From an article by Julius Goepp, M.D. in Life Extension, Sept. 2010 :
The cells lining your arteries (endothelial cells) can turn into bone cells as you age. Known as osteoblasts, these cells normally regulate bone formation. The unexpected discovery of osteoblasts in the endothelial lining of individuals with arterial disease was made in 1993.4 It marked a major advance in our understanding of vascular and bone disease. This finding uncovered a previously unknown link between atherosclerosis, which involves calcification of vascular tissue, and osteoporosis, which involves the decalcification of bone tissue.
… Cutting-edge research points to the central role of two key nutrients to ensure optimal calcification of your bones while preventing pathologic calcification of your arteries: vitamins D and K.
D and K: A Vital Interplay in Bone and Heart Health
In all likelihood, your cardiologist is unaware that the mechanisms underlying arterial calcification closely resemble the process of new bone formation, involving many of the same cells (including osteoblasts), proteins, and cytokines (signaling molecules).
People with osteoporosis are more likely to exhibit atherosclerotic calcification in their blood vessels. And those with atherosclerosis are more likely to possess lower bone mass. What do these groups have in common? Both exhibit insufficient vitamin K levels.
Vitamin D’s role in the formation and maintenance of healthy bone structure and function has been established for decades. It is a vital co-factor in bone mineralization through the absorption of calcium and phosphorus.
…Osteoporosis and atherosclerosis, in other words, both involve insufficiencies of D and K.
A 2009 national health survey found “a strong and independent relationship of vitamin D deficiency with prevalent cardiovascular disease in a large sample representative of the US adult population.”17 Low vitamin D levels have also been implicated in congestive heart failure.