A Northern Medical Program associate professor has earned a second international research prize.
Dr. Jacqueline Pettersen received Dr. Wolfgang Hevert Prize in Baden-Baden, Germany on Nov. 3 for a proposed study on vitamins D and K2 in relation to cognition.
The prize, which includes an endowment worth $15,000 is awarded for a planned scientific study which seeks to clarify questions in the field of natural medicine and associated therapies.
"This will be the first study to directly assess the effects of vitamin K2 supplementation in conjunction with vitamin D on cognition," said Pettersen, a cognitive-behavioural neurologist.
"This project will build upon my previous research on vitamin D and cognition. It is certainly validating that internationally recognized experts in the field feel that the study is very worthwhile."
She is the first researcher from North America to receive the prize since its inception in 2006. In May, she received the Fritz Wrwag research prize in Berlin.
Her proposed trial will look at evaluating the effects on cognition of vitamin D alone, and vitamin D combined with vitamin K2, as compared to a placebo control, in normal healthy adults.
"Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 are known to work in a complementary fashion in terms of bone mineralization and prevention of arterial calcification and related atherosclerosis," she said. "There is some suggestion that K2 may also have beneficial effects in the brain and on cognition and these effects may possibly be increased by vitamin D.
"Thus, vitamin D and K2 together might be even more effective than just vitamin D by itself. Insufficiencies of both vitamins are thought to be common worldwide and associated with cognitive decline and dementia. There have been no prior studies assessing the effects of K2 supplementation on cognition, either with or without vitamin D."
The prize is awarded every two years and is dedicated to the work of the Hevert siblings' father, Dr. Wolfgang Hevert.