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Atherosclerosis. 2015 May;240(1):10-6. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2015.02.040. Epub 2015 Feb 24.

Prevention of vasculopathy by vitamin K supplementation: can we turn fiction into fact?

Author information

1
Department of Cardiology, University Hospital of the RWTH Aachen, Germany. Electronic address: VMBrandenburg@aol.com.
2
Department of Biochemistry, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM), Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands.
3
Department of Nephrology, University Hospital of the RWTH Aachen, Germany.
4
Department of Cardiology, University Hospital of the RWTH Aachen, Germany.
5
Department of Physiology and Vascular Investigation, Medical School and University Hospital of Angers, Angers, France.
6
Department of Radiology, University Hospital of the RWTH Aachen, Germany.

Abstract

With the discovery that vitamin K-dependent matrix Gla-protein (MGP) is a strong and modifiable factor in the prevention of arterial calcification, vitamin K was put forward as novel treatment option in cardiovascular disease. The vasculoprotective properties of vitamin K are in part based on the ability to improve gamma-glutamylcarboxylation of MGP, which is a prerequisite for MGP as a calcification inhibitor. Data from experimental animal models reveal that high intake of vitamin K can prevent and even reverse vascular calcifications. In addition, clinical data demonstrate that prescription of vitamin K antagonists for long-term oral anticoagulant therapy accelerates vascular calcification. However, controlled data from randomized prospective vitamin K interventional trials are lacking, thereby weakening a general recommendation for supplementation. The present article summarizes our current knowledge on the association between vitamin K and cardiovascular health. Additionally, we focus on an outlook on important ongoing prospective vitamin K intervention studies. These studies address the issues whether vitamin K substitution helps modifying relevant cardiovascular surrogates such as vascular calcification and whether non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants provide an alternative to support cardiovascular health benefits. So research about cardiovascular protection by vitamin K is an evolving field in which we expect a boost of novel and relevant evidence shortly.

KEYWORDS:

Anticoagulation; Arteriosclerosis; Matrix-gla protein; Vascular calcification; Vitamin K

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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