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Vitamin K1 May Improve Blood Sugar in Pre-Diabetic Women

Recent studies have reported that a relationship exists between osteocalcin levels and insulin resistance. A recent study suggests that taking vitamin K1 supplements may increase osteocalcin levels and improve glycemic status and insulin sensitivity in premenopausal and pre-diabetic women.

Osteocalcin is a vitamin K-dependent protein that remains inactive without adequate vitamin K levels. 

Participants in the study included 82 pre-diabetic and premenopausal women who were given either 1,000 mcg of vitamin K1 or a placebo daily for four weeks.

At the end of the supplement period, the researchers noted increased levels of osteocalcin. They also noted lower levels of uncarboxylated osteocalcin, the inactive form of osteocalcin. Uncarboxylated osteocalcin is a marker for the risk of hip fracture.

When the researchers administered the two-hour post-oral glucose tolerance test, they noted improvements in glucose and insulin levels in the vitamin K group. They also noted increases in insulin sensitivity in the vitamin K group.

They did not, however, observe any changes in insulin resistance.

Researchers from the Ahvaz Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences in Iran conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on March 18, 2015, in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Previous studies have linked vitamin K to bone and cardiovascular health and 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 about 90% of the vitamin K consumption in a western diet.

Vitamin K2 is harder to come by and therefore makes up only 10% of consumption. It is most common in fermented foods like 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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