If you have coronary heart disease, this article may save your life
Vitamin K may prevent coronary heart disease
By David Liu PHD
A recent study released in Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases suggests that vitamin K2 may reduce risk of developing coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease, which is a common heart disease - the major death-causing disease that can lead to heart attack and stroke among other things.
Vitamin K1 is found high in plant foods including raw kale, cooked broccoli, raw spinach, raw Swiss chard and raw parsley. Early observational studies have shown that eating vegetables reduce risk of heart disease and the current study confirmed such an association indirectly.
Vitamin K2 or menaquinones can be made from vitamin K1 or Phylloquinone with help from intestinal bacteria. Vitamin K2, which can be made through fermentation of soy products is also available as a dietary supplement.
The study led by G. Gast of the University fo Queensland in Australia and colleagues found intake of each 10 micrograms of vitamin K2 per day was associated with a 9-percent reduction in the risk of coronary heart disease and the association was inverse, meaning that the higher intake of vitamin K2 was linked to lower risk.
Specifically, the association was due to vitamin K2 subtypes MK-7, MK-8 and MK-9. And vitamin K1 was not found correlated with risk of coronary heart disease or CHD.
The findings came after the researchers analysed data from the Prospect-EPIC cohort of 16,057 women aged 49 to 70 who were enrolled in the study between 1993 and 1997. At baseline, subjects were free from cardiovascular diseases or coronary heart disease. Intake of vitamin K and other nutrients was estimated based on a food frequency questionnaire.
Subjects were followed up for eight years during which 480 incident cases of coronary heart disease were identified. The mean vitamin K1 intake was 212 micrograms per day.
It is believed that adult women need 90 micrograms of vitamin K per day. (and men need 120 micrograms per day). In the study women, vitamin K2 intake was 29 micrograms per day.
The study did not find any association between vitamin K1 and risk of coronary heart disease.
Because vitamin K is present in plant foods, food consumers who want to reduce their risk of coronary heart disease should eat lots of green leafy egetables daily. For those who could not eat lots of vegetables, try to take vitamin K2 supplements.
It should be noted that the study is observational and it simply points out a possibility, but a firm causal relation between vitamin K2 intake and risk of coronary heart disease was not established in the study.
Nevertheless, evidence is found to suggest that vitamin K2 may indeed play a role in the prevention against coronary heart disease. According to the authors, vitamin K dependent proteins have been demonstrated to inhibit vascular calcification, which boosts the heart risk.
Coronary heart disease is a medical condition in which the small blood vessels that supply blood and oxygen to the heart is narrowed because of the plaque built over the years in the arteries. This disease is a leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women.
Patients with coronary heart disease may be given invasive treatments such as angioplasty and stent placement, coronary artery bypass surgery and minimally invasive heart surgery.
Patients need to know (this message may save your life!!!) that using a 100% plant food based diet can highly effectively prevent or even reverse progression of coronary heart disease. Studies show that more than 99% of patients who used a plant-food based diet can improve their condition and avoid invasive surgery or taking medications, according to Dr. T. Colin Campbell, a distinguished nutrition professor at Cornell University.
President Bill Clinton, who suffered heart disease and received heart surgery, has recently followed a vegetarian diet (plant food plus only small mounts of fish and nothing else) and he said he felt much better than ever!!!
For more information on vitamin k, visit Linus Pauling Institute website at http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminK/
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