Beneficial role of vitamin K supplementation on insulin sensitivity, glucose metabolism, and the reduced risk of type 2 diabetes: A review

Nutrition. 2016 Jul-Aug;32(7-8):732-9. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2016.01.011. Epub 2016 Jan 25.


Micronutrients are gaining acceptance as an important nutritional therapy for the prevention and/or management of diabetes and its associated health risks. Although a very small quantity of micronutrients are required for specific functions in our bodies, moderate deficiencies can lead to serious health issues. Impaired insulin sensitivity and glucose intolerance play a major role in the development of diabetic pathophysiology. Vitamin K is well known for its function in blood coagulation. Moreover, several human studies reported the beneficial role of vitamin K supplementation in improving insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance, preventing insulin resistance, and reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes (T2 D). Both animal and human studies have suggested that vitamin K-dependent protein (osteocalcin [OC]), regulation of adipokine levels, antiinflammatory properties, and lipid-lowering effects may mediate the beneficial function of vitamin K in insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. This review for the first time provides an overview of the currently available preclinical and clinical evidences on the effect of vitamin K supplementation in the management of insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance. The outcome of this review will increase understanding for the development of a novel adjuvant therapy to achieve better control of glycemia and improve the lives of diabetic patients.

Keywords: Anti-inflammatory; Glucose tolerance; Insulin sensitivity; Lipid lowering; Reduced risk of T2 D; Vitamin K.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Risk Reduction Behavior
  • Vitamin K / blood
  • Vitamin K / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamins / blood
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Vitamins
  • Vitamin K