Relationships between undercarboxylated osteocalcin and vitamin K intakes, bone turnover, and bone mineral density in healthy women

Clin Nutr. 2010 Dec;29(6):761-5. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2010.02.010. Epub 2010 Mar 23.


Background & aims: Low vitamin K intakes and high levels of undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC) are risk factors for hip fractures. However, the relationship between ucOC and vitamin K intakes, bone mineral density (BMD) and bone biochemical markers is not clarified.

Methods: We enrolled 221 healthy women, and examined BMD, urinary type-I collagen cross-linked-N-telopeptide (uNTX), and nutrient intakes. BMD was measured at the lumbar spine and femoral neck.

Results: Vitamin K intakes were significantly and negatively correlated with ucOC after adjustment for age, height, and body weight (r=-0.305, p<0.0001). ucOC was negatively associated with lumbar BMD (r=-0.147, p<0.05), but not femoral neck BMD (r=-0.099, p=0.095) after adjustment for age, height, and body weight. In multiple regression analysis, even after adjustment for age, height, body weight, and vitamin K intake, a significant and positive correlation remained between ucOC and urinary NTX (r=0.493, p<0.0001). Moreover, in postmenopausal women, ucOC levels were positively correlated with urinary NTX, but not BMD.

Conclusion: Dietary vitamin K intakes influence serum levels of ucOC in healthy women. Furthermore, ucOC may be linked to bone biochemical markers.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / blood*
  • Bone Density*
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism*
  • Collagen Type I / metabolism
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Femur Neck / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Osteocalcin / blood*
  • Osteoporosis, Postmenopausal / metabolism
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Vitamin K / blood*


  • Biomarkers
  • Collagen Type I
  • Peptides
  • collagen type I trimeric cross-linked peptide
  • Osteocalcin
  • Vitamin K