Posted on Jan 30, 2020, 6 p.m.
Hardening of the arteries is a risk factor for chronic heart disease, one of the keys to having a healthy heart is maintaining the health of the arteries. A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association suggests that vitamin K may help to reduce arterial stiffness as well as improve blood pressure.
835 participants with a mean age of 49.7 years were involved in this study. Plasma dp-ucMGP was measured using an ELISA based assay, central pulse pressure and carotid femoral pulse wave velocity was derived from applanation tonometry, and forward/backward pulse waves were calculated using an automated pressure based wave separation analysis algorithm.
According to the researchers a higher inactive desphospho‐uncarboxylated matrix gla protein was associated with a greater pulse wave velocity, central pulse pressure, forward pulse wave, and backward pulse wave velocity.
“This research articulates the importance of pulse wave velocity measurements in gauging cardiovascular impact. Also blood pressure measurements confirm a link between low vitamin K2 status and the risk of cardiovascular disease, since participants of this population study who had higher level of dp-ucMGP had also higher blood pressure,” said Katarzyna Maresz, president of the International Science and Health Foundation, in a statement. “Similarly as this one, a lot of previous studies showed that by improving one’s vitamin K2 status, one can serve a protective role to the cardiovascular system.”
Most dietary guidelines don’t distinguish between vitamins K-1 and K-2, it may be a good idea to consume foods that contain both vitamins to make sure you are not deficient because according to this study vitamin K helps to prevent arterial stiffness and improves blood pressure. Other studies have shown that vitamin K can also help to reduce the risk of cancer.
Those who consume a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables should already have stable levels of vitamin K. Those who do not can boost their levels of K-1 by eating more dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, cabbage, endives, and Brussels sprouts. K-2 is harder for vegetarians/vegas as it is mainly found in meats and dairy products.
Based on these findings making sure that you have vitamin K in your diet can help to improve your cardiovascular and overall health. According to the researchers these findings may lead to new ways of preserving vascular integrity and prevention of cardiovascular complications.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.