Why This Vitamin’s More Important Than We Thought.
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Boston, MA (PRWEB) November 25, 2012
Doctors Health Press, a division of Lombardi Publishing Corporation, and publisher of various natural health newsletters, books, and reports, including the popular online Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin, is reporting on recent research out of the Netherlands that indicates that vitamin K functions in a much more complex way than previously thought, and has surprising effects on the circulatory system.
As Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin (http://www.doctorshealthpress.com/food-and-nutrition-articles/why-this-vitamins-more-important-than-we-thought) notes, vitamin K is best known for its ability to help with blood clotting, and it is one of the best nutrients to promote heart health by helping to reduce calcification.
As the article “Why This Vitamin’s More Important Than We Thought” explains, when calcium is consumed, almost all of it is quickly deposited into bones and teeth. However, a small amount (about one percent) of it remains “free,” and consequently dissolves in the blood. If a person happens to get a health condition that alters the balance of calcium in their body, leading to an excess, it might get deposited in places it shouldn’t be. These places can include the kidneys, the lungs, and the brain. It can also be deposited in the arteries. When calcification happens in the arteries, it can lead to atherosclerosis.
The Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin article reports that in a recent clinical trial performed at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, researchers studied the link between vitamin K and heart health. They discovered that vitamin K is essential for activation of substances called carboxyglutamate (Gla) proteins. These proteins include matrix Gla-protein, or MGP. MGP is what’s known as a vascular calcification inhibitor—meaning, it helps to prevent the sort of dangerous calcification that can lead to atherosclerosis.
According to the article, the researchers went on to study the effects of vitamin K deficiency in kidney transplant recipients. They took their research in this direction because in kidney transplant recipients, cardiovascular risk is high. So, the research team investigated vitamin K intake in a cohort of kidney transplant recipients with stable renal function who’d had transplantation about a year and a half before the study.
They found that total vitamin K intake was below the recommended level in 50% of the patients. Lower vitamin K intake was associated with less consumption of green vegetables and increased MGP levels. Not surprisingly, MGP levels were elevated in 80% of the patients. The researchers concluded that the high MGP levels may result in an increased risk for arterial calcification.
(SOURCE: Boxma, P.Y., et al., “Vitamin K intake and plasma desphospho-uncarboxylated matrix gla-protein levels in kidney transplant recipients,” PLoS One. 2012; 7(10): e47991.)
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