Covid-19: Vitamin K may help fight, researchers say

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A preliminary study, the results of which have been relayed by The Guardian, explores a possible link between vitamin K deficiency and an increased risk of severe Covid-19 or even death in affected patients. This discovery has yet to be confirmed, but researchers believe it would be a simple way to prevent complications from the infection.

According to the British newspaper The Guardian, Dutch researchers who studied patients admitted to the Canisius Wilhelmina hospital in Nijmegen city praised its benefits after discovering a link between a deficiency and severe forms of the infection. The latter state that patients who died or were admitted to intensive care from an infection with Covid-19 have been shown to be deficient in this vitamin, which is found in particular in spinach, eggs and hard cheeses, which gives hope of that dietary changes may be part of the answer to fighting the disease.

"Vitamin K is good for blood vessels"

According to the scientific team, its possible benefits are explained by the fact that Covid-19 causes the blood to clot and cause the breakdown of elastic fibers in the lungs. Ingested through food and absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, vitamin K is essential for the production of proteins that regulate blood clotting and can protect against lung disease. Researchers are asking for funding for a clinical trial, but Dr. Rob Janssen, a scientist working on the project, encourages, in light of the first results, a healthy intake of vitamin K, except for people taking blood-thinning medications. like warfarin.

"We are in a terrible situation in the world right now. We have an intervention that has no side effects, much less than a placebo. But there is an important exception: people who take blood thinners, "said the scientist in the columns of The Guardian." My advice would be to take vitamin K supplements. Even if it doesn't help against severe Covid-19, it's good for blood vessels, the bones and probably also the lungs. "This first study was carried out in collaboration with the Cardiovascular Research Institute in Maastricht, a major research institute in Europe.

The research involved studying 134 patients hospitalized for Covid-19 between March 12 and April 11, along with a control group of 184 uninfected patients. Professor Jona Walk, a second researcher on the study team, said that the next step will be to carry out another study in which patients with severe form of Covid-19 will be selected and will need to take a placebo or vitamin K. "It is very safe to use in the general population. We want to give vitamin K in a dose high enough to activate the protein that is so important to protect the lungs and see if it is safe, "he concludes.

What food sources for vitamin K?

According to the scientific journal Vidal, vitamin K is necessary for blood clotting and for the activation of the proteins involved in bone building, so it is used in case of hemorrhage or repeated bleeding. There are two kinds :

Vitamin K1, present in dark green leafy vegetables such as cabbage, spinach, and in vegetable oils, for example, olive, soy, or hemp;

Vitamin K2, found in egg yolk, liver, butter, and fish.

"A meal rich in green vegetables can provide up to 400 mcg of vitamin K. Therefore, a balanced diet is more than enough to meet the needs," she says.

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