A new report indicates that vitamin K may have significant effects on the circulatory system. Known for its ability to help with blood clotting, Vitamin K is one of the best nutrients to promote heart health by helping to reduce calcification.
The Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article reports that in a recent clinical trial performed at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. Researchers studied the link between vitamin K and heart health and discovered that vitamin K is essential for activation of substances called carboxyglutamate (Gla) proteins such as matrix Gla-protein, or MGP. MGP is a vascular calcification inhibitor which helps to prevent the sort of dangerous calcification that can lead to atherosclerosis. The researchers went on to study the effects of vitamin K deficiency in kidney transplant recipients because of its cardiovascular risk is high. The research team investigated vitamin K intake in a cohort of kidney transplant recipients with stable renal function.
They found that total vitamin K intake was below the recommended level in 50% of the patients. Lower vitamin K intake was associated with less consumption of green vegetables and increased MGP levels. Not surprisingly, MGP levels were elevated in 80% of the patients. The researchers concluded that the high MGP levels may result in an increased risk for arterial calcification.