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|Emma McGowan NatureCity author & contributor|
Previous studies have been inconclusive regarding the effects of vitamin K2 on heart and bone health. Now a 3 year clinical trial suggests that natural forms of vitamin K2 are good for both your heart and your bones.
The research was conducted at Maastricht University and was presented at Vitafoods Europe 2012, which took place the week of May 22, 2012.
Participants in the study included 244 postmenopausal women with no other known health problems. The women were split into two groups, with one group consuming 180 mcg of vitamin K2 and the other taking a placebo for three years.
During the three year trial period, the researchers measured bone mineral density, bone strength and vascular characteristics using ultrasound and pulse-wave velocity. They found that the vitamin K2 group exhibited prevention of age-related arterial stiffening, improved vascular elasticity and improved bone density when compared with the placebo group.
However, the effects were only seen after two to three years of supplementation. The researchers posit that this is why previous studies, which had much shorter durations, did not show similar results.
While a large part of the research into vitamin K focuses on heart and bone health, previous studies have linked vitamin K with reducing the risk of diabetes and lower risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Vitamin K in the form of vitamin K1 is found in green leafy vegetables. Vitamin K in the form of vitamin K2 is most common in fermented foods like cheese but can also be found in meat and soybeans. You can also get your daily dose of vitamin K in supplement form.
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