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Low Vitamin K2 May Equal Smoking As Heart Disease Risk Factor

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. A recent study claims that vitamin K2 deficiency is as a big a risk for heart disease as smoking cigarettes.

For the study, the researchers examined publicly available data on food intake from 168 countries. They inferred nutrient intake profiles from the data, and then correlated that information with records of early death (from ages 15 to 64) from cardiovascular disease. They also cross-referenced the correlation with other risk factors, including insufficient physical activity, tobacco use, biometric CVD risk markers, socioeconomic risk factors, and gender.

After examining all of the data, the researchers found that people with very low levels of vitamin K2 intake had a 2.2 times higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than people from countries with high vitamin K2 intakes. They also found that too much alcohol was responsible for 0.38% of the deaths, too little vitamin K2 for 6.95%, tobacco for 6.87%, high blood pressure for 9.01%, air pollution for 9.15%, early childhood death for 3.64%, poverty for 7.66%, and male gender for 6.13%.

Researchers from Internal Medicine, LA County, conducted the study. It was published on August 24, 2016, in the journal Cureus.

Previous studies have linked vitamin K to bone and cardiovascular health, as well as a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Vitamin K2 is hard 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. It is also available in supplement form.

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