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Researchers at Tufts University looked for evidence that Vitamin K (looking at K1 only) has a protective effect in relation to a build up of calcified plaque in the arteries of elderly people. Calcified plaque build up in the arteries of the heart is an independent risk for cardiovascular disease no additional help from other risk factors such as obesity or diabetes.
Coronary artery calcification (CAC) was measured at the beginning of the trial and after a three year period in 388 healthy older men and women. 200 of the participants were supplemented with a multiple-vitamin that included 500 mcg of K1. 188 were supplemented with the multiple-vitamin alone without Vitamin K1. Oddly, they found that if the participants didn’t take the supplements they had no benefit (who would have guessed). In the adults who took the supplements at least 85% of the time there was a decrease in the progression of CAC by a good 6%; this can have a good effect over time. The study is published in the June 2009 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.