Varicosis, also known as varicose veins, may be attributable to a lack of vitamin K, according to a new study in the “Journal of Vascular Research.”
Inadequate levels of vitamin K may reduce the activity of the matrix GLA protein (MGP), which in turn has been identified as a key player in the development of varicosis. Since vitamin K is required to activate MGP, it is believed that adequate dietary intake of vitamin K is a prerequisite for the prevention of varicose veins.
There are two main forms of vitamin K:
1. K1 (phylloquinone, aka phytonadione)
2. K2 (menaquinones)
Vitamin K3 is a synthetic variant of the vitamin, which is not recommended for human consumption.
Vitamin K1 is found in green leafy vegetables, including lettuce, broccoli, and spinach, and makes up about 90 percent of the vitamin K in the Western-style diet.
Vitamins K2 include several menaquinones (MK-n, with the n determined by the number of prenyl side chains), such as MK-4 found in meats; MK-7, MK-8, and MK-9 found in fermented food products like cheese and natto.
Journal of Vascular Research July 20, 2007; 44(6):444-459 (Free Full Text PDF Report)
Food Production Daily August 23, 2007