People with low levels of a vitamin found in green vegetables are more likely to have bad lungs, according to a new study.
It plays a key role in blood clotting, and so helps the body to heal wounds. But little is known about its role in lung health.
Scientists say the new findings, published in ERJ Open Research, don’t alter the current advice on vitamin K intake, but they do support further research to see if some people could benefit from taking vitamin K supplements.
Participants took part in lung function testing, called spirometry, gave blood samples and answered questionnaires on their health and lifestyle.
The blood tests included a marker of low levels of vitamin K in the body called dp-ucMGP.
Spirometry measures the amount of air a person can breathe out in one second – forced expiratory volume or FEV1 – and the total volume of air they can breathe in one forced breath, know as forced vital capacity or FVC.
The research team found that people with markers of low levels of vitamin K had lower FEV1 and lower FVC on average.
Participants with lower levels of vitamin K were also more likely to say they had COPD, asthma or wheezing.
The researchers are already working on a large clinical trial comparing vitamin K supplementation with a placebo to look at any effects on heart and bone health. They will now include an analysis of lung function in the trial.
Dr. Apostolos Bossios, Secretary of the European Respiratory Society’s assembly on Airway diseases, asthma, COPD, and chronic cough, said: “This study suggests that people with low levels of vitamin K in their blood may have poorer lung function.
“Further research will help us understand more about this link and see whether increasing vitamin K can improve lung function or not.”
Dr. Bossios, of Karolinska Institutet in Sweden who wasn’t involved in the study, added: “In the meantime, we can all try to eat a healthy, balanced diet to support our overall health, and we can protect our lungs by not smoking, taking part in exercise and doing all we can to cut air pollution.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker