Research from the New Edith Cowan Univ. has shown that people who consume a diet high in Vitamin K have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 34%. The study was done over a 23-year time frame involving data from over 50,000 participants. The Danish Diet, Cancer and Health study examined the results from people consuming foods that are high in vitamin K.
Vitamin K consists of two types. Vitamin K1 is basically from vegetable oils and green leafy vegetables. Vitamin K2 comes primarily from eggs, meat and fermented foods which include cheese.
The results from the study indicated participants that had the highest consumption of vitamin K1 were less likely to be hospitalized by 21% due to cardiovascular disease. This included all types of heart disease relating to atherosclerosis, and peripheral artery disease showed 34% lower. The risk of being hospitalized by the consumption of high levels of vitamin K2 was much lower, at 14%.
Currently there is not much data on the content of vitamin K2 in foods. Vitamin K2 consists of 10 different forms in food, which all can act differently and be absorbed in our bodies. This will be the next phase of the study and will require improving and developing databases on the content foods have of vitamin K2 in them.
The current guidelines for consuming vitamin K are normally based on the level of vitamin K a person can consume to make sure their blood can coagulate. But the current research suggests that consuming more of vitamin K than the guidelines show can help protect against diseases such as atherosclerosis. Vitamin K decreases the calcium buildup in the body where the major arteries are that can lead to vascular calcification. The study cited that more research will need to be done to completely understand the process.
The study notes how important the effects of vitamin K are in relation to strokes, heart attacks and peripheral artery disease. Heart disease is a leading cause of death and it is still not fully understood how different vitamins in food affects the risk of getting it. But this study does shed some light on the importance of a healthy diet and consuming foods high in vitamin K has on preventing it.
We suggest taking a Vitamin K supplement every day that includes both K1 and K2. The later is available in two different forms Vitamin K2 MK4 and Vitamin K2 MK7. It takes a much lower dose of MK7 so it is generally more common in supplements. The best Vitamin K supplement will include K1, K2 MK4 and K2 MK7. Second choice would be to take K1 and K2 MK7.
To view the original scientific study click below:
Vitamin K Intake and Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease in the Danish Diet Cancer and Health Study