Cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis are major contributors to morbidity and mortality particularly in the elderly. Inflammation is one of the characteristics of both conditions, several proinflammatory cytokines are involved in vascular calcification and the regulation of bone remodelling. This may partially explain the simultaneous manifestation of bone loss and vascular calcification. Vitamin K and D have been implicated in cardiovascular and bone health as well as in activity of proinflammatory cytokines. Vitamin K is a recognized cofactor in the -carboxylation of vitamin K-dependant proteins and a role for vitamin K in cardiovascular and bone health has been reported. The role of vitamin D for bone health is well recognized, and there is growing evidence of a role for vitamin D in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. The investigators hypothesized that vitamin K and vitamin D status are inversely associated with measures of inflammation. This hypothesis was investigated in older women and men participating in the Framingham offspring study, vitamin K and vitamin D status and a panel of circulating proinflammatory biomarkers. In thus study, there was an inverse association between vitamin K status (measured by plasma phylloquinone level and phylloquinone intake) and overall circulating markers of inflammation. Vitamin D status (measured by plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D level) was not consistently associated with systemic inflammatory markers. The authors conclude “The observation that high vitamin K status was associated with lower concentrations of inflammatory markers suggest that a possible protective role for vitamin K in inflammation merits further investigation”.

[Shea MK et al. Am J Epidemiol 2008; 167:313-320]