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Vitamin K2 May Help With Vascular Calcification

People with chronic kidney disease are at risk for vascular calcification. A recent study found that supplementing hemodialysis patients with vitamin K2 might reduce their risk of vascular calcification.

Vascular calcification is the accumulation of calcium salts in the arteries, which results in hardening of the arteries.

Participants in the study included 200 chronic hemodialysis patients. Over the course of 8 weeks, they were given either 360, 720, or 1080 ug of the MK-7 form of vitamin K2.

At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found that vitamin K ativated a dormant bodily compound called undercarboxylated MGP, which helps reduce the likelihood of calcification.

Researchers from St. Jan Hospital in Austria conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on November 26, 2013, in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation.

Previous studies have linked vitamin K to bone health, 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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