Background: In recent years, a potential beneficial role of Vitamin K in neuromuscular function has been recognised. However, the optimal dietary intake of Vitamin K to support muscle function in the context of falls prevention remains unknown.
Objective: To examine the relationship of dietary Vitamin K1 and K2 with muscle function and long-term injurious fall-related hospitalisations in older women.
Design: Cohort study.
Participants: 1347 community-dwelling older Australian women ≥70 years.
Measurements: A new Australian Vitamin K nutrient database, supplemented with published data, was used to calculate Vitamin K1 and K2 intake from a validated food frequency questionnaire at baseline (1998). Muscle function (grip strength and timed-up-and-go; TUG) as well plasma Vitamin D status (25OHD) were also assessed at baseline. Fall-related hospitalisations over 14.5 years were obtained from linked health records. Multivariable-adjusted logistic regression and Cox-proportional hazard models were used to analyse the data.
Results: Over 14.5 years of follow-up (14,774 person-years), 535 (39.7%) women experienced a fall-related hospitalisation. Compared to women with the lowest Vitamin K1 intake (Quartile 1, median 49 µg/d), those with the highest intake (Quartile 4, median 120 µg/d) had 29% lower odds (OR 0.71 95%CI 0.52-0.97) for slow TUG performance (>10.2 s), and 26% lower relative hazards of a fall-related hospitalisation (HR 0.74 95%CI 0.59-0.93) after multivariable adjustment. These associations were non-linear and plateaued at moderate intakes of ~70-100 µg/d. There was no relation to grip strength. Vitamin K2 intakes were not associated with muscle function or falls.
Conclusion: A higher habitual Vitamin K1 intake was associated with better physical function and lower long-term injurious falls risk in community-dwelling older women. In the context of musculoskeletal health, Vitamin K1 found abundantly in green leafy vegetables should be promoted.
Keywords: Phylloquinone; injury; menaquinone; muscle function; nutrition.