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Jpn J Pharmacol. 2002 Jan;88(1):55-61.

Effects of vitamin K2 (menatetrenone) on calcium balance in ovariectomized rats.

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Department of Applied Drug Research, Eisai Co., Ltd., Tokyo, Japan.


Vitamin K2 (menatetrenone) has been used for the treatment of osteoporosis in Japan. We investigated the effects of ovariectomy (OVX) and vitamin K2 on the calcium (Ca) balance in 20-week-old female Fischer rats. Vitamin K2 (31 mg/kg per day) was given to animals as a dietary supplement. At weeks 4 and 8 after OVX, a Ca balance study was performed for 5 days. The intestinal Ca transport was determined using the everted gut-sac technique at week 9. The Ca balance was poorer in the OVX-control group than in the sham-control group at weeks 4 and 8 after OVX. The Ca balance improved significantly in the vitamin K2 groups as compared with the sham- and OVX-control groups. The intestinal Ca transport decreased due to OVX and was higher in the vitamin K2 administration groups than in the sham- and OVX-control groups, but not to a significant extent. The bone mineral density in the femoral metaphysis as well as the cortical area and cortical thickness in the femoral diaphysis in the OVX-control group were lower than in the sham-control group. The administration of vitamin K2 significantly inhibited an OVX-induced decrease in cortical area and cortical thickness in the femur. These findings suggest that the poor Ca balance observed in ovariectomized rats may be improved by vitamin K2; vitamin K2 may be involved in preventing bone loss in vivo.

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