Growing Evidence That Vitamin K Improves Heart Health

Vitamin K

New research suggests a diet high in vitamin K may lower atherosclerosis-related cardiovascular disease risk by up to 34 percent.

New Edith Cowan University (ECU) research has found that people who eat a diet rich in vitamin K have up to a 34 percent lower risk of atherosclerosis-related cardiovascular disease (conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels).

New Edith Cowan University (ECU) research has found that people who eat a diet rich in vitamin K have up to a 34 percent lower risk of atherosclerosis-related cardiovascular disease (conditions affecting the heart or blood vessels).

Researchers examined data from more than 50,000 people taking part in the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health study over a 23-year period. They investigated whether people who ate more foods containing vitamin K had a lower risk of cardiovascular disease related to atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in the arteries).

There are two types of vitamin K found in foods we eat: vitamin K1 comes primarily from green leafy vegetables and vegetable oils while vitamin K2 is found in meat, eggs, and fermented foods such as cheese.

The study found that people with the highest intakes of vitamin K1 were 21 percent less likely to be hospitalized with cardiovascular disease related to atherosclerosis.

For vitamin K2, the risk of being hospitalized was 14 percent lower.

This lower risk was seen for all types of heart disease related to atherosclerosis, particularly for peripheral artery disease at 34 percent.

ECU researcher and senior author on the study Dr. Nicola Bondonno said the findings 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,” she said.

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

“Although more research is needed to fully understand the process, we believe that vitamin K works by protecting against the calcium build-up in the major arteries of the body leading to vascular calcification.”

University of Western Australia researcher Dr. Jamie Bellinge, the first author on 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.

“Cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of death in Australia and there’s still a limited understanding of the importance of different vitamins found in food and their effect on heart attacks, strokes, and peripheral artery disease,” Dr. Bellinge said.

“These findings shed light on the potentially important effect that vitamin K has on the killer disease and reinforces the importance of a healthy diet in preventing it.”

Next steps in the research

Dr. Bondonno said that while databases on the vitamin K1 content of foods are very comprehensive, there is currently much less data on the vitamin K2 content of foods. Furthermore, there are 10 forms of vitamin K2 found in our diet and each of these may be absorbed and act differently within our bodies.

“The next phase of the research will involve developing and improving databases on the vitamin K2 content of foods.

“More research into the different dietary sources and effects of different types of vitamin K2 is a priority,” Dr. Bondonno said.

Additionally, there is a need for an Australian database on the vitamin K content of Australian foods (e.g. vegemite and kangaroo).

To address this need, Dr. Marc Sim, a collaborator on the study, has just finished developing an Australian database on the vitamin K content of foods which will be published soon.

The paper ‘Vitamin K intake and atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease in the Danish Diet Cancer and Health Study’ was published in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The research is part of ECU’s Institute of Nutrition Research.

Reference: “Vitamin K Intake and Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease in the Danish Diet Cancer and Health Study” by Jamie W. Bellinge, Frederik Dalgaard, Kevin Murray, Emma Connolly, Lauren C. Blekkenhorst, Catherine P. Bondonno, Joshua R. Lewis, Marc Sim, Kevin D. Croft, Gunnar Gislason, Christian Torp‐Pedersen, Anne Tjønneland, Kim Overvad, Jonathan M. Hodgson, Carl Schultz and Nicola P. Bondonno, 7 August 2021, Journal of the American Heart Association.
DOI: 10.1161/JAHA.120.020551

It was a collaboration with researchers from the University of Western Australia, Royal Perth Hospital, Herlev & Gentofte University Hospital in Denmark and the Danish Cancer Society Research Centre.

The Institute for Nutrition Research was established as an ECU Strategic Research Institute in 2020.

1 Comment on "Growing Evidence That Vitamin K Improves Heart Health"

  1. New Edith Cowan University (ECU) research has observed that individuals who eat an eating regimen plentiful in nutrient K have up to a 34 percent lower hazard of atherosclerosis-related cardiovascular infection (conditions influencing the heart or veins).

    Scientists analyzed information from in excess of 50,000 individuals participating in the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health study more than a 23-year time span. They researched whether individuals who ate more food sources containing nutrient K had a lower hazard of cardiovascular illness connected with atherosclerosis (plaque develop in the corridors).

    There are two kinds of nutrient K found in food varieties we eat: nutrient K1 comes essentially from green verdant vegetables and vegetable oils while nutrient K2 is found in meat, eggs, and aged food sources like cheddar.

    The investigation discovered that individuals with the most noteworthy admissions of nutrient K1 were 21% more averse to be hospitalized with cardiovascular infection connected with atherosclerosis.

    For nutrient K2, the danger of being hospitalized was 14% lower.

    This lower hazard was seen for a wide range of coronary illness connected with atherosclerosis, especially for fringe vein infection at 34%.

    ECU specialist and senior creator on the review Dr. Nicola Bondonno said the discoveries propose that devouring more nutrient K might be significant for security against atherosclerosis and ensuing cardiovascular infection.

    “Current dietary rules for the utilization of nutrient K are by and large just dependent on how much nutrient K1 an individual ought to devour to guarantee that their blood can coagulate,” she said.

    “In any case, there is developing proof that admissions of nutrient K over the flow rules can bear the cost of additional assurance against the advancement of different sicknesses, like atherosclerosis.

    “Albeit more examination is expected to completely comprehend the cycle, we accept that nutrient K works by ensuring against the calcium develop in the significant veins of the body prompting vascular calcification.”

    College of Western Australia scientist Dr. Jamie Bellinge, the primary creator on the review, said the job of nutrient K in cardiovascular wellbeing and especially in vascular calcification is a space of exploration offering promising expectation for what’s to come.

    “Cardiovascular illness stays a main source of death in Australia there’s as yet a restricted comprehension of the significance of various nutrients found in food and their impact on respiratory failures, strokes, and fringe corridor sickness,” Dr. Bellinge said.

    “These discoveries shed light on the possibly significant impact that nutrient K has on the executioner illness and supports the significance of a sound eating regimen in forestalling it.”

    Following stages in the exploration
    Dr. Bondonno said that while information bases on the nutrient K1 content of food sources are extremely complete, there is at present substantially less information on the nutrient K2 content of food sources. Moreover, there are 10 types of nutrient K2 found in our eating routine and each of these might be retained and act contrastingly inside our bodies.

    “The following period of the exploration will include creating and further developing data sets on the nutrient K2 content of food sources.

    “More examination into the diverse dietary sources and impacts of various sorts of nutrient K2 is fundamentally important,” Dr. Bondonno said.

    Also, there is a requirement for an Australian information base on the nutrient K substance of Australian food sources (for example vegemite and kangaroo).

    To address this need, Dr. Marc Sim, a partner on the review, has quite recently wrapped up fostering an Australian information base on the nutrient K substance of food varieties which will be distributed soon.

    The paper ‘Nutrient K admission and atherosclerotic cardiovascular infection in the Danish Diet Cancer and Health Study’ was distributed in the Journal of the American Heart Association. The exploration is important for ECU’s Institute of Nutrition Research.

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