November 30, 2008
Vitamin K Slows Insulin Resistant Diabetes In Men

Vitamin K supplementation appears to slow type 2 diabetes progression in elderly men but not elderly women. (same article here)

Vitamin K slowed the development of insulin resistance in elderly men in a study of 355 non-diabetic men and women ages 60 to 80 who completed a three-year clinical trial at the Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University (USDA HNRCA).

“Men who received vitamin K supplementation had less progression in their insulin resistance by the end of the clinical trial,” said Sarah Booth, PhD, senior author and director of the Vitamin K Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA. “Conversely, we saw progression in insulin resistance in women who received vitamin K supplementation, and in the men or women who were not given vitamin K supplements.”

Among those given vitamin K, both men and women took daily multivitamins containing 500 micrograms of vitamin K, five times the Adequate Intake (AI) recommended by the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board, with instructions to maintain normal diets without any additional supplementation. They also received a calcium and vitamin D supplement. Men and women in the control group received no vitamin K supplementation but did receive the multivitamin and the calcium and vitamin D supplement. For the present study, insulin resistance was assessed by the homeostasis model (HOMA-IR). Additionally, participants’ blood glucose and blood insulin levels were measured following a minimum 10-hour fast. In addition to improved insulin resistance, the supplemented men had lower blood insulin levels compared to the unsupplemented men at the conclusion of the study.

Insulin resistance will accelerate your aging. Definitely worth avoiding.

The women might have needed a larger vitamin K dose to derive a benefit. Though cutting back on excess weight definitely would have helped.

Writing in the November issue of Diabetes Care, the authors speculate that weight might explain why only the vitamin K supplemented men improved their insulin resistance. “In our study, there was a higher prevalence of obese or overweight women in the vitamin K supplementation group compared to the male supplementation group,” Booth said. “Vitamin K is stored in fat tissue. If there is excess fat, vitamin K may not be readily available to cells that require it to process glucose.”

If you want to max out your dietary vitamin K then eat a cup a day of kale, collards, or spinach. Each will give you over 1000 mcg vitamin K or more than double the amount used in this study. See a longer list of good vitamin K food sources at that link.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2008 November 30 08:05 PM  Aging Diet Studies


Comments
Micawber said at December 2, 2008 6:16 AM:

Interesting post, thanks!

I'm wagering that the researchers used MK-4 (or perhaps even MK-7), which is derived from animal fats. And NOT K1 from green leafies.

athrahasis said at December 2, 2008 3:12 PM:

Isn't MK4 is present in Natto (fermented soybean) and Kimchi?

Yourmomynous said at October 8, 2009 9:33 PM:

No. MK4 is present only in animal foods.

Eric W said at July 27, 2010 1:20 AM:

I'm pretty sure the form of vitamin K2 in kimchi and natto is MK-7

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