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Research-Based Marketing: An Invaluable Advantage

05-05 vfi ep podcast
How impactful can a supplement marketing program be without health claims?

MenaQ7® vitamin K2 as MK-7 promotes bone and cardiovascular health. How can NattoPharma say this with confidence? Because we have conducted numerous human clinical studies proving it to be true.  This is the very reason that our partners can use claims language—keeping in line with their country’s regulatory environment, of course.

How impactful can a supplement marketing program be without claims? And in this era of intense regulatory scrutiny, how can a company dare make a claim without rock-solid scientific research to support it? NattoPharma has driven the clinical research confirming the health benefits of vitamin K2 as MK-7, providing our MenaQ7 as the source material used in these studies. So when a benefit is revealed, we (and our partners) are absolutely sure they can deliver that benefit with their finished product.

This process begins with observation: it was observed populations consuming a lot of vitamin K2 had stronger bones and healthier hearts (Rotterdam Study, 2004). While observational data is interesting, that link required more proof. We embarked on intervention studies to compare the difference between groups taking a supplement versus a placebo, and witnessing a physiological outcome—not a marker like cholesterol, but a real change in health compared to a control group.

Take, for example, the unprecedented cardiovascular results from the intervention trial that published in Thrombosis and Haemostasis,1 and the bone results published in Osteorporsis International.2 A 3-year study of 244 healthy post-menopausal women taking 180mcg dose of vitamin K2 as MK-7 daily showed

• Cardiovascular benefits

Using pulse wave velocity and ultrasound techniques, researchers confirmed vitamin K2 not only inhibited age-related stiffening of the artery walls, but also made a statistically significant improvement in vascular elasticity.1 These findings are significant because this is the first time any form of vitamin K has shown these benefits. In fact, to date, no compound has demonstrated these benefits.

• First bone improvement with a nutritional dose

After 3 years of supplementation, maintenance in both bone mineral content and bone mineral density were statistically significant in the MenaQ7 group, as well as statistically improved bone strength. There are 19 published human clinical trials where MenaQ7 was used as the source material confirming human health benefits. We continue to focus on Inter Partes Review (IPR), with patents both granted and pending related to relevant health benefits and market segments.

Science Leads to Marketing

It is important to differentiate that marketing does not beget science. The ultimate goal of research is discovery—whether a study supports one’s desired hypothesis is a different story, but that investment must be made before one can conceive a marketing strategy. Yet even when a hypothesis is confirmed, that does not mean the job is done. This is why every study ends with the statement ‘more research is needed.’ Discovery is a never-ending journey; it must continue.

Vitamin K2 makes bones and hearts healthier. It was observed, then it was proven. More research will be conducted to continue to reinforce those claims, but the work has been done to provide a foundation on which our partners can create confident marketing programs for their products.



1 Knapen MHJ et al. Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 2015; 19;113(5).

2 Knapen et al. Osteoporosis International. 2013 Sep; 24(9):2499-507.

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