Vitamin K, bone turnover, and bone mass in girls

Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Oct;80(4):1075-80. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/80.4.1075.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / metabolism
  • Antifibrinolytic Agents / administration & dosage
  • Antifibrinolytic Agents / blood
  • Antifibrinolytic Agents / metabolism
  • Bone Density / drug effects
  • Bone Density / physiology*
  • Bone Development / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / enzymology
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Collagen / metabolism
  • Collagen Type I
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nutritional Status
  • Osteocalcin / metabolism
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Vitamin K / metabolism*
  • Vitamin K 1 / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin K 1 / blood
  • Vitamin K 1 / metabolism


  • Antifibrinolytic Agents
  • Collagen Type I
  • Peptides
  • collagen type I trimeric cross-linked peptide
  • Osteocalcin
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin K 1
  • Collagen
  • Alkaline Phosphatase