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Europe: Vitamin K2 shown to impact health

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A high intake of menaquinones (vitamin K2) was associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease, at least in hypertensive participants, while high intake of phylloquinone (vitamin K1) was not associated with any reduced risks, according to a study published in Clinical Nutrition.

“As with the Rotterdam Study (2004) and Prospect-EPIC Study (2009), a link has been established between intake of long-chain menaquinones and cardiovascular health,” says Hogne Vik, chief medical officer with NattoPharma.

“Improving one’s K2 status results in less calcification of the arteries and soft tissues, leading to improved long-term health outcomes.”

“These benefits are recognized with Vitamin K2, but not K1, which is important because there is a misconception that daily recommended intake (RDI) of the vitamin K1 is sufficient to protect the arteries for developing arterial diseases.”

“This is not the case, since vitamin K1 is only documented and recognized to meet our needs for coagulation.”

“It is, however, vitamin K2, the menaquinones, that are responsible for the cardiovascular benefits, and not vitamin K1,” adds Vik.

This prospective cohort study included 33,289 participants from the EPIC-NL cohort, aged 20-70 years at baseline and recruited between 1993 and 1997.

Dietary intake was assessed at baseline with a validated food frequency questionnaire and intakes of phylloquinone, and total, short-chain and long-chain menaquinones were calculated.