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Bone. 1991;12(6):387-9.

Depressed levels of circulating menaquinones in patients with osteoporotic fractures of the spine and femoral neck.

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Unit of Cellular Pharmacology and Toxicology, Robens Institute, University of Surrey, Guildford, U.K.


Vitamin K1 functions in the conversion of glutamate residues, present in certain bone peptides, into the putatively active gamma-carboxyglutamate form. We have shown previously that the circulating levels of vitamin K1 are depressed in osteoporotic patients. However, it is known that menaquinones (vitamin K2:MK) may be more effective than vitamin K1 in this conversion of the inactive to active form of glutamate residues. A procedure for measuring such menaquinones has now demonstrated a marked deficiency of MK-7 and MK-8 in patients with osteoporotic fractures. It is suggested that estimates of circulating levels of K1, MK-7, and MK-8 might provide a biochemical risk marker of osteoporotic fractures.

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