Probiotics and vitamin K2 status in healthy and diseased people
Probiotics and vitamin K2 status in healthy subjects and a susceptible patient group: two proof-of-principle pilot studies (ProVitaK)
Since its discovery in 1929, vitamin K has been primarily considered for its role as a coagulation cofactor, but the last decades it became clear that vitamin K insufficiency plays a significant role in cardiovascular health as well as in bone health. Vitamin K insufficiency is highly prevalent in the Western general population, particularly in older individuals and in certain patient groups, including patients with type 2 diabetes and kidney disease.
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin consisting of two forms in our diet, namely phylloquinone (vitamin K1) present in green leafy vegetables and menaquinone (vitamin K2) present in fermented food such as cheese, yoghurt and buttermilk. In addition to dietary sources, vitamin K2 is produced by gut bacteria. Recently it has been discovered that certain probiotic strains, that are already on the market, have the ability to produce vitamin K2 in vitro. In the PROVITAK project probiotic formulations with vitamin K2-producing bacteria will be administered in vivo in human intervention studies to investigate whether this improves vitamin K status for both healthy individuals as well as vitamin K2 deficient renal patients. The aim of the PROVITAK project is to better understand the potential of these newly developed formulations in vivo, by assessing whether vitamin K production can be stimulated by probiotic bacteria in healthy and diseased individuals. This will create a starting point for further development and optimisation of probiotic products stimulating vitamin K levels, and to study the impact of this working mechanism on clinical relevant outcomes such as improved cardiovascular and bone health.