Makiko Yoshida, PHD,1 Paul F. Jacques, SCD,1 James B. Meigs, MD, MPH,2 Edward Saltzman, MD,1 M. Kyla Shea, PHD,1 Caren Gundberg, PHD,3 Bess Dawson-Hughes, MD,1 Gerard Dallal, PHD,1 and Sarah L. Booth, PHD1

1Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center, Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts

2General Medicine Division and Department of Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts

3Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Orthopaedics, New Haven, Connecticut

Corresponding author: Sarah L. Booth, sarah.booth@tufts.edu

Received July 1, 2008; Accepted August 6, 2008.

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Diabetes Care. 2008 November; 31(11): 2092–2096.



OBJECTIVE—Vitamin K has a potentially beneficial role in insulin resistance, but evidence is limited in humans. We tested the hypothesis that vitamin K supplementation for 36 months will improve insulin resistance in older men and women.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—This was an ancillary study of a 36-month, randomized, double-blind, controlled trial designed to assess the impact of supplementation with 500 μg/day phylloquinone on bone loss. Study participants were older nondiabetic men and women (n = 355; aged 60–80 years; 60% women). The primary outcome of this study was insulin resistance as measured by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA-IR) at 36 months. Fasting plasma insulin and glucose were examined as the secondary outcomes.

RESULTS—The effect of 36-month vitamin K supplementation on HOMA-IR differed by sex (sex × treatment interaction P = 0.02). HOMA-IR was statistically significantly lower at the 36-month visit among men in the supplement group versus the men in the control group (P = 0.01) after adjustment for baseline HOMA-IR, BMI, and body weight change. There were no statistically significant differences in outcome measures between intervention groups in women.

CONCLUSIONS—Vitamin K supplementation for 36 months at doses attainable in the diet may reduce progression of insulin resistance in older men.

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