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Vitamin K protects bones and lowers risk for heart disease

Vitamin K reduced bone fractures, protected bone health and lowered risk for heart disease, in three new studies.

In a review of bone-fracture studies published between 1945 and 2005, researchers reporting in the Archives of Internal Medicine identified seven randomized controlled trials where participants had taken vitamin K2 supplements for more than six months. Researchers combined the data and found that compared to placebo, those who had taken vitamin K2 were 60% less likely to fracture the spine, 77% less likely to fracture the hip and 81% less likely to have any type of non-spinal fracture. The scientists also noted that all but one of 13 vitamin K clinical trials, including the seven fracture studies, found that those who had taken vitamins K1 and K2 had less bone loss compared to placebo.

“As blood-plasma levels of vitamin K1 decreased, the spaces between joints decreased.”

In an osteoarthritis study, researchers analyzed 314 men and 358 women with an average age of 65.6, who were in the Framingham Offspring Study, and found that as the blood-plasma levels of vitamin K1 decreased, the levels of osteoarthritis in the hands and knees increased. Researchers also analyzed the number of bone spurs and the distance between the joints and found that as plasma levels of vitamin K1 decreased, the number of bone spurs increased and the spaces between joints decreased.

In a heart disease study, researchers analyzed 40,087 men who had participated in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study during the years 1986 to 2000 and observed 1,857 heart attacks and 617 strokes. The scientists found that those who had consumed the least vitamin K1 had an average 19% greater risk of heart disease than those who consumed higher levels.

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