A new study published in the journal Cureus found vitamin K2 was inversely correlated with early cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality to the same degree that tobacco use was positively correlated. (Cureus. 2016;8(8):e748)
“Nutrition researchers recently recognized that vitamin K2 deficiency is widespread and contributes to CVD," said Hogne Vik, chief medical officer with NattoPharma, leader in vitamin K2 R&D and exclusive global supplier of MenaQ7® vitamin K2 as MK-7. “The recent study, where multiple regression analysis of female and male cohort data worldwide (168 countries) have been used to relate early death from CVD with major CVD risk factors, has once more confirmed the importance of regular intake of vitamin K2 to secure a healthy CV system."
For the trial, researchers used publicly available sources to collect food commodity availability data and derive nutrient profiles including vitamin K2 for people from 168 countries. They also collected female and male cohort data on early death from CVD (ages 15 to 64 years), insufficient physical activity, tobacco, biometric CVD risk markers, socioeconomic risk factors for CVD, and gender.
The outcome measures included: 1) univariate correlations of early death from CVD with each risk factor; 2) a multiple regression-derived formula relating early death from CVD (dependent variable) to macronutrient profile, vitamin K1 and K2 and other risk factors (independent variables); 3) for each risk factor appearing in the multiple regression formula, the portion of CVD risk attributable to that factor; and, 4) similar univariate and multivariate analyses of body mass index (BMI), fasting blood sugar (FBS) (simulated from diabetes prevalence), systolic blood pressure (SBP), and cholesterol/HDLC ratio (simulated from serum cholesterol) (dependent variables) and dietary and other risk factors (independent variables).
Results showed female and male cohorts in countries that have vitamin K2 intakes of less than 5μg per 2000 kcal/d per capita (n = 70) had about 2.2 times the rate of early CVD deaths as people in countries with intakes of greater than 24 μg/d of vitamin K2 per 2000 kcal/day (n = 72). A multiple regression-derived formula relating early death from CVD to dietary nutrients and other risk factors accounted for about 50% of the variance between cohorts in early CVD death. The attributable risks of the variables in the CVD early death formula were: too much alcohol (0.38 percent); too little vitamin K2 (6.95 percent); tobacco (6.87 percent); high blood pressure (9.01 percent); air pollution (9.15 percent); early childhood death (3.64 percent); poverty (7.66 percent), and male gender (6.13 percent).
The authors concluded worldwide dietary vitamin K2 data derived from food commodities add much understanding to the analysis of CVD risk factors and the etiology of CVD.
“It is important to open the eyes of nutritionists and add Vitamin K2 information to nutrition tables," added Vik. “Supplementing with products containing [vitamin K2] is a viable route to combatting vitamin K2 deficiency, but the problem of concretely identifying this deficiency in the population remains a hurdle. Our hope is that the activity of vitamin K-dependent proteins, such as dpucMGP or ucOC, should become an accessible test for any physician to administer, and would be recognized by the medical community as a way to identify vitamin K deficiency."
Vik pointed to a three-year interventional study that confirmed adding that adding vitamin K2 to a diet daily improves arterial health and flexibility.(Thrombosis and Haemostasis. 2015;113(5):1135-1144)
The benefits of vitamin K2, along with market opportunities for this under consumed nutrient, were recently discussed at SupplySide West in Las Vegas, Oct. 4 to 8, during the “Understandings and Market Opportunities Around Vitamin K2" workshop. For a glimpse at the discussion, download INSIDER’s Digital Magazine, “Exploring the Health Effects of Vitamin K2."