Vitamin K2 May Increase Cardiac Output in Athletes
When we exercise, our hearts beat faster and harder. That’s called cardiac output, and a higher cardiac output means that an athlete can perform better and longer. A recent study suggests that taking vitamin K2 supplements may increase cardiac output in aerobically trained adults by as much as 12%.
Participants in the study included 26 athletes who were given either 300 mg of vitamin K2 daily for four weeks followed by four more weeks of 150 mg of vitamin K2 per day or a placebo for eight weeks. All of the participants were instructed to follow their usual exercise routines during the study period.
The participants completed a standard, graded exercise test on an electronically braked cycle ergometer at the beginning and end of the study. During that test, researchers measured oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, respiratory rate, and respiratory exchange ratio. The participants also wore skin-mounted electrodes that measured noninvasive cardiac output, stroke volume, and heart rate during the test.
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted that the vitamin K2 supplement group had an average 12% increase in maximal cardiac output. They also noted a trend toward lower levels of lactate in the blood in the vitamin K2 group, when compared with the placebo.
Researchers from the University of North Texas conducted the study. It was published in the July 2017 issue of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.
Previous studies have linked vitamin K2 to bone and cardiovascular health, as well as a reduced risk of prostate cancer. Vitamin K2 can be found in fermented foods such as cheese but can also be found in meat and soybeans. It is also available in supplement form.