Life Extension Magazine®

K-shaped dish containing leafy greens that are packed with vitamin K1 and K2

Vitamin K: Research Update

Recent studies continue to show the benefits of vitamin K1 and K2. Vitamin K impedes arterial calcification, protects cognitive function, and reduces all-cause mortality.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Gary Gonzalez, MD, in August 2023. Written by: Laurie Mathena.

Vitamin K is best known for helping blood clot properly and for maintaining bone density.

Research continues to uncover its broad array of benefits.

Studies have been published showing that both forms of vitamin K—K1 and K2—can impact everything from heart disease risk to cognitive function to all-cause mortality.

Here are the highlights:

Low vitamin K status raises all-cause mortality risk.

A meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that included 3,891 participants with an average age of 65, found that people with low levels of circulating vitamin K1 (0.5 nmol/L or lower) had a 19% higher risk of all-cause mortality compared to those with levels more than 1.0 nmol/L.1

Higher intake of vitamin K2 lowers coronary heart disease risk.

In a study published in BMJ Open, researchers followed 2,987 people between 46-49 years old, for up to 11 years. After adjusting for factors like age, sex, and physical activity, they found that a higher dietary intake of vitamin K2 was associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease.2

Lower vitamin K levels linked to fracture risk.

Researchers evaluated the associations between circulating vitamin K1 levels, fracture risk, and bone mineral density in post-menopausal women with osteoporosis. They found that vitamin K1 levels were significantly lower in the women who had suffered a fracture, and that vitamin K levels were independently associated with fracture risk. They also determined vitamin K’s impact on fracture risk may be related to its effects on bone strength.3

In another study, researchers followed 12,794 people from 40 to 74 years old and found that lower intakes of vitamin K and calcium in women were associated with a higher risk of vertebral fractures.4

Vitamin K status significant for better cognition in older adults.

In a study that included 500 older adults, researchers found that people with better cognition had significantly higher levels of dietary vitamin K1 than people with the poorest cognitive function. Both dietary and serum levels of vitamin K1 were independent predictors of good cognitive function.5

Vitamin K helps reduce risk of type II diabetes.

There’s also growing evidence that higher intake and blood levels of vitamin K (in the form of both K1 and K2) are substantially associated with reduced risks of developing type II diabetes.6

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.


  1. Shea MK, Barger K, Booth SL, et al. Vitamin K status, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality: a participant-level meta-analysis of 3 US cohorts. Am J Clin Nutr. 2020 Jun 1;111(6):1170-7.
  2. Haugsgjerd TR, Egeland GM, Nygard OK, et al. Association of dietary vitamin K and risk of coronary heart disease in middle-age adults: the Hordaland Health Study Cohort. BMJ Open. 2020 May 21;10(5):e035953.
  3. Moore AE, Kim E, Dulnoan D, et al. Serum vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is associated with fracture risk and hip strength in post-menopausal osteoporosis: A cross-sectional study. Bone. 2020 Dec;141:115630.
  4. Platonova K, Kitamura K, Watanabe Y, et al. Dietary calcium and vitamin K are associated with osteoporotic fracture risk in middle-aged and elderly Japanese women, but not men: the Murakami Cohort Study. Br J Nutr. 2021 Feb 14;125(3):319-28.
  5. Kiely A, Ferland G, Ouliass B, et al. Vitamin K status and inflammation are associated with cognition in older Irish adults. Nutr Neurosci. 2020 Aug;23(8):591-9.
  6. Bourron O, Phan F. Vitamin K: a nutrient which plays a little-known role in glucose metabolism. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2019 Mar;22(2):174-81.