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Beneficial effects of vitamins D and K on the elastic properties of the vessel wall in postmenopausal women: a follow-up study

Journal: Thrombosis and Haemostasis
ISSN: 0340-6245
Issue: 2004: 91/2 (Feb) pp. 210-415
Pages: 373-380

Beneficial effects of vitamins D and K on the elastic properties of the vessel wall in postmenopausal women: a follow-up study

Lavienja A. J. L. M. Braam (1) , Arnold P. G. Hoeks (2) , Fred Brouns (4) , Karly Hamulyák (3) , Monique J.W. Gerichhausen (5) , Cees Vermeer (1)
(1) Departments of Biochemistry, (2) Biophysics and (3) Internal Medicin, Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht (CARIM) (4) Department of Human Biology of the Nutrition and Toxicology Research Institute Maastricht (Nutrim), University of Maastrich


Matrix-Gla Protein (MGP) is a strong inhibitor of vascular cal-cification, the expression of which is vitamin D dependent. MGP contains five γ-carboxyglutamic acid (Gla)-residues which are formed in a vitamin K-dependent carboxylation step and which are essential for its function. Hence vascular vitamin K-deficien-cy will result in undercarboxylated, inactive MGP which is a potential risk factor for calcification. In the present study we describe the effects of vitamin K1 and D supplementation on vascular properties in postmenopausal women. In a randomized placebo-controlled intervention study, 181 postmenopausal women were given either a placebo or a supplement contain-ing minerals and vitamin D (MD-group), or the same supple-ment with vitamin K1 (MDK-group). 150 participants com-pleted the study and analysis was performed on 108 partici-pants. At baseline and after three years, vessel wall characteris- tics, including compliance coefficient (CC), distensibility coeffi-cient (DC), intima-media thickness (IMT) and the Young’s Modulus (E) were measured to assess the effect of the supple-ments on the change of these parameters.The results showed that the elastic properties of the common carotid artery in the MDK-group remained unchanged over the three-year period, but decreased in the MD- and placebo-group. Comparing the MDK- and placebo-group, there were significant differences in decrease of DC (8.8%; p<0.05), CC (8.6%; p<0.05), and in increase of PP (6.3%; p<0.05) and E (13.2%, p<0.01).There were no significant differences between the MD-group and placebo. No significant differences were observed in the change of IMT between the three groups. It is concluded that a supplement containing vitamins K1 and D has a beneficial effect on the elas-tic properties of the arterial vessel wall.