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Curr Nutr Rep. 2017;6(3):197-205. doi: 10.1007/s13668-017-0208-8. Epub 2017 Jul 10.

The Role of Vitamin K Status in Cardiovascular Health: Evidence from Observational and Clinical Studies.

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Department of Health Sciences, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1085, 1081 HV Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Julius Center for Health Sciences and Primary Care, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands.



Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin required for the activation of several vitamin K-dependent proteins to confer functioning. A growing body of evidence supports that vitamin K has beneficial effects on bone and cardiovascular health. This review summarizes key evidence on vitamin K status as measured by circulating measures and cardiovascular outcomes.


Overall, observational studies indicate that low vitamin K status as measured by high dephosphorylated uncarboxylated matrix gla protein concentrations plays a potential role in cardiovascular disease development, particularly in high-risk and chronic kidney disease populations. Very few vitamin K intervention trials have been conducted with cardiovascular-related outcomes. A couple of intervention trials studied the effect of the combination of vitamin D + K supplementation, which might have synergistic effects compared to vitamin K supplementation alone.


Assessing vitamin K status in prospective studies and well-designed randomized trials would provide important insight whether vitamin K is causally related to vascular calcification and cardiovascular disease.


Cardiovascular disease; Matrix gla protein; Vascular calcification; Vitamin K

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