Study Ties Vitamin K to Bone Health Markers in Women

December 6, 2010

Evaluating vitamin K and bone health in 221 women.

The relationship between vitamin K and an important bone health marker has been reaffirmed by a study published in the December issue of Clinical Nutrition.

Ostoecalcin is a protein that helps move calcium from the blood to the body’s bone matrix. Science indicates that osteocalcin must be in its carboxylated form to work properly. Inactive, uncarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC) has been associated with low bone mineral density and an increased risk of hip fractures in several published studies.

Researchers at Shimane University in Matsue, Japan assessed vitamin K levels in relation to osteocalcin and other bone health factors in two bones (the lumbar spine and femoral neck bone) in 221 women.

Higher vitamin K was associated with less ucOC. Less ucOC was associated with greater bone mineral density in the lumbar spine, but not in the femoral neck bone.

Urinary type-1 collagen cross-linked-N-telopeptide (uNTX), an indicator of bone mineral breakdown, was positively associated with higher ucOC levels.

In postmenopausal women, higher ucOC levels were tied to higher uNTX levels and lower bone mineral density.

The results of this study suggest-as previous studies have-that dietary vitamin K intake does influence blood ucOC levels in healthy women and may be linked to other bone health markers (uNTX and bone mineral density).

The study abstract can be read here.