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28-07-2010 | Diabetes | Article

High vitamin K intake associated with reduced risk for Type 2 diabetes


Free abstract

MedWire News: A high intake of phylloquinone and menaquinone (vitamin K1 and K2, respectively) is associated with a reduced risk for Type 2 diabetes, show results published in the journal Diabetes Care.

It has recently become evident that vitamin K carboxylates osteocalcin, a regulator of bone mineral maturation and insulin sensitivity, say researchers.

To investigate links between vitamin K intake and Type 2 diabetes risk, Joline Beulens (University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands) and co-workers analyzed data from a prospective cohort of 38,094 Dutch people aged 20-70 years.

The researchers assessed dietary intake of both phylloquinone and menaquinone using a validated food frequency questionnaire filled out at baseline by the participants. Incidence of Type 2 diabetes was then measured over 10.3 years of follow-up, during which time 918 cases were recorded.

Following multivariate analysis adjusting for diabetes risk factors and other dietary risk factors, people in the highest versus the lowest quartile of phylloquinone and menaquinone intake had significant 19% and 7% decreases, respectively, in relative risk for incident Type 2 diabetes over the follow-up period.

Vegetables contributed the largest intake of dietary vitamin K1, at 78%, and cheese, milk products, and meat contributed the highest dietary intake of vitamin K2 at 53%, 19%, and 17%, respectively.

"The underlying mechanism for the relation between vitamin K intake and Type 2 diabetes is unknown, but several pathways may be involved," explain the authors.

They suggest that vitamin K intake "could reduce insulin resistance and risk of Type 2 diabetes through effects on calcium metabolism."

Another possibility is that "vitamin K intake may decrease inflammation, which could also improve insulin sensitivity," they add.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Helen Albert