In a previous study, researchers showed vitamin K to preferentially accumulate in brain regions rich in white matter and to positively correlate with certain sphingolipids (like ceramides). In previous studies on rodents, vitamin K deficiency has resulted in behavioral disturbances. To gain insight on the role of vitamin K status on brain function, the authors of this new study investigated learning abilities, motor activity, and anxiety in distinct groups of 6-, 12-, and 20-month old rats that had been fed diets containing low, adequate, or high levels of vitamin K since weaning.
Results revealed that a lifetime of consuming a low-vitamin K diet resulted in cognitive deficits in the 20-month old rats, with those in the low-K group having impaired learning abilities compared to those in the high-K group. However, the low-K diet did not affect cognition at 6 and 12 months of age, nor did it affect motor activity or anxiety at any age.
Although this was an animal study, and much remains to be elucidated about the mechanism of action of vitamin K in cognition, this study points to vitamin K as an important nutritional factor contributing to cognitive health, especially as we age.
As more research is done on vitamin K, I believe you'll continue to hear more and more benefits of this severely under-rated nutrient. Here are some other recent studies on vitamin K (or other posts where vitamin K was discussed)...
- Human Study Suggests Vitamin K2 (as MK-7) REVERSES Arterial Calcification
- Calcium Causes Heart Attacks Without Vitamin K2
- vitamin K deficiency linked to inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis)
- a discussion on the negative effects on bone health and cardiovascular health when you induce a state of vitamin K deficiency by taking certain anticoagulants like warfarin (Coumadin).
- a discussion on how vitamin K may help prevent kidney stones
- Study Proves Vitamin K2 Supplements Reverse Deficiencies
- Do Calcium Supplements Cause Heart Attacks?
- Warfarin, Vitamin K, and Heart Attacks from Calcium
- Vitamin K Improves Bone Mineral Density
- Low-Dose K2 (as MK-7) Proven to be Effective
- Arterial Calcification Linked to Dementia
- Administration of Oral Vitamin K2 to Newborns
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