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Calcif Tissue Int. 1998 May;62(5):447-52.

Diurnal variation in total and undercarboxylated osteocalcin: influence of increased dietary phylloquinone.

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Jean Mayer United States Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, 711 Washington Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02111, USA.


A diurnal variation exists in blood levels of the vitamin K-dependent bone protein osteocalcin. However, it is not known whether the carboxylated and undercarboxylated constituents of osteocalcin also vary. Therefore, osteocalcin and undercarboxylated osteocalcin were measured in specimens collected every 4 hours over a 24-hour period in nine healthy subjects (five males, four females) ages 20-33 years who were consuming a mixed diet containing 100 microg of phylloquinone. Osteocalcin and undercarboxylated osteocalcin were measured by radioimmunoassay (RIA) before and after treatment with barium sulfate. Although the percent undercarboxylated osteocalcin did not change, a diurnal variation was observed in total osteocalcin, carboxylated osteocalcin, and undercarboxylated osteocalcin, with peak concentrations at 4 a.m. and the lowest concentrations between 12 p.m. and 4 p.m. The difference between the total osteocalcin peak and trough concentrations averaged 28 +/- 7 (SEM)%. There were no gender differences in these rhythms. The effect of dietary phylloquinone as a modulator of these rhythms was evaluated in a randomized study by increasing phylloquinone intake to 420 microg/day with fortified corn oil, split between the lunch and dinner meals. Total and carboxylated osteocalcin fluctuations and concentrations were not affected by the dietary treatment. The diurnal variation in undercarboxylated osteocalcin was abolished with supplementation and concentrations at 8 a.m. (14 hours following supplementation) (2.3 +/- 0.2 ng/ml) were significantly lower than the unsupplemented levels (2.7 +/- 0.2 ng/mL, P = 0.006). The percentage of undercarboxylated osteocalcin was similarly decreased after supplementation (19.7 +/- 1.3%) in relation to the mixed diet cycle (24.2 +/- 1.6%, P = 0.006) at 8 a.m. on the second day. Dietary supplementation induced a fluctuation in percentage undercarboxylated osteocalcin with a decline in levels starting at approximately 12 a.m. Therefore, additional dietary phylloquinone does not appear to modulate the total osteocalcin diurnal rhythm, but can influence its undercarboxylated component.

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