The Association of Low Vitamin K Status with Mortality in a Cohort of 138 Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19 (Linneberg A et al.)

There has been a hypothesis recently that vitamin K2 may play a role in countering the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, since low vitamin K2 status was associated with increased fatality risk in patients diagnosed with this disease. Results of a cohort study that aimed to test this hypothesis in hospitalized COVID-19 patients compared to controls have been published in Nutrients.1

The authors conducted their investigation by measuring plasma dephosphorylated-uncarboxylated Matrix Gla Protein (dp-ucMGP), which reflects the functional vitamin K status in peripheral tissue, in a cohort of 138 COVID-19 patients and 138 population controls. The outcome of this study showed that levels of dp-ucMGP differed significantly between patients who survived (mean 877; 95% CI: 778; 995) and those who died (mean 1445; 95% CI: 1148; 1820). Moreover, levels of dp-ucMGP (pmol/L) were noticeably higher in patients (mean 1022; 95% CI: 912; 1151) compared to controls (mean 509; 95% CI: 485; 540).

After completing the analysis, the researchers confirmed that deficiency of vitamin K predicts higher mortality among patients with COVID-19. “Supplementation with vitamin K represents an inexpensive and simple-to-use add-on to other treatments, and it would therefore be interesting to explore whether vitamin K supplementation in addition to other treatment can improve the outcome of COVID-19,” they concluded.

“Results of this study imply that insufficient vitamin K-dependent MGP activation may lead to higher elastic fibre degradation rates and a more severe pulmonary damage,” says Dr. Katarzyna Maresz, president of the International Science and Health Foundation.

Currently three clinical trials aiming to investigate effects of vitamin K2 in COVID-19 infection are underway. Two of them included vitamin D3 in the process:

  • The Dutch double blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial (KOVIT) is conducted in Canisius-Wilhelmina Hospital uses vitamin K2 in the form of menaquinone-7 (MK-7). For two weeks or until discharge, whichever occurs earlier, patients with COVID-19 will receive either three tablets of MK-7 each containing 333mcg or three tablets of placebo per day.2
  • Participants of a Canadian trial will receive the following supplements for a period of 21 days: vitamin D3 (50,000 IU cholecalciferol on day 1 of the intervention period), a combination of vitamin C and zinc (6 g ascorbic acid and 75 mg zinc acetate per day), or a combination of vitamin K2 and vitamin D3 (240mcg MK-7 and 1,000 units cholecalciferol per day).3
  • An Indian trial will study the safety and efficacy of vitamin D3 (60,000 I U cholecalciferol/weekly for 5 weeks), vitamin K2-MK-7 (100 mcg/day for 5 weeks) and magnesium (magnesium glycinate 250 mg/day for 5 weeks) in prevention of COVID-19 infection in health care professionals.4

“The results of these trials shall bring answers whether vitamins K2 and D3 can improve COVID-19 outcome and be a strategy for prophylaxis, too,” Dr. Maresz explains.


  1. Linneberg A, Kampmann FB, Israelsen SB, Andersen LR, Jørgensen HL, Sandholt H, Jørgensen NR, Thysen SM, Benfield T. The Association of Low Vitamin K Status with Mortality in a Cohort of 138 Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19. 2021 Jun 9;13(6):1985. doi: 10.3390/nu13061985.


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