Appropriate nutraceutical combinations may represent a valid approach to prevent vascular calcification associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD). In the present study, we tested the effect of a new nutraceutical combination named RenaTris®, containing MK-7, magnesium carbonate, and Sucrosomial® Iron, on vascular calcification in uremic rats. Rats were randomly divided into three groups, i.e. control (high-phosphate diet), uremic (high-phosphate diet containing 0.5% adenine), and supplemented uremic diet (0.5% adenine, MK-7, magnesium carbonate, and Sucrosomial® Iron). After six weeks, sera and vascular calcification were examined. The uremic diet increased creatinine and phosphate levels and induced extensive vascular calcification. The uremic condition also induced a mild hypercholesterolemic condition (+52% of total cholesterol; p < 0.05). The supplemented uremic diet did not reduce creatinine, phosphate levels, or vascular calcification, however, we observed a significant hypocholesterolemic effect (−18.9% in supplemental uremic vs. uremic diet; p < 0.05). Similar to simvastatin, incubation of cultured human hepatoma cells (Huh7) with MK-7 significantly reduced cholesterol biosynthesis (−38%) and induced 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-CoA (HMG-CoA) reductase and low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) at both mRNA and protein levels. The effect of MK-7 on LDLR was counteracted by the co-incubation with squalene. Unlike simvastatin, MK-7 reduced PCSK9 in Huh7. These results indicated that the new nutraceutical combination significantly impacts cholesterol metabolism and its supplementation may help to control mild hypercholesterolemic conditions in CKD patients.
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