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Vitamin K1 Linked With Improved Memory

A bit of memory loss as we age is natural but if you’re finding that you frequently can’t find your keys, you may want to increase your intake of vitamin K1. A recent study has found that higher blood levels of vitamin K1 may improve episodic memory in healthy older adults.

Episodic memory is being able to remember events within their spatio-temporal context, for example, the ability to remember where and when you put something down.

Participants in the study included 320 older adults who were part of the Quebec Longitudinal Study on Nutrition and Successful Aging (NuAge). The researchers found that the individuals with the highest levels of vitamin K1 scored best on verbal episodic memory and a 20-minute delayed free recall trial.

No other brain health benefits were correlated with vitamin K levels in this study.

Researchers from the University of Montreal conducted the study. It was published in the December 2013 issue of Neurobiology of Aging.

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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