According to a recent study, vitamin K might help reduce and even prevent age-related cognitive decline, leading to various forms of dementia.

Researchers investigated the effects of a specific form of vitamin K2, namely MK-7, on rat models, which were divided into 2 groups. One group was supplemented with MK-7 for 17 months while the other group wasn’t. After this period, the rats were tested on their cognitive abilities and their mood behaviour. The tests showed that the supplemented group had an improved spatial memory and learning ability and less cognitive impairment, depression and anxiety, compared to the non-supplemented group.

The researchers dived into the ways the MK-7 influenced the rats’ brain tissues. They found that vitamin K supplementation affected biological pathways of some proteins (namely NLRP3, caspase-1, and Nrf-2), which are involved in antioxidant activity and inflammation. It also turned out to promote expression of the amino acid tyrosine that helps preserve cognitive functions.

Although this potential role of vitamin K is promising, more studies are needed to confirm the same effects on people. And even then, the optimal sources (food or supplementation) and dose of vitamin K are to be further explored to start getting the promising brain benefits from vitamin K.

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Tatsiana Haponava, PhD

a certified nutrition coach, educator and researcher with a PhD degree

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