The Role of Vitamin K Status in Cardiovascular Health: Evidence from Observational and Clinical Studies

Curr Nutr Rep. 2017;6(3):197-205. doi: 10.1007/s13668-017-0208-8. Epub 2017 Jul 10.


Purpose of review: Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin required for the activation of several vitamin K-dependent proteins to confer functioning. A growing body of evidence supports that vitamin K has beneficial effects on bone and cardiovascular health. This review summarizes key evidence on vitamin K status as measured by circulating measures and cardiovascular outcomes.

Recent findings: Overall, observational studies indicate that low vitamin K status as measured by high dephosphorylated uncarboxylated matrix gla protein concentrations plays a potential role in cardiovascular disease development, particularly in high-risk and chronic kidney disease populations. Very few vitamin K intervention trials have been conducted with cardiovascular-related outcomes. A couple of intervention trials studied the effect of the combination of vitamin D + K supplementation, which might have synergistic effects compared to vitamin K supplementation alone.

Summary: Assessing vitamin K status in prospective studies and well-designed randomized trials would provide important insight whether vitamin K is causally related to vascular calcification and cardiovascular disease.

Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; Matrix gla protein; Vascular calcification; Vitamin K.

Publication types

  • Review