Vitamin K reduced artery stiffness

A type of protein in the body, matrix GLA, binds to calcium, preventing it from building up on arterial walls. But matrix GLA requires vitamin K to become active.

In this study, doctors measured levels of inactive matrix GLA—a sign of low vitamin K levels—in 835 Flemish men and women, average age 50. Those with higher levels of inactive matrix GLA had greater signs of calcification of the aorta, which doctors determined by how much or how little the aorta dilated as blood pumped from the heart. Stiffer vessels dilated less, sending faster pulse waves along vessel walls. Faster pulse wave velocity is a sign of greater arterial calcification.

Doctors also measured blood pressure between systolic and diastolic phases, called central pulse pressure. Typically, about 40 mmHg in healthy people, central pulse pressure over 60 mmHg can signal heart and circulatory problems. Those with lower levels of inactive matrix GLA also had lower central pulse pressure readings. 

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