Oh K for Kidneys

You may not need much, but need K, you do! With increased Vitamin K levels comes an essential mineral that improves circulation and reduces kidney stones.

food sources of vitamin k

Reduce Kidney Stones with Vitamin K

Good levels of vitamin K help keep calcium from building up excess amounts in the blood and along artery walls. Doctors thought chances for developing kidney stones would increase when vitamin K levels are low. 

In this study of 1,748 men and women, doctors measured levels of a protein that inhibits calcium buildup—matrix gla protein (MGP)—but that needs vitamin K to activate. One-third of the participants began the study with high levels of inactive MGP. Over the 12-year follow-up period, those with the highest levels of inactive MGP were 31 percent more likely to have developed kidney stones than those with lower inactive MGP levels.

The findings suggest that increasing vitamin K in the diet or adding vitamin K supplements may help keep kidney stones from forming. Kale, collards, and spinach are some top food sources of vitamin K.

Reference: Nephrology, Dialysis, Transplantation; March 2017, Published Online


Vitamin K2 Post Kidney Transplant

Prior studies have shown as many as 80% of those who undergo kidney transplants are low in vitamin K. This vitamin deficiency increases the chances of hardening of the arteries and also heart problems. This study measured changes in artery flexibility in 60 people who took vitamin K2 supplements after a kidney transplant.

After eight weeks of taking 360 mcg of vitamin K2 as menaquinone-7 per day, doctors measured both central and peripheral blood pressure over 24 hours and found arterial stiffness had improved significantly. Also, vitamin K levels had normalized in 55% of participants. Discussing the findings, doctors said, “The results in this trial are staggering, especially as the statistically significant effect was seen very quickly.”

Reference: Journal of the American Society of Hypertension; 2017, Vol. 11, No. 9, Published Online


There you have it. Individuals who have kidney issues, such as kidney stones, should consider upping their vitamin K intake.