Vitamin K2 Supplementation Significantly Improves Heart Health

A long-term observational study investigated the interdependence of high dietary intake of phylloquinone (Vitamin K1) and menaquinones (Vitamin K2), and the reduced risk of peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The results, which have recently published in Atherosclerosis, confirmed that a high intake of K2, but not K1, is in fact associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).

The methodology applied to this study depended on exploring the association between intake of K1 and K2 with PAD in a prospective cohort with 36,629 participants. The researchers investigated this association in general population of men and women, and examined effect modification through cardiovascular risk factors such as sex, hypertension, and diabetes. Occurrence of PAD was obtained by linkage to national registries, and during 12.1 years of follow-up, the researchers documented 489 incident cases of PAD.

The results of this study clearly showed that a high intake of Vitamin K2 was significantly associated with a reduced risk of PAD, at least in hypertensive participants. Further, a high K2 dietary intake may be associated with a reduced risk of PAD in participants with diabetes as well, though no statistically significant results were observed. Whereas high K1 intake does not seem associated with PAD risk.

The authors explained that: “The different associations observed for phylloquinone and menaquinones may be explained by differences in bioavailability or metabolism. Phylloquinone predominantly serves as a cofactor for coagulation factors … [and] is mainly cleared by the liver. Menaquinones, on the other hand, are … transported to extra-hepatic tissues, such as the vascular wall. Once in the vessel wall, menaquinones also have a longer half-time than phylloquinone, thus leading to a larger extrahepatic efficacy of menaquinones.”


Vissers LET, Dalmeijer GW, Boer JMA, Verschuren WMM, van der Schouw YT, Beulens JWJ. The relationship between vitamin K and peripheral aterial disease. Atherosclerosis 252 (2016) 15-20. DOI:


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