Research from the Netherlands showed in 2015 that vitamin K2 improves arterial elasticity, if taken over 3 years. The researchers measured carotid artery elasticity with Doppler ultrasound. They examined various parameters. 244 postmenopausal women were part of a placebo group or a vitamin K2 group.The total time of observation was 3 years. There was a significant improvement of carotid artery elasticity in the subjects taking vitamin K2. While the vitamin K2 group did well, the placebo group did not improve their arterial elasticity. The daily dosage of vitamin K2 had been 180 micrograms daily.
I have previously blogged about the need for a combination of calcium, vitamin D3 and vitamin K2. This mixture will support bone health. But it will also keep calcium out of arteries, while calcium can enter into bones. Vitamin K2 improves arterial elasticity keeping arteries flexible. That is important first of all for the blood flow, and in addition for prevention of osteoporosis.
Other recent publications regarding vitamin K2 supplementation
Bone healing in children
A publication from July 2017 noted that Vit. D3 and in addition also vitamin K2 were necessary for bone healing in children with fractures. The authors indicated that calcium, vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 supplementation contributed independently to bone health. But it was especially relevant that all in combination were necessary to form healthy bone matrix. In addition vitamin K2 and vitamin D3 are also a factor in keeping calcium from accumulating in the arterial walls. In other words vitamins K2 and D3 help to prevent calcification of arteries.
Osteoporosis in cerebral palsy adults
Another study from June 2017 described spontaneous fractures in osteoporotic adult cerebral palsy patients. 16 adults with osteoporosis and cerebral palsy responded well to daily dosages of only 45 micrograms of vitamin K2 supplementation. In conclusion, the bone mass density increased from 59% at baseline to 68% within 12 months.
Vitamin K2 supplementation in healthy athletes
In a study from July 2017 there were 26 trained athletes who took vitamin K2 as a supplement. An ergometer measured their maximal cardiac output. There was a 12% increase in maximal cardiac output at the end of the experiment in all athletes. The baseline ergometer test was subtracted from the findings at the end of week 8. Up to now the school of thought was that only patients with various disease conditions would benefit from vitamin K2 supplementation. It is most noteworthy that this is the first publication showing that even healthy people benefit from vitamin K2. This includes fit athletes, can benefit from vitamin K2. The authors concluded that vitamin K2 had stimulated the mitochondria of the heart muscle. This produced more cardiac output, which showed could be demonstrated in the measurements.
Vitamin K2 is an important vitamin that is first of all necessary in bone mineralization, but furthermore in maintaining arterial flexibility. It seems like vitamin K2, vitamin D3 and calcium supplementation are responsible for depositing calcium into bone. This is especially relevant in osteoporotic patients, but is also helping to heal fractures in children and adults. Until recently researchers did not know that vitamin K2 seems to play an important role in keeping your arteries flexible, which is important for the prevention of heart attacks and strokes. Even athletes were showing a better cardiac output by supplementing with vitamin K2. The authors of that study thought that this was due to stimulating ATP production in the mitochondria of heart muscle cells.
As vitamin K2 is not widespread in our food, supplementation on a daily basis is a sensible idea. A dosage of about 200 micrograms per day would be adequate.