Continuous consumption and and/or supplementation of Vitamin K2 may reduce the progression of atherosclerosis and reduce the risk of coronary vascular disease and vascular calcification.
This was the conclusion of a study published by Medycyna Praktyczna, the Journal of the Polish Society of Internal Medicine in July 2015. 1
The authors of the study assessed the effect of vitamin K2 substitution on the progression of atherosclerosis and calcification in nondialyzed patients with chronic kidney disease stages 3-5.
The subjects of the study were divided into two groups:
- Group 1 – received vitamin K2 (90 mcg per day) plus vitamin D3 (400 IU per day)
- Group 2 – received only vitamin D3 (400 IU per day)
Supplementation lasted 270 days (9 months) after which the authors tested for Common Carotid Intima Media Thickness, (CCA-IMT) a certain indicator of atherosclerosis and a predictor of cardiovascular episodes. The results were promising:
Group 1 – thickness of the carotid (major neck) arteries increased by 6.32%
Group 2 – thickness of the carotid (major neck) arteries increased by 13.73%
One function of Vitamin K2 is to assure that excess body calcium stay in the bones and not deposit in the arteries. One way to measure carotid artery calcification is through the carotid artery calcification score (CACS). In this study, the authors applied this test to all patients and found that the subjects taking the combination of vitamins K2 and D3 showed a reduction in carotid artery calcification score.
The study used 90mcg of Vitamin K2 per day. In food, vitamin K2 is usually found in:
- organ meats
- egg yolks
- certain hard cheeses
- Japanese natto
Of these foods, Japanese natto has the highest percentage of Vitamin K2 per gram.
Other than from the diet with the above listed foods, it is possible to supplement with Vitamin K2 to meet the 90mcg per day.