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J Nutr. 1995 Jul;125(7):1812-21.

Vitamin K nutrition and osteoporosis.

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Department of Medicine, Medical School, University of Wisconsin-Madison 53706, USA.


Although the abundance of vitamin K-dependent proteins in bone suggests an important function, the precise role of vitamin K in skeletal health remains to be determined. Serum concentrations of vitamin K are reportedly reduced in older individuals and persons with osteoporotic fracture. Whether this is causally related to vitamin K insufficiency or simply reflects inadequate nutritional status is unclear. Circulating levels of undercarboxylated osteocalcin may be a sensitive marker of vitamin K inadequacy and have been reported to be increased in both postmenopausal women and individuals who sustained hip fracture. It is also possible that vitamin K indirectly affects the skeleton via control of renal calcium excretion. The effect of vitamin K antagonists (oral anticoagulants) on both renal calcium excretion and bone density is controversial. Thus, many of the reports implicating a role for vitamin K insufficiency in the development of osteoporosis are conflicting. This review summarizes current knowledge regarding a possible role of vitamin K insufficiency in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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