Vitamin K enriched diet lower risk of cardiovascular disease

Growing evidence of Vitamin K value for heart health.


According to a new study, intake of Vitamin K-rich foods significantly lowers the risk of heart disease. The study conducted by the scientists from The University of Western Australia and Edith Cowan University indicates that such a diet lowers the risk of atherosclerosis-related cardiovascular disease by almost 34%.

Atherosclerosis is one of the major causes of cardiovascular disease. It is a chronic inflammatory condition that develops when plaque builds up in the walls of the arteries. The buildup of plaque narrows the arteries, making it harder for blood to flow through. Sometimes, this forms a blood clot, obstructing blood flow and leads to heart attack or stroke.

For the study, scientists studied data from more than 50,000 people. These people took part in the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health study over 23 years. They determined whether people who ate more Vitamin K-rich foods had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease related to atherosclerosis.

The two primary forms found in the human diet are K1 and K2. Vitamin K1 comes primarily from green leafy vegetables and vegetable oils. On the other hand, vitamin K2 comes from meat, eggs, and fermented foods such as cheese.

UWA researcher Dr. Jamie Bellinge, a co-author of the study, said, “The role of vitamin K in cardiovascular health and particularly in vascular calcification is an area of research offering promising hope for the future and one his team is focused on.”

“Cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of death. There’s still a limited understanding of the importance of different vitamins found in food and their effect on heart health.”

“The effect that vitamin K has on the killer disease and reinforces the importance of a healthy diet in preventing it.”

Scientists found that people who intake more Vitamin K1 rich diet have a 21% lower risk of cardiovascular disease-related to atherosclerosis. On the other hand, people who intake more vitamin K2 enriched food tend to have a 14% lower risk. This lower risk was seen for all types of heart disease, particularly for peripheral artery disease at 34%.

ECU researcher Dr. Nicola Bondonno said, “the results suggest that consuming more vitamin K may be important for protection against atherosclerosis and subsequent cardiovascular disease.”

“Current dietary guidelines for the consumption of vitamin K are generally only based on the amount of vitamin K1 a person should consume to ensure that their blood can coagulate.”

“However, there’s growing evidence that intakes of vitamin K above the current guidelines can afford further protection against the development of other diseases, such as atherosclerosis.”

“More research could help us understand the process completely. We believe that vitamin K works by protecting against the calcium buildup in the major arteries of the body.”

Journal Reference:
  1. Jamie W. Bellinge et al. Vitamin K Intake and Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease in the Danish Diet Cancer and Health Study. DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.120.020551
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