Previous research mentioned vitamin D as playing a role in the prevention of COVID-19. Now, another vitamin has entered the coronavirus realm. Dutch researchers are exploring whether vitamin K could combat infection from the virus.
Research reveals that patients who suffered severe consequences from COVID-19 were found to be deficient in vitamin K. Found in food sources like spinach, eggs, and certain cheeses, scientists believe that a change in diet could partly be an answer to combating the illness.
In the study, the researchers analyzed coronavirus patients admitted in the Canisius Wilhelmina hospital in the Dutch city of Nijmegen. The research, initiated in partnership with the Cardiovascular Research Institute Maastricht, studied 134 patients admitted in health institutions for COVID-19 between March 12 and April 11, 2020. Alongside, a control group of 184 age-matched patients who did not have the disease was also enrolled in the study.
According to Jona Walk, a researcher from the study, the group took coronavirus patients and randomized them to take either vitamin K or a placebo. She added that they wanted to provide patients with significantly high doses of the vitamin to activate the protein essential in protecting the lungs.
Furthermore, the researchers wanted to find out if it gave no adverse reactions. The researchers' paper was submitted for peer review on Friday.
The Link Between Vitamin K and Coronavirus
One of the research objectives was to find a link between deficiency and the severe symptoms of coronavirus. Vitamin K is essential in the production of proteins responsible for regulating blood clotting. Moreover, it can also protect against lung disease.
Since COVID-19 causes blood clotting and leads to the degeneration of elastic fibers in the lungs, researchers believe that boosting the body's supply of vitamin K could combat the disease.
The Dutch researchers are currently seeking funding for a clinical trial, but they urge people to start taking healthy doses of vitamin K. According to Dr. Rob Janssen, one of the researchers, even if the vitamin proves not to benefit patients with coronavirus, it will still do wonders for one's bones, blood vessels, and lungs.
Furthermore, he says that taking the vitamin is an excellent intervention as it does not have any side effects. However, he cautions that the vitamin should not be taken by patients who are on anti-clotting or blood-thinning medication. Otherwise, the vitamin is safe to take for other people.
What Are the Sources of Vitamin K?
Janssen explains that there are two types of vitamin K: K1 and K2. K1 is naturally found in spinach, broccoli, blueberries, green vegetables, and all types of fruit and vegetables. K2 is better absorbed by the body, on the other hand. He says K2 could be found in most Dutch and French cheeses.
Additionally, a Japanese delicacy of fermented soya beans called natto is also found to be particularly high in K2. He attests to having worked with Japanese scientists in London, saying not a single person has died in a particular region in Japan where the people eat a lot of the dish.