Vitamin K2 supplementation to play a role in the prevention and treatment of severe COVID-19

As countries around the world are experiencing subsequent waves of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers take measures to discover which substances could play a role in the disease mechanisms in COVID-19, and consequently improve its outcome and long-term consequences. Results of a cohort study that aimed to test the hypothesis that vitamin K2 may be beneficial in countering the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak have been published in Nutrients.1 A previous assumption that low vitamin K2 status may be associated with increased fatality risk in patients diagnosed with this disease was a point of reference for this discussion.

The authors conducted their investigation by measuring plasma dephosphorylated-uncarboxylated Matrix Gla Protein (dp-ucMGP), reflecting vitamin K status in peripheral tissue, in a cohort of 138 hospitalized COVID-19 patients and 138 population controls. After completing the analysis, the researchers confirmed that vitamin K status is markedly lower in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 compared to population controls and 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 the 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
  • The 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. Nutrients. 2021 Jun 9;13(6):1985. doi: 10.3390/nu13061985.
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