The synergistic association between vitamin D and vitamin K with incident hypertension (Van Ballegooijen et al.)

A group of Dutch scientists from the Department of Health Sciences of the VU University Amsterdam conducted research on the synergistic effect of vitamin D and vitamin K in lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of hypertension. They have shared their observations with the audience of the 26th Scientific Meeting of the International Society of Hypertension in Seoul (ISH 2016), and a summary of this very interesting oral presentation has recently been published in the Journal of Hypertension.1

Vitamins D and K have a wide range of versatile homeostatic capacities at the organ, tissue, and cellular levels, and their involvement in calcium homeostasis and cardiovascular health is well described. Nonetheless, the role of both vitamins in correlation to hypertension has not been studied before. The aim of this research was to assess whether serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] levels and dephosphorylated, uncarboxylated matrix Gla protein (dp-ucMGP) levels – an established marker of vitamin K2 status – are associated with incident hypertension among older adults in the Netherlands.

In order to perform their study the authors used data from the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA), a population-based, prospective cohort with baseline measurements obtained between 2002 and 2003 and 3 follow-up exams. The level of 25(OH)D and dp-ucMGP was measured  in serum samples from 257 men and women, aged 55 to 65 years free of prevalent cardiovascular disease, hypertension and use of anti-hypertensive medication.  The correlation between incident hypertension and the level of vitamin D3 and K2 deficiency marker was evaluated through 2012. During a median follow-up of 6.1 years, 52% of the cohort developed hypertension. The low level of 25(OH)D < 50 nmol/L and high vitamin K deficiency ( dp-ucMGP ≥310 nmol/L) was associated with a greater hazard ratio for incident hypertension.

“Experimental and epidemiological studies suggest that vitamin D deficiency is correlated with the risk of high blood pressure, however some other studies show that supplementation with vitamin D alone is ineffective as an agent for decreasing hypertension,” says Dr. Katarzyna Maresz, president of the International Science and Health Foundation. “Synergistic supplementation of chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients with vitamin D3 and K2 is beneficial for their cardiovascular system2, so both vitamins (D3 and K2) might also be efficient to influence the blood pressure. Randomized controlled trials should be planned to evaluate this hypothesis.”


Van Ballegooijen, Adriana; Van Schoor, Natasja; Brouwer, Ingeborg; Visser, Marjolein; Beulens, Joline. OS 06-09 THE SYNERGISTIC ASSOCIATION BETWEEN VITAMIN D AND VITAMIN K WITH INCIDENT HYPERTENSION. Journal of Hypertension Vol 34, e-Supplement 1, ISH 2016 Abstract Book:e64, September 2016, doi:10.1097/01.hjh.0000500019.61626.b3

Kurnatowska I, Grzelak P, Masajtis Zagajewska A, Kaczmarska M, Stefańczyk L, Vermeer C, Maresz K, Nowicki M. Effect of vitamin K2 on progression of atherosclerosis and vascular calcification in nondialyzed patients with chronic kidney disease stage 35. Pol Arch Med Wewn. 2015 Jul 15. pii: AOP_15_066. [Epub ahead of print]

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