The impact of vitamin k in preventing atherosclerosis-related heart disease

Credit: Unsplash+

In groundbreaking research by Edith Cowan University, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association, Dr. Nicola Bondonno and her team have unveiled the protective role of vitamin K in reducing the risk of atherosclerosis-related heart disease.

Atherosclerosis, characterized by the thickening or hardening of arteries due to plaque buildup, can lead to severe cardiovascular conditions such as heart attack and stroke if a major artery is blocked.

Understanding Atherosclerosis

Atherosclerosis is a progressive disease that can initiate as early as childhood and is marked by the accumulation of plaque—comprising fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste, calcium, and fibrin—on the inner lining of the arteries.

This buildup can render artery walls thickened and stiff, potentially resulting in severe cardiovascular events.

The Vital Role of Vitamin K

Vitamin K exists in two forms: phylloquinone or K1, predominantly found in green leafy vegetables, and menaquinones or K2, found in animal and fermented foods.

Previous research has indicated that vitamin K, in both its forms, may act as a shield against atherosclerotic heart disease, with the potential to diminish the risk associated with it.

Investigating the Link Between Vitamin K and Heart Disease

The study involved over 50,000 adults from the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study who were free of heart disease at the beginning of the study.

Through a food-frequency questionnaire and a follow-up on hospital admissions relating to heart disease, stroke, or peripheral artery disease, the intake levels of vitamin K1 and K2 were estimated.

In a 21-year follow-up, it was found that individuals with the highest intake of vitamin K1 and K2 had a 21% and 14% lower risk of hospitalization due to heart disease, respectively, compared to those with the lowest intake levels.

Implications and Recommendations

The findings of the study underline the potential significance of vitamin K in preventive heart care, highlighting the protective benefits of both K1 and K2 forms despite their varied dietary sources.

Incorporating foods rich in vitamin K such as green leafy vegetables and certain animal and fermented foods may be crucial in mitigating the risk of atherosclerosis-related heart conditions.


The research conducted by Dr. Nicola Bondonno et al. elucidates the substantial protective role of vitamin K against atherosclerosis-related heart disease.

The study reinforces the importance of maintaining a balanced diet enriched with vitamin K to fortify the body’s defenses against the development of severe cardiovascular conditions.

The revelations of this study mark a pivotal step in the understanding of dietary impacts on cardiovascular health, advocating for increased awareness and dietary intake of vitamin K as a preventive measure against atherosclerosis and its consequential heart ailments.

If you care about heart disease, please read studies about a big cause of heart failure, and common blood test could advance heart failure treatment.

For more information about heart health, please see recent studies about a new way to repair human heart, and results showing drinking coffee may help reduce heart failure risk.

Follow us on Twitter for more articles about this topic.

Copyright © 2023 Scientific Diet. All rights reserved.