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Ann Intern Med. 1989 Dec 15;111(12):1001-5.

The effect of vitamin K supplementation on circulating osteocalcin (bone Gla protein) and urinary calcium excretion.

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University of Limburg, Maastricht, The Netherlands.



To determine whether vitamin K administration affects urinary calcium excretion in postmenopausal women.


Before- and after-trials with a 2-week treatment period.


Healthy postmenopausal women (55 to 75 years old) were recruited from the convents in and around Maastricht. Controls (25 to 40 years old) were healthy premenopausal volunteers.


Daily administration of 1 mg of vitamin K for 2 weeks.


Serum immunoreactive osteocalcin: hydroxylapatite binding (HAB) capacity of serum immunoreactive osteocalcin; excretion of calcium, hydroxyproline, and creatinine in the urine during the last 2 h of a 16-h fasting period.


In premenopausal women, no effect of vitamin K administration was seen. In the postmenopausal group, vitamin K induced increased serum immunoreactive osteocalcin concentration; normalization of the HAB capacity of serum immunoreactive osteocalcin (this marker was less than 50% that of the controls in the pretreatment samples); a decrease in urinary calcium excretion, notably in the "fast losers" of calcium; and a parallel decrease in urinary hydroxyproline excretion in the fast losers of calcium.


The serum immunoreactive osteocalcin level may vary with vitamin K status. This variance should be taken into consideration if osteocalcin is used as a marker for osteoblast activity. Vitamin K is one factor that may play a role in the loss of bone mass in postmenopausal osteoporosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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