Background: 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.
Objective: 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.
Design: 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.
Results: 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.
Conclusions: 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.