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Vitamin K1 Deficiency May Affect Heart Health in Teens

Left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) is a condition where the major pumping chamber of the heart becomes enlarged, wall thickness increases and the amount of blood pumped out decreases. A recent study suggests that low intake of vitamin K1 may be associated with a higher risk of enlargement of the left ventricle of the heart in teenagers.


Participants in the study included 766 teenagers between the ages of 14 and 18. They were separated into three groups based on vitamin K1 intake. The researchers used dietary recall to determine vitamin K1 intake. They also used echocardiography to measure left ventricular structure and function. Only 25% of the participants had adequate intake levels, which were more than 75 micrograms per day.


After adjusting for potentially confounding factors, the researchers determined that the teenagers in the lowest consumption group (less than 42 micrograms per day of vitamin K2) had a 3.3 higher risk of LVH than those consuming the most (more than 90 micrograms per day).


They also found significantly lower left ventricular mass index and wall thickness in the group with the highest vitamin K1 intake. Additionally, two measures of left ventricular function were significantly poorer in the lowest intake group.


Researchers from the Medical College of Georgia conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on August 9, 2017, in The Journal of Nutrition.


Previous studies suggest that vitamin K1 may help with bone and heart health. It can be found in leafy green vegetables, such as kale, collards, mustard greens, and spinach. It can also be take in supplement form.

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