Vitamin K2 Supplementation Associated With Improved Cardiovascular Health
Vitamin K2 is necessary for the activation of matrix Gla protein (MGP), which binds to calcium and protects blood vessels from calcification. A recent study suggests that taking a daily dose of vitamin K2 may help improve vascular health, as measured by inactive levels of MGP (dp-ucMGP ).
Participants in the study included 243 people, 77 of whom were men and 166 of whom were women. All of the participants had poor vitamin K status at the onset of the study. For a full year, half of the group was given 180 µg/day of vitamin K, while the other half was given a placebo.
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers noted a significant decrease in dp-ucMGP in the vitamin K group, when compared with the placebo. The participants in the vitamin K group also maintained arterial flexibility. The results were most pronounced in postmenopausal women and people with a high arterial stiffness index.
Researchers from VitaK conducted the study.
Previous studies have linked vitamin K to bone and cardiovascular health, as well as 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 approximately 90% of the vitamin K consumption in a western diet.
Vitamin K2 is harder to attain from food sources and therefore makes up only 10% of consumption. It is most common in fermented foods such as cheese but can also be found in meat and soybeans. Both vitamin K1 and K2 are also available in supplement form.