With the discovery that vitamin K-dependent matrix Gla-protein (MGP) is a strong and modifiable factor in the prevention of arterial calcification, vitamin K was put forward as novel treatment option in cardiovascular disease. The vasculoprotective properties of vitamin K are in part based on the ability to improve gamma-glutamylcarboxylation of MGP, which is a prerequisite for MGP as a calcification inhibitor. Data from experimental animal models reveal that high intake of vitamin K can prevent and even reverse vascular calcifications. In addition, clinical data demonstrate that prescription of vitamin K antagonists for long-term oral anticoagulant therapy accelerates vascular calcification. However, controlled data from randomized prospective vitamin K interventional trials are lacking, thereby weakening a general recommendation for supplementation. The present article summarizes our current knowledge on the association between vitamin K and cardiovascular health. Additionally, we focus on an outlook on important ongoing prospective vitamin K intervention studies. These studies address the issues whether vitamin K substitution helps modifying relevant cardiovascular surrogates such as vascular calcification and whether non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants provide an alternative to support cardiovascular health benefits. So research about cardiovascular protection by vitamin K is an evolving field in which we expect a boost of novel and relevant evidence shortly.
|Publication status||Published - May 2015|
- Vascular calcification
- Vitamin K
- Matrix-gla protein