COPENHAGEN: Vitamin K play role in building
bones and blood clotting
research has found that eating a diet rich in vitamin K can lower the risk of
atherosclerosis-related cardiovascular disease (conditions affecting the heart
or blood vessels).
findings of the study were published in the ‘Journal of the American Heart
examined data from more than 50,000 people taking part in the Danish Diet,
Cancer, and Health study over a 23-year period.
investigated whether people who ate more foods containing vitamin K had a lower
risk of cardiovascular disease-related to atherosclerosis (plaque build-up in
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.
found that people with the highest intakes of vitamin K1 were 21 per cent less
likely to be hospitalised with cardiovascular disease related to
vitamin K2, the risk of being hospitalised was 14 per cent lower.
lower risk was seen for all types of heart disease related to atherosclerosis,
particularly for peripheral artery disease at 34 per cent.
researcher and senior author on the study Dr Nicola Bondonno said the findings
suggested that consuming more vitamin K may be important for protection against
atherosclerosis and subsequent cardiovascular disease.
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,” Dr Bondonno said.
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,” Dr Bondonno added.
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,” Dr Bondonno
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
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
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,” Dr Bellinge concluded.
steps in the research
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
there are 10 forms of vitamin K2 found in our diet and each of these may be
absorbed and act differently within our bodies.
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
there is a need for an Australian database on the vitamin K content of
Australian foods (e.g. vegemite and kangaroo).
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.
research is part of ECU’s Institute of Nutrition Research. It was a
collaboration with researchers from the University of Western Australia, Royal
Perth Hospital, Herlev and Gentofte University Hospital in Denmark and the
Danish Cancer Society Research Centre.
Institute for Nutrition Research was established as an ECU Strategic Research
Institute in 2020.