Nutrient deficiencies can take a heavy toll in your well being, and this contains growing your danger of extreme outcomes within the case of viral infections like COVID-19. Vitamin Ok, a fat-soluble vitamin most identified for its position in blood clotting and located in meals like spinach, eggs and sure cheeses, is among the many newest to be referred to as out for its potential protecting position towards COVID-19, which can trigger blood clotting degradation of elastic fibers in your lungs.
Each thromboembolism, which happens when a blood clot obstructs a blood vessel, and coagulopathy, which is a situation by which your blood’s capacity to type clots is impaired, are prevalent in extreme COVID-19 instances and are linked to decreased survival charges from the illness,1 which in any other case tends to trigger gentle or no signs within the majority of these affected.
“Coagulation is an intricate stability between clot selling and dissolving processes by which vitamin Ok performs a widely known position,” Dutch researchers wrote in a Preprints research,2 main them to counsel that vitamin Ok ranges could also be low in individuals with extreme COVID-19.
Low Vitamin Ok Linked to Extreme COVID-19 and Poor Outcomes
To check their speculation, researchers studied 123 sufferers admitted to the Canisius Wilhelmina hospital in Nijmegen, a metropolis in The Netherlands, with COVID-19 together with 184 management sufferers. Each vitamin Ok ranges and elastin degradation have been measured, with vitamin Ok assessed by measuring desphospho-uncarboxylated matrix Gla protein (dp-ucMGP), which is inversely associated to vitamin Ok standing.
Elastin degradation was measured through desmosine, an amino acid present in tendons and a part of elastin. COVID-19 sufferers with unfavorable outcomes had considerably greater ranges of dp-ucMGP, indicating low vitamin Ok, in comparison with these with much less extreme illness. Dp-ucMGP was additionally considerably elevated in COVID-19 sufferers in comparison with these with out the illness, and dp-ucMGP and desmosine ranges have been considerably related.3 In response to the researchers:4
“Vitamin Ok standing was lowered in sufferers with COVID-19 and associated to poor prognosis. Additionally, low vitamin Ok standing appears to be related to accelerated elastin degradation. An intervention trial is now wanted to evaluate whether or not vitamin Ok administration improves consequence in sufferers with COVID-19.”
Examine writer Dr. Rob Janssen was in help of vitamin Ok ranges to spice up vitamin Ok ranges, apart from individuals taking anticlotting drugs.
Chatting with The Guardian, he famous, “We do have an intervention which doesn’t have any negative effects, even lower than a placebo. There may be one main exception: individuals on anticlotting treatment. It’s utterly protected in different individuals. My recommendation can be to take these vitamin Ok dietary supplements. Even when it doesn’t assist towards extreme Covid-19, it’s good on your blood vessels, bones and doubtless additionally for the lungs.”5 You may as well discover vitamin Ok in quite a lot of meals.
Two Kinds of Vitamin Ok and The place to Discover Them
There are two sorts of vitamin Ok: phylloquinone, or vitamin K1, and menaquinones, or vitamin K2. Vitamin K1 is derived from inexperienced, leafy greens similar to spinach, kale, broccoli and cabbage, and is greatest identified for the position it performs in blood clotting. With out sufficient vitamin K1, your blood can’t clot correctly and also you’re liable to bleeding to demise.
Nonetheless, in accordance with Leon Schurgers, a senior scientist at Maastricht College in The Netherlands who was concerned within the featured research, and whom I interviewed in 2015, “… the absorption of vitamin K1 from meals is extraordinarily low. Solely 10% of the vitamin Ok, which is present in inexperienced leafy greens, is absorbed in your physique … And there’s no variable or modification of the consumption that may considerably improve the absorption.”
Vitamin K2, then again, is healthier identified for its position in bone and coronary heart well being, and is present in grass fed animal merchandise similar to meat eggs, liver and dairy, in addition to in fermented meals, together with sauerkraut, sure cheeses and the fermented soy meals natto.
Though the quantity of vitamin K2 in sure meals, similar to cheese, is decrease than the quantity of vitamin K1 discovered leafy, inexperienced greens, Schurgers famous, “all of the vitamin K2 is absorbed by the physique … Vitamin K2 within the meals merchandise is almost utterly absorbed.” Natto is especially well-known for its excessive focus of vitamin K2, particularly the longer-chained vitamin K2 often known as menaquinone-7 (MK-7).
One research wanting into vitamin Ok bioavailability even discovered that circulating concentrations of vitamin K2 have been about 10 instances greater after the consumption of natto than they have been of vitamin K1 after consuming spinach.6
“I’ve labored with a Japanese scientist in London,” Janssen advised The Guardian, “and she or he mentioned it was outstanding that within the areas in Japan the place they eat a whole lot of natto, there’s not a single individual to die of Covid-19; so that’s one thing to dive into, I’d say.”7
Except for natto, cheese is the meals with the best menaquinone concentrations, however ranges differ relying on the kind of cheese. Dutch onerous cheeses similar to gouda and edam have comparatively excessive concentrations, as do French cheeses similar to Munster cheese.8 Many components have an effect on the quantity of vitamin K2 in your meals nonetheless, together with how lengthy it’s fermented and whether or not it’s made with grass fed dairy or raised on pasture.
For instance, pasteurized dairy and merchandise from manufacturing unit farmed animals usually are not excessive in MK-4, a short-chain type of vitamin K2. Solely grass fed animals (not grain fed) will develop naturally excessive ranges.
Vitamin Ok Additionally Reduces COVID-19 Comorbidities
A report of the WHO-China Joint Mission on COVID-19, launched in February 2020, discovered a better crude fatality ratio (CFR) amongst individuals with COVID-19 and extra well being circumstances. Whereas those that have been in any other case wholesome had a CFR of 1.4%, these with comorbid circumstances had a lot greater charges, as follows:9
- Heart problems — 13.2%
- Diabetes — 9.2%
- Hypertension — 8.4%
One other research wanting into the influence of co-existing well being circumstances like hypertension, coronary heart illness and diabetes on COVID-19 outcomes discovered they’re linked to “poorer scientific outcomes,” similar to admission to an intensive care unit, a necessity for invasive air flow or demise.10 What this implies is that reducing your danger of underlying circumstances like diabetes, coronary heart illness and hypertension may enhance your outcomes if in case you have COVID-19.
Vitamin Ok may play a protecting position right here, because it’s linked to each diabetes and coronary heart well being. Each vitamin K1 and K2 intakes could also be related to a lowered danger of Kind 2 diabetes.11
Vitamin Ok might affect insulin sensitivity by carboxylating osteocalcin, which can perform as a hormone in regulating insulin sensitivity. It may additionally play a job in decreasing insulin resistance and danger of Kind 2 diabetes through results on calcium metabolism.12 What’s extra, a evaluate revealed within the Journal of Vitamin and Metabolism famous:13
“Elevated vitamin K1 consumption in a cohort research … was proven to lower danger of growing diabetes by 51%. A current evaluate means that vitamin Ok supplementation could also be used as a novel adjuvant remedy to enhance glycemic management and high quality of life.”
Vitamin Ok Boosts Coronary heart Well being, Additionally Vital for COVID-19
As talked about, individuals with coronary heart illness have poorer outcomes in the event that they develop COVID-19, and vitamin Ok’s position in coronary heart well being can be well-noted, significantly for vitamin K2. One of many the reason why vitamin K2 is so necessary for coronary heart well being has to do with a posh biochemistry involving the enzymes matrix gla-protein (MGP, present in your vascular system14), and osteocalcin, present in your bone.
“Gla” stands for glutamic acid, which binds to calcium within the cells of your arterial wall and removes it from the liner of your blood vessels. As soon as eliminated out of your blood vessel lining, vitamin K2 then facilitates the mixing of that calcium into your bone matrix by handing it over to osteocalcin, which in flip helps “cement” the calcium in place inside your bone.
Vitamin K2 prompts these two proteins, so with out it, this switch strategy of calcium out of your arteries to your bone can not happen, which raises your danger of arterial calcification. In truth, in a single research, those that had the best quantity of vitamin K2 have been 52% much less prone to expertise extreme calcification of their arteries and 57% much less prone to die from coronary heart illness over a seven- to 10-year interval.15
Low ranges of vitamin D and vitamin Ok have additionally been linked to hypertension,16 one other situation that will increase your danger of poor outcomes from COVID-19. Whereas many individuals — younger and outdated alike — are going through Kind 2 diabetes and hypertension, these circumstances could be circled, and in so doing you’ll considerably scale back your danger of changing into critically ailing from COVID-19. Making certain you’re getting sufficient vitamin Ok is one a part of this equation.
Vitamin Ok Works in Tandem With Vitamin D
Needless to say vitamin K2 additionally works in tandem with vitamin D and magnesium. So, it’s necessary to keep in mind that vitamin K2 must be thought-about together with calcium, vitamin D and magnesium, as these 4 all have a synergistic relationship that impacts your well being.
Vitamin D can be noteworthy when it comes to COVID-19, as an evaluation of medical information revealed a direct correlation between ranges of vitamin D and the severity of sickness in individuals contaminated with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.17
To enhance your immune perform and decrease your danger of viral infections, you’ll wish to elevate your vitamin D to a stage between 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) and 80 ng/mL. In Europe, the measurements you’re searching for are 150 nanomoles per liter (nmol/L) and 200 nmol/L. This, along with addressing your vitamin Ok consumption, is a pure technique that will considerably decrease your danger of extreme sickness from COVID-19.
Are You Getting Sufficient Vitamin Ok?
It may be troublesome to inform in case you’re getting sufficient vitamin Ok, as there’s no simple solution to display screen or check for vitamin K2 sufficiency. Vitamin K2 can not at current be measured straight, so it’s measured by an oblique evaluation of undercarboxylated osteocalcin. This check continues to be not commercially out there, nonetheless.
As a basic rule, if in case you have osteoporosis, coronary heart illness or diabetes, you are possible poor in vitamin K2. Additional, it’s believed that the overwhelming majority of persons are in actual fact poor and would profit from extra K2, which you’ll obtain by consuming extra of the next meals:
- Sure fermented meals similar to natto, or greens fermented utilizing a starter tradition of vitamin K2-producing micro organism
- Sure cheeses similar to Brie, Munster and Gouda, that are significantly excessive in K2
- Grass fed natural animal merchandise similar to egg yolks, liver, butter and dairy
When you’re taking statin medicine, that are identified to deplete vitamin K2,18 you is also poor. When you’re all in favour of supplementation, as a basic guideline, I like to recommend getting round 150 mcg of vitamin K2 per day.
Others advocate barely greater quantities — upward of 180 to 200 mcg. Thankfully, you don’t want to fret about overdosing on K2, because it seems to be utterly unhazardous. When you go for a vitamin K2 complement, ensure that it’s MK-7. The exception is in case you’re on vitamin Ok antagonists, i.e., medicine that scale back blood clotting by decreasing the motion of vitamin Ok. If that’s the case, it’s best to keep away from MK-7 dietary supplements.
Additionally remember that extreme consumption of dietary or supplemental vitamin K1 can overcome the anticoagulant results of blood thinning drugs. Additional, when taking vitamin Ok, accomplish that together with a fats. Since vitamin Ok is fat-soluble, it gained’t be correctly absorbed in any other case, and remember to additionally stability it with calcium, vitamin D and magnesium.