Older adults who don’t get enough vitamin K, according to new research, have a higher risk of reduced mobility.
Food sources of vitamin K include green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, and broccoli. Besides, some other dairy foods also contain vitamin K.
The investigators who carried out the study revealed that their findings “suggest that vitamin K is involved in the progression of disability in old age”. This is written in a recent article published in the “Journal of Gerontology: Series A”.
Previous studies have established a link between vitamin K and long-term conditions that increase the risk of motor disability. These conditions include cardiovascular disease and osteoarthritis. However, no prior investigation has directly examined the relationship between vitamin K and motor disability.
M. Kyla Shea – the first author of this new study – studied vitamin K at the Jean Mayer USDA Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, MA.
She and her colleagues believe they are the first to evaluate the relationship between “vitamin K status and reduced mobility events” in older adults.
This new evidence builds on previous studies that have linked circulating levels of vitamin K with “a slower walking rate and a higher risk of osteoarthritis,” explains Shea.
* Exercise is the foundation for a healthy old age.
Researchers often define mobility as “the ability to move independently” from one place to another.
Physical independence is essential to the quality of life of the elderly. From being able to get out of bed to walking and climbing stairs, the majority of daily activities involve mobility.
A 2018 study that reviewed the available evidence found that about 30% of older adults have limited mobility.
The most common causes of mobility disability in older adults are caused by lung problems, arthritis, or other conditions.
A common measure of mobility in the elderly is the ability to walk and climb stairs.
* Exercise and vitamin K status.
Vitamin K is a group of fat-soluble compounds with a similar chemical structure and found in a number of foods. Phylloquinone is the main form of vitamin K in the diet and occurs mainly in green leafy vegetables.
To assess vitamin K status, Shea and colleagues measured two types of biomarkers in the blood: Phylloquinone and Matrix Gla protein (ucMGP), a protein that requires vitamin K. They noted that ucMGP in the blood “increased when low vitamin K status”.
The data analyzed came from 688 women and 635 men in the Health, Aging and Body Composition (Health ABC) Study. About 40% of the participants were black, and their ages ranged from 70 to 79 years old.
The Health ABC study assessed the mobility of the elderly every 6 months, over a period of 6 to 10 years. Participants checked in at clinics and completed phone interviews.
The researchers outlined the limits of mobility through two consecutive six-monthly reports of elderly people experiencing “any difficulty walking a quarter mile or climbing 10 steps without rest.” rest”.
They also identified mobility disability through two consecutive six-monthly reports of older adults experiencing “a great deal of difficulty or inability” to complete walking and climbing challenges.
The analysis found that older adults who were more likely to have mobility limitations and disabilities were those with low blood levels of phylloquinone.
More specifically, the researchers found that exercise restriction becoming severe was nearly 1.5 times more likely in people with low blood levels of phylloquinone than in those without. In addition, the likelihood of disability for people with low phylloquinone levels occurs almost twice that of others.
In addition, the study results showed no clear relationship between mobility restriction or disability and blood levels of ucMGP. And the results obtained in male and female subjects mostly have similar indicators.
The researchers are continuing to work to confirm their findings and further elucidate the mechanisms that may link vitamin K to mobility.