Effect of vitamin K on bone mineral density: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

J Bone Miner Metab. 2012 Jan;30(1):60-8. doi: 10.1007/s00774-011-0287-3. Epub 2011 Jun 15.


A number of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) examining the role of vitamin K on bone mineral density (BMD) have yielded inconsistent results. We performed a meta-analysis of these trials to assess the effect of vitamin K on BMD. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and CENTRAL for relevant studies of RCTs examining the role of vitamin K on BMD. Data on participants, interventions, and outcomes were extracted and the quality of all included trials assessed. Primary outcomes for analysis were absolute changes in BMD (mg/cm(2)) at the lumbar spine and femoral neck. Relative changes (percentage change) in BMD at the lumbar spine were also assessed. Vitamin K supplementation was shown to be efficacious in increasing BMD at the lumbar spine but not the femoral neck. The weighted mean difference (WMD) in BMD absolute change was 21.60 mg/cm(2) [95% confidence interval (CI) 3.63, 39.56] at the lumbar spine and 0.25 mg/cm(2) (95% CI -2.64, 3.14) at the femoral neck. The WMD in BMD relative change was 1.27% (95% CI 0.47, 2.06) at the lumbar spine and 0.17 (95% CI -0.21, 0.54) at the femoral neck. Subgroup analysis revealed that ethnic difference, gender, and vitamin K type were associated with variable effects on BMD at the lumbar spine. The modest overall treatment effects for vitamin K on BMD observed in this review may be biased and should be interpreted with caution. Further studies are required to address factors relating to the observed effects of vitamin K on BMD.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bone Density / drug effects*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Femur Neck / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / drug effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Publication Bias
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic*
  • Vitamin K / pharmacology*


  • Vitamin K