The Surprising Longevity Benefits of Vitamin K

Shared Joy

Jedi Council Member
I would like to share an article about more details on the various types of K vitamins as they serve an important role in our organism.

Some excerpts from this article
Dr. Bruce Ames is one of the world’s leading authorities on aging and nutrition. Four years ago, Dr. Ames published research indicating that optimum intake of vitamin K plays an important role in longevity.1

A new 2014 study on vitamin K confirms that ample vitamin K intake can indeed help you live longer.2 In a group of more than 7,000 people at high risk for cardiovascular disease, people with the highest intake of vitamin K were 36% less likely to die from any cause at all, compared with those having the lowest intake.

The Many Benefits Of Vitamin K
Vitamin K was first discovered in 1935, when it was found to be an essential nutrient to prevent abnormal bleeding in chickens.8 For decades thereafter, vitamin K was identified as the “coagulation vitamin” (in fact, the initial “K” comes from the German spelling, koagulation). During that time, it was established that vitamin K worked by activating certain proteins made in the liver that are required for normal blood clotting. Without sufficient vitamin K, blood would not clot, and severe bleeding would ensue.9,10

Vitamin K activates those blood-clotting proteins by making a small but vital chemical change in the proteins’ structure, specifically on the protein building block called glutamic acid.11

By the turn of the 21st century, scientists had learned that vitamin K produces similar changes to glutamic acid molecules to activate a handful of other vital proteins in the body, with the collective name of Gla-proteins.12-16 According to 2014 research, 16 different vitamin K-dependent Gla-proteins have been identified.17 This means that they depend on vitamin K to activate them in order to carry out their intended role.

With the discovery of the Gla-proteins, scientists learned that vitamin K is vital for much more than the healthy clotting of blood. For example, the Gla-protein in bone, called osteocalcin, is responsible for making sure calcium is deposited in bones, while the Gla-protein in arterial walls, called matrix Gla protein, prevents calcium from being deposited in arteries.18

Insufficient blood clotting was thought to be the main sign of vitamin K deficiency. However, scientists have since learned that you can have enough vitamin K to promote healthy blood clotting, yet still not have enough vitamin K for it to activate the Gla-proteins necessary to help prevent cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, diabetes, and cancer, all conditions in which vitamin K-dependent proteins are known to be factors.13,14,19 Fortunately, studies show that vitamin K supplementation can significantly increase the amount of activated Gla-proteins in tissues—without over-activating the clotting proteins.18

Vitamin K And Atherosclerosis
As we age, calcium that belongs in our bones begins to make its appearance in other unwanted areas, including inside the linings of major arteries.20 Over time, normal smooth muscle cells in artery walls transform into bone-like cells through the deposition of calcium, essentially turning sections of artery into bony tissue that is not resilient and flexible, and does not have the ability to effectively regulate blood flow.19,21 This process lends literal reality to the term “hardening of the arteries,” which we now know as late-stage atherosclerosis.
Another way matrix Gla proteins help protect against atherosclerosis is by inhibiting the production of inflammatory signaling molecules (cytokines), which contribute to plaque formation and calcification.27 People with the highest dietary intake of vitamin K have significantly lower levels of those inflammatory markers, and also of substances involved in appetite generation and insulin resistance, both of which are important in preventing atherosclerosis.28 (Some of these effects may be related to increased levels of another vitamin K-dependent Gla-protein that suppresses inflammation and promotes glucose tolerance.) 29
Vitamin K And Osteoporosis
Sufficient vitamin K is also required in order to activate the Gla-protein osteocalcin, which binds tightly to bone minerals to create strong bones.33 With inadequate vitamin K, bones can’t hold on to vital calcium, which leads to osteoporosis.34 To make matters worse, the calcium has to go somewhere, so it enters the bloodstream, where it contributes to stiffening arteries.33
Vitamin K And Diabetes
Type II diabetics have an increased risk of bone fracture. This is likely due in part to the incomplete activation of the Gla-protein osteocalcin (caused by lack of vitamin K), and the decrease of calcium being deposited in bone that occurs as a result.40 Conversely, people with the highest vitamin K1 intakes have reductions in inflammatory markers related to diabetes.28

Vitamin K has also been found to have a direct impact on the diabetic state itself. In a group of healthy volunteers between 26 and 81 years old, higher dietary vitamin K1 intake was associated with greater insulin sensitivity and lower post-meal glucose levels.41 And in a study of older adults at high risk for cardiovascular disease, the risk of developing type II diabetes was reduced by 17% per 100 micrograms of K1 intake per day.6
It is clear that vitamin K affects specific and vital proteins throughout the body, well beyond the blood-clotting functions originally described for the vitamin. Less clear, at least for now, are differences in impact on the human body of several different types of vitamin K.

Phylloquinone, or K1, is the predominant source of vitamin K in the diet,55 but it becomes converted to menaquinone, or K2 , in animals, including humans.56 Vitamin K2 itself has several different subtypes, based on molecular structure variations. The subtype MK-4, or menaquinone-4, predominates in animal tissues; it is the natural product of K1 modification in the gastrointestinal tract.57

It is likely that both K1 and K2 are necessary for overall normal vitamin K function, and it appears that supplementation with both is useful, especially for the mounting number of biological tissues other than blood clotting that rely upon adequate vitamin K. The subtype of K2 called MK-7, menaquinone-7 has recently been shown to be more bioavailable than MK-4.58

I hope this could be of help to somebody
Hello Shared Joy, I found it interesting that the Vitamin K is concerned with quinones, and wonder if there might be a connection here with Quinine and prevention of malaria.

The other thing of note is that Vitamin K is abundant in foods like peanuts, and we all know that many children are allergic to peanuts, and other nuts.

Guess what is the first injection children receive?
Babies are injected with Vitamin K in the foot just after birth.

Could there be a connection between nut allergies and the administration of Vit. K injections?
MusicMan said:
Guess what is the first injection children receive?
Babies are injected with Vitamin K in the foot just after birth.
Parents in the US have the right to refuse all injections for their children. For vitamin K, an alternative is organic liquid drops for babies.
MusicMan said:
Hello Shared Joy, I found it interesting that the Vitamin K is concerned with quinones, and wonder if there might be a connection here with Quinine and prevention of malaria.

The other thing of note is that Vitamin K is abundant in foods like peanuts, and we all know that many children are allergic to peanuts, and other nuts.

Guess what is the first injection children receive?
Babies are injected with Vitamin K in the foot just after birth.

Could there be a connection between nut allergies and the administration of Vit. K injections?
Hi Musicman,

dr Mercola warns against this routinely performed intervention on newborns:


While this injection itself may be inappropriate for reasons I will cover in detail, vitamin K is absolutely necessary for your newborn. However, there are safer and non-invasive ways to normalize your baby’s vitamin K levels that don’t require a potentially damaging injection.
Vitamin K is necessary for normal blood clotting in adults and children. Some babies (in fact, most of them) are born with insufficient vitamin K levels.

In some newborns, this deficiency can lead to a serious bleeding disorder, typically in the first week of life, called Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn (HDN). Internal bleeding occurs in the brain and other organs, leading to serious injury or potentially even death.
Unfortunately, the current standard of care regarding Hemorrhagic Disease of the Newborn and vitamin K was put into practice without adequate research to determine what was best for newborns. These shotgun approaches were certainly convenient for the physicians but lacked any sort of consideration of potential side effects for the baby.
The Dangers of the Shot They Don’t Warn You About

There are three primary areas of risk associated with these injections:

Among the most significant is inflicting pain immediately after birth which has the potential to cause psycho-emotional damage and trauma to a newborn.
The amount of vitamin K injected into newborns is 20,000 times the needed doseiv . Additionally, the injection may also contain preservatives that can be toxic for your baby’s delicate, young immune system.
An injection creates an additional opportunity for infection in an environment that contains some of the most dangerous germs, at a time when your baby’s immune system is still immature.
Dr. David B. Chamberlain, psychologist and co-founder of the Association of Pre-and Perinatal Psychology and Health, wrote in his article “Babies Don’t Feel Pain: A Century of Denial in Medicine”:v

"The earlier an infant is subjected to pain, the greater the potential for harm.

Early pains include being born prematurely into a man-made 'womb,' being born full-term in a man-made delivery room, being subject to any surgery (major or minor), and being circumcised.

We must alert the medical community to the psychological hazards of early pain and call for the removal of all man-made pain surrounding birth.”
Similarly, a 2008 study of analgesia in newborns and childrenviii concluded:

“Healthy newborns routinely experience acute pain during blood sampling for metabolic screening, injection of vitamin K or hepatitis vaccine, or circumcision.

Acute pain caused by skin-breaking procedures can lead to physiologic instability and behavioral distress, and it has downstream effects on subsequent pain processing, development and stress responsivity.

Because of these detrimental effects, reduction and prevention of pain are worthy clinical goals that are also expected by most parents.”

In addition to the above, the possible trauma from the injection can also jeopardize the establishment of breastfeeding, which is detrimental to both mother and baby.
ORAL Vitamin K Is a Safe & Effective Method to Deliver Necessary Vitamin K

The alternative to vitamin K injections is amazingly simple: give the vitamin ORALLY. It is safe and equally effective, and devoid of any troubling side effects.

Oral vitamin K is absorbed less efficiently than vitamin K that is injected. However, this can easily be compensated for by adjusting the dose. And since vitamin K is non-toxic, there is no danger of overdosing or a bad reaction.
According to Dr. Vermeer, mothers who are adequately supplementing themselves with vitamin K and are breastfeeding may not need to give their infants additional K supplements.

But you must be cautious here that your vitamin K levels are optimal, and for most women, the vitamin K absorbed from foods is typically insufficient, so a supplement is likely needed.
If you choose to not expose your child to vitamin K1 as a shot and would prefer to have it given orally, you will have to make it VERY clear to not only your OB physician but also ALL the nursing staff, as they would be the ones that actually administer the shot.

During the excitement of the delivery it will be very difficult to remember that your baby was not supposed to have the shot. So it would also be helpful to have someone like your spouse at the delivery reminding them that your child should NOT get the shot.

Please note that is the same strategy I would suggest using if you reach the same conclusion as I did about hepatitis B vaccines given to newborns.

I hope this helps.
It's not exactly about longevity, but with poor lungs we may not get very far either, however it's still about vitamin K:

Could low levels of vitamin K impact lung health?​

A recent study examined how vitamin K levels in the body may influence lung function and saw that low levels may negatively impact respiratory health, increasing the risk of developing lung conditions.

For the study, the researchers looked at levels of a distinct biomarker as an indicator of vitamin K levels.

The participants with lower vitamin K levels were at a higher risk for poorer lung function measurements. They were also at a higher risk for reporting chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and wheezing.

One of the primary functions of vitamin K is assisting with proper blood clotting in the body. However, researchers in this study wanted to look more in-depth at how vitamin K influences lung function.

The study was a cross-sectional general population study. It included just over 4,000 participants.

To look at vitamin K levels in the body, they used an indirect method.

A specific protein called matrix Gla Protein (MGP) may help stop lung tissue calcification. This protein relies on vitamin K for activation. The inactive form of this protein, dephosphorylated-uncarboxylated MGP (dp-ucMGP), is an indicator of vitamin K levels. Higher levels of it in the body’s plasma indicate a lower level of vitamin K.

The study found lower vitamin K levels were associated with poorer lung function, based on two lung function measurements: forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume. Researchers did not find an association between vitamin K levels and airflow obstruction.

They also found that lower vitamin K levels were associated with an increased risk for self-reported chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and wheezing.

The research highlights how vitamin K may influence lung function and how low levels may contribute to certain breathing problems.

Study author Dr. Torkil Jespersen explained some of the highlights of the research to MNT:

“There has been a recent increase in interest in vitamin K beyond its role in coagulation. Few studies have focused [on] vitamin K and lung disease, and most of these focused on smaller patient groups. We wanted to explore the subject in a larger general population since it could have great significance for recommendations on diet and vitamin supplements in both lung patient groups and the broader public.”

“The study found that participants with lower vitamin K status had poorer lung function and more frequently reported having asthma or chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD).”
— Dr. Torkil Jespersen
The study in question: The association of vitamin K status with lung function and disease in a general population

Small diagrams to fix the subject:

Vitamin K deficiency: the linking pin between COPD and cardiovascular diseases?​


Proposed mechanisms that could be responsible for vitamin K deficiency. Low vitamin K consumption and use of vitamin K antagonists induce vitamin K deficiency. It is likely that polymorphisms in vitamin K epoxide reductase complex subunit 1 (VKORC1) gene associated with low vitamin K recycling rates predispose to vitamin K deficiency. Accelerated elastin degradation, due to a protease/antiprotease imbalance, leads to elastin calcification and subsequently to an increased synthesis of matrix Gla protein, which needs to be activated by vitamin K. This increased vitamin K demand might also cause a vitamin K deficit


Vitamin K cycle. Food-derived vitamin K first needs to be converted into the active metabolite vitamin K hydroquinone (KH2). During the activation process of vitamin K-dependent proteins, the cofactor KH2 is converted into vitamin K epoxide (KO). Subsequently, inactive KO has to be reduced, first into vitamin K and then into KH2. These two reduction steps are executed by the enzyme vitamin K epoxide reductase (VKOR). VKAs are specific inhibitors of VKOR


Triage theory. The triage theory implies that in case of mild vitamin K deficiency the coagulation factors are still activated by vitamin K, however, the anticoagulation protein S in the vascular wall and matrix Gla protein are insufficiently activated. This will lead to both increased thrombosis risk and elastin calcification. Elastin calcification causes elastin degradation and vice versa. Elastin degradation in the lungs leads to lung emphysema. Vascular calcification begins at the elastin fibers in the vascular walls. Only in case of severe vitamin K deficiency, coagulation factors are also insufficiently activated leading to increased bleeding tendency

Vitamin K2 Is Important for Vascular Health​

Story at a glance:
  • Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is found in green leafy plants and is best known for the role it plays in blood clotting. Vitamin K2 (menaquinones) comes in several forms, the most common of which are MK-4, found in animal foods, and MK-7, found in fermented foods. Vitamin K2 plays important roles in bone and cardiovascular health
  • Research has found that people with the highest intakes of both types of vitamin K have significantly lower risks of atherosclerosis-related heart disease. Those with the highest intakes of vitamin K1 had a 21% lower risk of being hospitalized with atherosclerosis-related heart disease and those with the highest intakes of vitamin K2 had a 14% lower risk. Those with high vitamin K2 intake also had a 34% lower risk of peripheral artery disease
  • One of the primary ways in which vitamin K2 protects your cardiovascular health is by activating matrix Gla protein (MGP), which is a potent inhibitor of arterial calcification. Vitamin K2 can have a direct blood pressure lowering effect in some individuals
  • Low vitamin K status also raises the risk of frailty, impaired mobility and disability in elderly individuals
  • Statin drugs can deplete your body of vitamin K2 by inhibiting MK-4 synthesis. As a consequence, statins may contribute not only to age-related frailty but also insulin resistance, because MK-4 synthesis requires the same enzymes that synthesize cholesterol


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