A high menaquinone intake reduces the incidence of coronary heart disease. (Gast GC et al.)

While vitamin K-dependent proteins have been demonstrated to inhibit vascular calcification, researchers sought to build on the data showing the effect of vitamin K intake specifically on coronary heart disease (CHD). Specifically, to examine the relationship between dietary vitamins K(1) and K(2) intake, and its subtypes, and the incidence of CHD.

Using data from the Prospect-EPIC cohort consisting of 16,057 women, enrolled between 1993 and 1997 and aged 49-70 years, who were free of cardiovascular diseases at baseline. Intake of vitamin K and other nutrients was estimated with a food frequency questionnaire. Researchers identified 480 incident cases of CHD after a mean +/-SD follow-up of 8.1+/-1.6 years .

Mean vitamin K(1) intake was 211.7+/-100.3 microg/d and vitamin K(2) intake was 29.1+/-12.8 microg/d. After adjustment for traditional risk factors and dietary factors, it was observed that an inverse association between vitamin K(2) and risk of CHD. This association was mainly due to vitamin K(2) subtypes MK-7, MK-8, and MK-9. Vitamin K(1) intake was not significantly related to CHD.

The researchers therefore concluded that a high intake of menoquinones, especially MK-7, MK-8, and MK-9, could protect against CHD. However, more research is necessary to define optimal intake levels of vitamin K intake for the prevention of CHD.

Reference: Gast GC, de Roos NM, Sluijs I, Bots ML, Beulens JW, Geleijnse JM, Witteman JC, Grobbee DE, Peeters PH, van der Schouw YT. A high menaquinone intake reduces the incidence of coronary heart disease. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2009 Sep;19(7):504-10.

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