The Bone-Vasculature Axis: Calcium Supplementation and the Role of Vitamin K.
Calcium supplements are broadly prescribed to treat osteoporosis either as monotherapy or together with vitamin D to enhance calcium absorption. It is still unclear whether calcium supplementation significantly contributes to the reduction of bone fragility and fracture risk. Data suggest that supplementing post-menopausal women with high doses of calcium has a detrimental impact on cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients are prone to vascular calcification in part due to impaired phosphate excretion. Calcium-based phosphate binders further increase risk of vascular calcification progression. In both bone and vascular tissue, vitamin K-dependent processes play an important role in calcium homeostasis and it is tempting to speculate that vitamin K supplementation might protect from the potentially untoward effects of calcium supplementation. This review provides an update on current literature on calcium supplementation among post-menopausal women and CKD patients and discusses underlying molecular mechanisms of vascular calcification. We propose therapeutic strategies with vitamin K2 treatment to prevent or hold progression of vascular calcification as a consequence of excessive calcium intake.
Front Cardiovasc Med. 2019 Feb 5;6:6. doi: 10.3389/fcvm.2019.00006. eCollection 2019.