Vitamin K1 supplementation reduces progression of cardiovascular calcification in patients receiving hemodialysis, preliminary trial findings suggest.

Patients on hemodialysis commonly exhibit cardiovascular calcifications and vitamin K deficiency, Jürgen Floege, MD, PhD, of RWTH Aachen University Hospital in Germany, and colleagues explained. “The vitamin K-dependent matrix Gla protein (MGP) is a potent inhibitor of vascular calcification.”

Among 60 patients with pre-existing coronary artery calcifications (baseline volume score greater than 100 mm3) receiving standard of care in the VitaVasK trial, the investigators randomly assigned 29 patients to additionally receive 5 mg of vitamin K1 orally thrice weekly during dialysis. Study completers included 17 patients in the treatment arm and 23 patients in the control arm.

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At 18 months, average progression of thoracic aortic calcification was a significant 56% lower in the vitamin K1 than control arm, Dr Floege’s team reported in Clinical Kidney Medicine. Coronary artery calcification significantly progressed in the control arm, but not the vitamin K1 arm. Average progression at 18 months was a significant 68% lower for vitamin K1 recipients.

Vitamin K1 supplementation also reduced plasma levels of pro-calcific uncarboxylated matrix Gla protein by 69% at 18 months.

The investigators observed no treatment-related adverse events.

“Vitamin K1 intervention is a potent, safe and cost-effective approach to correct vitamin K deficiency and to potentially reduce cardiovascular calcification in this high-risk population.”


Saritas T, Reinartz S, Krüger T, et al. Vitamin K1 and progression of cardiovascular calcifications in hemodialysis patients: the VitaVasK randomized controlled trial. Clinical Kidney J. December 2022; 15(12):2300-2311. doi:10.1093/ckj/sfac184