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Vitamin K

a nutrient which plays a little-known role in glucose metabolism

Bourron, Oliviera,b,c; Phan, Francka,b,c

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care: March 2019 - Volume 22 - Issue 2 - p 174–181
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000541

Purpose of review Type 2 diabetes is one of the most important public health diseases. Type 2 diabetes pathophysiology involves multiple pathways, in which micronutrients could play a role. Among them, interest has grown concerning vitamin K. The purpose of this review is to expose the latest studies on the role of vitamin K in glucose metabolism, a poorly known function of this vitamin.

Recent findings Animal experimentations and human observational and interventional studies were analyzed to evaluate the role of this vitamin in glucose metabolism. Daily intake of vitamin K seems to improve glucose metabolism and low intakes could be involved in type 2 diabetes pathophysiology. Recent data show that vitamin K could act on glucose metabolism via downstream targets such as osteocalcin, growth arrest-specific 6 protein, and matrix Gla protein.

Summary This review depicts new insights into the role of vitamin K in glucose metabolism regulation and depicts also the probable mechanisms underlying this association. Further studies will be needed to determine the dose and the duration of vitamin K treatment to achieve the strongest metabolic effect. Maybe the best strategy to improve glucose metabolism would be ‘cocktails’ of micronutrients associating vitamin K.

aSorbonne Université, Diabetes Department, Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris

bINSERM UMRS 1138, Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, Sorbonne Université

cInstitute of Cardiometabolism and Nutrition, ICAN, Paris, France

Correspondence to Olivier Bourron, MD, PhD, Service de Diabétologie, Hôpital Pitié-salpêtrière, 47-83 Bd de l’Hôpital, F-75013 Paris, France. Tel: +33 1 42 17 81 18; e-mail:

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