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The role of Vitamin K1 in blood clotting is well established. However, a new study shows that higher vitamin K1 intake may also reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. People with higher K1 intake were more than 30 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with lower intake.

Researchers tracked the health and dietary intake of nearly 55,000 adults for approximately 20 years. Then they used statistical analysis to identify links between vitamin K1 intake and the risk of type 2 diabetes.

They found that people with the highest vitamin K1 intake were 31 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those with the lowest intake, even after considering other risk factors. The association between vitamin K1 intake and reduced diabetes risk was particularly robust in men, smokers, and those who were overweight or sedentary.

These findings suggest that eating vitamin K1-rich foods reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They also highlight a potential synergistic effect for the two forms of vitamin K, based on recent research demonstrating vitamin K2’s effects on maintaining glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes.

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin. Naturally occurring forms of vitamin K include phylloquinone (vitamin K1) and a family of molecules called menaquinones (vitamin K2). Vitamin K1 is synthesized by plants and is the major form found in the diet. Vitamin K2 molecules are synthesized by the gut microbiota and found in fermented foods and some animal products (especially liver).

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