10 minutes. Group B included 10 patients who suffered cramps at least once per week with a severity of “2” to “8” for less than 1-10 minutes. A self-assessment before and 3 months after daily intake of MK7 found mean reductions in VAS (visual analogue scale) severity scores, a measure of pain, in Groups A (from 5.83 to 1.5) and in Group B (from 4.9 to 1.3). (See chart “Vitamin K2 and Decreased Leg Cramps.”)

Also apparent is the gradual return to baseline of cramping, once MK7 therapy was discontinued (after 90 days on therapy). The dosage of MK7 of 100µg /day for 3 months was found to be well-tolerated and safe.

New research by PL Thomas is exploring the effects of MK7 on VO2 max, a measurement of maximal aerobic power. To determine changes in VO2 max, 600µg daily of MK7 was administered to 4 trained athletes for 21 days. Results showed heart rates at aerobic base (AB) and anaerobic threshold (AT) increased significantly, which—in combination with noted increases in VO2 max at AB--points to improvement in cardiovascular fitness. The more VO2 at AB, the more watts of work one can perform at those points, while the higher the VO2 at AT, the longer one can sustain this work load. 

MenaquinGold is produced under pharmaceutical grade and cGMP using a soy-free process; is water-dispersible and oil-soluble; and is the subject of extensive IP and benefits from a range of safety and toxicity studies. The ingredient is also self-affirmed GRAS, making it suitable for food applications.  NS


1. Therapeutic activity and safety of vitamin K 2-7 in muscle cramps. The Indian Practitioner. (2010) 63(5):287-291.

For more information:
PL Thomas • Morristown, N.J.
Paula Nurnberger •