Evidence that Vitamin K2 Can Benefit Metabolic Syndrome

The prevalence of the Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) continues to increase in the United States and almost one-fourth of the European population is diagnosed. But new research adds to the body of evidence that Vitamin K2 can be a useful strategy for MetS sufferers.

Metabolic Syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of metabolic abnormalities such as increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist, and abnormal cholesterol levels, and is associated with increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and higher all-cause mortality. A healthy lifestyle and diet may prevent MetS, and vitamin K intake has been associated with several components of MetS. High intakes of both phylloquinone and menaquinones have been associated with improved insulin sensitivity and with a more favorable lipoprotein profile. Additionally, recent studies have shown associations of high vitamin K intakes with lower body mass index (BMI) and a more favorable body composition.

To that end, Dam et al. grouped participants aged 40-80 years into two cohorts (one of 402 women and one of 400 men) to examine whether the intake of phylloquinone and menaquinones and vitamin K status are associated with MetS and its individual components both cross-sectionally and longitudinally.

Results of the study showed that high intakes of menaquinones and high vitamin K status were associated with a reduced occurrence of MetS, both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. These associations were mainly driven by triacylglycerol and waist circumference. Meanwhile, phylloquinone and total vitamin K intake were not significantly associated with MetS.

The researchers report that the different associations for phylloquinone and menaquinones might be explained by their transport and distribution over the body. “They are mainly transported in plasma by lipoproteins, from which phylloquinone is effectively cleared by the liver for activation of clotting factors, while menaquinones are redistributed via low density lipoproteins,” they write.

In conclusion, high intakes of vitamin K2 and high vitamin K status were associated with a reduced occurrence of MetS.

Katarzyna Maresz, PhD, president of the International Science and Health Foundation, acknowledges the importance of this study and the difference it can make to millions across the globe. “The medical community already cautions that those exhibiting symptoms of Metabolic Syndrome have to consider aggressive lifestyle changes, which can possibly delay or even prevent the development of serious health problems,” she says. “This study brings us one step closer to seeing how higher Vitamin K2 consumption can help an increasingly large population wrestling with Metabolic Syndrome – providing them with a clearer path to protecting their health.”

Reference: Dam V, Dalmeijer GW, Vermeer C, Drummen NE, Knapen MH, van der Schouw YT, Beulens JW. The association between vitamin K and the metabolic syndrome: a 10-year follow-up study in adults. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2015 Jun;100(6):2472-9. doi: 10.1210/jc.2014-4449. Epub 2015 Apr 2.


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