Associations between vitamin K biochemical measures and bone mineral density in men and women

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Oct;89(10):4904-9. doi: 10.1210/jc.2003-031673.


Few data exist on the association between vitamin K status and bone mineral density (BMD) in men and women of varying ages. We examined cross-sectional associations between biochemical measures of vitamin K status and BMD at the hip and spine in 741 men and 863 women (mean age, 59 yr; range, 32-86 yr) who participated in the Framingham Heart Study (1996-2000). Vitamin K status was assessed by plasma phylloquinone and percentage undercarboxylated osteocalcin (%ucOC). Among the men, low plasma phylloquinone concentrations adjusted for triglycerides and elevated serum %ucOC levels were associated with low BMD at the femoral neck (P = 0.03 and 0.009, respectively). Among postmenopausal women not using estrogen replacements, low plasma phylloquinone concentrations were associated with low spine BMD (P = 0.007), with a nonsignificant trend of an elevated serum %ucOC with low spine BMD (P = 0.08). In contrast, there were no significant associations between biochemical measures of vitamin K and BMD in either premenopausal women or postmenopausal women using estrogen replacements. Clinical trials are required to isolate any putative effects of vitamin K on rates of bone loss. The target population in these trials, particularly in regard to estrogen use, may be critical, as suggested by the findings of this study.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Density*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Femur Neck
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteocalcin / blood
  • Postmenopause
  • Premenopause
  • Sex Factors
  • Triglycerides / blood
  • Vitamin K 1 / blood*


  • Triglycerides
  • Osteocalcin
  • Vitamin K 1