An 11-year study published in Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology suggests a deficiency in vitamin K leads to an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

To determine whether vitamin K-dependent protein (VKDP) activity was linked with cardiovascular disease, researchers sampled 709 multiethnic adults free of cardiovascular disease and followed them for 11 years. VKDP activity was established by measuring circulating des-y-carboxy prothrombin, in which a lower des-y-carboxy prothrombin concentration would reflect a greater VKDP activity.

Adjustments were made for vitamin K intake and traditional cardiovascular risk factors.

During the follow up, 75 ischemic cardiovascular disease events occurred. The events continued to increase gradually with rates of 5.9 and 11.7 per 1,000 person-years in the lowest and highest des-γ-carboxy prothrombin quartiles.

At the end of the study, subjects with the lowest activity of VKDP were at a "two-time higher risk of cardiovascular events than participants with the highest activity of VKDP."

“The study showed that a total of 84% of the cohort participants had a DCP >2 ng/mL (considered the threshold for VKDP inactivity), so the majority of participants were vitamin K subdeficient," said Dr. Hogne Vik, chief medical officer with NattoPharma, supplier of MenaQ7 Vitamin K2 as MK-7. “Moreover, it has been shown that participants with higher DCP concentrations (i.e., lower VKDP activity) tended to be older.”

Published on WholeFoods Magazine Online 5/6/2016