Coronary artery calcification is a pathological condition in which calcium deposits accumulate in the blood vessels that supply the heart. The extent of coronary calcification typically correlates with the severity of coronary artery disease. Findings from a recent study suggest that vitamin K2 reduces the risk of coronary artery disease.
Vitamin K2 is an umbrella term for a family of molecules called menaquinones. This diverse collection of molecules is synthesized by the gut microbiota, but they can also be found in fermented foods and some animal products, especially liver. High dietary menaquinone intake is associated with reduced coronary artery calcification.
The study involved nearly 3,000 adults (aged 46 to 49 years) who were enrolled in a community-based health study. Researchers collected information about the participants' dietary intake (to include vitamin K-rich foods), physical activity, smoking status, and education and then monitored the participants' health for several years.
They found that 112 of the participants developed coronary artery disease. Dietary intake of vitamin K1 had little effect on coronary artery disease risk, but vitamin K2 intake reduced risk by nearly half when comparing the highest quarter of intake to the lowest.
These findings suggest that vitamin K2 plays important roles in reducing the risk of coronary artery disease. Learn more about vitamin K in this clip featuring Dr. Bruce Ames.
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