Vitamin K is a multifunctional micronutrient implicated in age-related diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Although vitamin K-dependent proteins (VKDPs) are described to have a crucial role in the pathogenesis of these diseases, novel roles have emerged for vitamin K, independently of its role in VKDPs carboxylation. Vitamin K has been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory by suppressing nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) signal transduction and to exert a protective effect against oxidative stress by blocking the generation of reactive oxygen species. Available clinical evidences indicate that a high vitamin K status can exert a protective role in the inflammatory and mineralization processes associated with the onset and progression of age-related diseases. Also, vitamin K involvement as a protective super-micronutrient in aging and 'inflammaging' is arising, highlighting its future use in clinical practice. In this review we summarize current knowledge regarding clinical data on vitamin K in skeletal and cardiovascular health, and discuss the potential of vitamin K supplementation as a health benefit. We describe the clinical evidence and explore molecular aspects of vitamin K protective role in aging and age-related diseases, and its involvement as a modulator in the interplay between pathological calcification and inflammation processes.
Keywords: cardiovascular diseases; inflammaging; inflammation; pathological calcification; skeletal health; vitamin K; vitamin K-dependent proteins.