Pilot study finds that menaquinone-7 supplementation may reduce risk of vitamin K deficiency in hemodialysis patients


The pilot study investigated the effects of vitamin K supplementation versus vitamin K-rich diet in subjects on hemodialysis.

Photo © Shutterstock.com/photographyfirm

Photo © Shutterstock.com/photographyfirm

A recent pilot study1 investigated the effects of vitamin K supplementation versus vitamin K-rich diet in subjects on hemodialysis. People on hemodialysis are recommended to restrict potassium intake which can lead to a reduction in vitamin K-rich foods. This can ultimately result in vitamin K deficiency which is indicated by high levels of plasma dephosphorylated undercarboxylated matrix Gla protein (dp-ucMGP) and undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC). This is because vitamin K activates osteocalcin (OC) involved in bone mineralization and matrix Gla protein (MGP), an important inhibitor of vascular calcification.

The prospective randomized crossover intervention trial had two arms: six weeks of 360 μg menaquinone-7 (MK-7) tablets per day and six weeks of a vitamin K-rich diet with a three-week washout period between arms. Ten patients on hemodialysis participated in the study. Primary outcome measures were changes in dp-ucMGP and uOC. Results showed that subjects taking the MK-7 supplement experienced significant decreases in dp-ucMGP and uOC compared to vitamin K-rich diet, which did not change levels of dp-ucMGP and uOC.

“This randomized, crossover study may have been small, but the findings suggest that diet alone is not enough to correct vitamin K levels in individuals with chronic kidney disease,” said Ditte Hansen, one of the study’s author, associate professor and specialist in Nephrology at the University of Copenhagen, in a press release. “The pilot study provides promising insights for future developments in the vitamin K space, and suggests that for those who are susceptible to inadequate levels of vitamin K, supplementation may be of importance.”

“While we generally advise a healthy diet first and foremost, diet alone may not be enough to help individuals who are susceptible to vitamin K deficiency achieve a healthy vitamin K status,” added Lena Leder, manager science and content at Kappa Bioscience, which supplied the researchers with the MK-7 supplement, K2Vital Delta. “We believe this pilot study highlights the potential of addressing the growing global vitamin K gap through supplementation and we’re excited that the participants of this study remarked that they found it easier to take tablets rather than altering their diet.”


Lentz, M.A.; Vahlgren, J.; Hansen, D.; Plebani, M.; Fusaro, M.; Rasmussen, L.M.; et al. Treatment of Vitamin K Deficiency in Hemodialysis Patients – A Pilot Study Comparing Menaquinone-7 Tablets and a Vitamin K Rich Diet. Int J Nephrol Renovasc Dis. 2022, 15: 267-276. DOI: 10.2147/IJNRD.S365912

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