Research Has Found That Vitamin K Helps to Prevent Cell Death

A study has found that the fully reduced type of vitamin K functions as an antioxidant that effectively inhibits ferroptotic cell death. Cellular iron plays a significant part in ferroptosis which is a natural type of cell death that involves cellular membrane destruction.1✅ JOURNAL REFERENCE
DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-05022-3

The researchers also identified ferroptosis suppressor protein-1 as the warfarin-insensitive enzyme that reduces vitamin K. Ferroptosis has been suggested as a driving factor of Alzheimer’s as well as acute injuries to organs and many other conditions. The current results therefore suggest that treatment with vitamin K could be a powerful strategy for ameliorating these diseases related to ferroptosis.

Since the prevention of ferroptosis is regarded as a potential strategy for the treatment of many degenerative diseases, new compounds and mechanisms for the regulation of ferroptosis are thoroughly being looked into.

To identify these new molecules, the researchers systematically examined several naturally occurring vitamins and their derivatives. They determined that vitamin K, including vitamin K2 known as menaquinone-4, and vitamin K1 known as phylloquinone can efficiently rescue tissues and cells from suffering ferroptosis.

Research has previously determined the ferroptosis suppressor protein-1 enzyme to be a powerful inhibitor of ferroptosis. At that time, the researchers demonstrated that coenzyme Q10 was reduced to its hydroquinone form by the ferroptosis suppressor protein-1 enzyme, thereby suppressing ferroptosis.

The researchers now discovered that the fully reduced type of vitamin K known as hydroquinone is similar to the reduced type of coenzyme Q10, a powerful lipophilic antioxidant that traps oxygen radicals in lipid bilayers thus preventing ferroptosis.

The reduced types of coenzyme Q10 and Vitamin K aren’t very stable, so discovering that ferroptosis suppressor protein-1 can maintain them in a reduced, or active state is important to understand how they function in maintaining cell viability.

The researchers also identified that vitamin K is efficiently reduced to vitamin K hydroquinone by the ferroptosis suppressor protein-1 enzyme. Since vitamin K is significantly involved in the process of blood clotting, the researchers also revealed that ferroptosis suppressor protein-1 is responsible for vitamin K’s effects on the anticoagulant warfarin.

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