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Low Levels of Vitamin K and Vitamin D Associated With High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease, the leading killer in the United States. A recent study suggests that having low levels of both vitamin D and vitamin K may be associated with higher blood pressure and an increased risk of developing hypertension.

Participants in the study included 402 people with incident hypertension and 231 participants who did not have hypertension at the beginning of the study. All of the participants took part in the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam, which included Dutch people between the ages of 55 and 65 and included 6.4 years of data collection.

After examining the data, the researchers determined that low levels of vitamin D and vitamin K were associated with a 4.8 mmHg increase in systolic blood pressure and a 3.1 mmHg increase in diastolic blood pressure. They also found that low levels of the vitamins were associated with a 62% increase in risk of incident hypertension.

Researchers from University Medical Center Utrecht led the study. It was published online ahead of print on April 10, 2017, in the journal Hypertension.

Previous studies have associated vitamin D with improved lipid profiles in diabetics, lower risk of asthma and allergies in children, reducing the risk of skin damage, reducing the risk of osteoporosis, combating diabetes, lower risk of cognitive decline, and improving age-related macular degeneration.

Vitamin D can be found in milk, fortified cereals, fish, and eggs. Your body also processes vitamin D from the sun but it becomes harder for our bodies to process it as we age. A high-quality vitamin D supplement is also a good option if you feel that you’re not getting enough through diet and sun.

Previous studies have linked vitamin K to bone and cardiovascular health, as well as a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Vitamin K comes in two main forms: K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (menaquinones). Vitamin K1 is found in green leafy vegetables and makes up approximately 90% of the vitamin K consumption in a western diet.

Vitamin K2 is harder to attain from food sources and therefore makes up only 10% of consumption. It is most common in fermented foods such as cheese but can also be found in meat and soybeans. Both vitamin K1 and K2 are also available in supplement form.

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