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Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Oct;80(4):1075-80.

Vitamin K, bone turnover, and bone mass in girls.

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Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, USA.



Vitamin K has been suggested to have a role in bone metabolism, and low vitamin K intake has been related to low bone density and increased risk of osteoporotic fracture.


The objective of this study was to determine whether phylloquinone (vitamin K(1)) intake and biochemical indicators of vitamin K status are related to bone mineral content (BMC) and markers of bone formation and bone resorption in girls.


Vitamin K status [plasma phylloquinone concentration and percentage of undercarboxylated osteocalcin (%ucOC)] was measured at baseline in a study of 245 healthy girls aged 3-16 y. Cross-linked N-telopeptide of type 1 collagen (NTx) breakdown, osteocalcin, and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase were measured to reflect bone resorption and formation. BMC of the total body, lumbar spine, and hip and dietary phylloquinone intake were measured annually for 4 y.


Phylloquinone intake (median: 45 microg/d) was not consistently associated with bone turnover markers or BMC. Better vitamin K status (high plasma phylloquinone and low %ucOC) was associated with lower bone resorption and formation. Plasma phylloquinone was inversely associated with NTx and osteocalcin concentrations (P < 0.05), and %ucOC was positively associated with NTx and bone-specific alkaline phosphatase concentrations (P < 0.05). Indicators of vitamin K status were not consistently associated with current BMC or gain in BMC over the 4-y study period.


Better vitamin K status was associated with decreased bone turnover in healthy girls consuming a typical US diet. Randomized phylloquinone supplementation trials are needed to further understand the potential benefits of phylloquinone on bone acquisition in growing children.

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