Vitamin K2 Part 4: Germany & LDL

A reader pointed out an abstract of a cohort study looking at heart disease and vitamin K2 intake (1), the only one I’ve seen that was not from The Netherlands.

In this case it was the EPIC-Heidelberg cohort from Germany and their findings disagreed with The Netherlands studies depicted in the previous K2 posts.

Vitamin K1 was found to be inversely associated with a fatal heart attack (.49, .25-.94), while vitamin K2 was not associated with incidence (1.21, .81–1.80) or fatal (1.09, .46–2.62) heart disease.

Results were adjusted for smoking, body mass index, waist circumference, hypercholesterolemia, high blood pressure, aspirin use, physical activity, education, and intakes of energy, fat, alcohol, calcium, and folate.

In another short report, a letter to Lancet described a trial in which people on dialysis with osteoporosis were given 45 mg/day of vitamin K2 (2). After six months, their LDL cholesterol had gone from 225 to 195 mg/dl. After treatment was discontinued, cholesterol levels returned to normal.

A couple caveats about this: 45 mg/day of vitamin K2 is about 1,000 times more than a normal intake, and these are very high LDL levels in a rather ill population which might not apply to healthy people.


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1. Nimptsch K, Rohrmann S, Linseisen J, Kaaks R. Dietary intake of vitamin K and risk of incident and fatal myocardial infarction in the EPIC-Heidelberg cohort study Gesundheitswesen 2010; 72: V143-DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1266323 | link

2. Nagasawa Y, Fujii M, Kajimoto Y, Imai E, Hori M. Vitamin K2 and serum cholesterol in patients on continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis. Lancet. 1998 Mar 7;351(9104):724. | link

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