Association of vitamin K with cognitive decline and neuropathology in community-dwelling older persons

Alzheimers Dement (N Y). 2022 Apr 20;8(1):e12255. doi: 10.1002/trc2.12255. eCollection 2022.


Higher vitamin K intakes have been associated with better cognitive function, suggestive of a vitamin K mechanistic effect or simply reflective of a healthy diet. To test the hypothesis that brain vitamin K is linked to cognitive decline and dementia, vitamin K concentrations were measured in four brain regions, and their associations with cognitive and neuropathological outcomes were estimated in 325 decedents of the Rush Memory and Aging Project. Menaquinone-4 (MK4) was the main vitamin K form in the brain regions evaluated. Higher brain MK4 concentrations were associated with a 17% to 20% lower odds of dementia or mild cognitive impairment (MCI) (P-value < .014), with a 14% to 16% lower odds of Braak stage ≥IV (P-value < 0.045), with lower Alzheimer's disease global pathology scores and fewer neuronal neurofibrillary tangles (P-value < 0.012). These findings provide new and compelling evidence implicating vitamin K in neuropathology underlying cognitive decline and dementia.

Keywords: Alzheimer's disease; aging; cognitive decline; dementia; neuropathology; nutrition; vitamin K.