Vitamin K has been purported to play an important role in bone health. It is required for the gamma-carboxylation of osteocalcin (the most abundant noncollagenous protein in bone), making osteocalcin functional. There are 2 main forms (vitamin K1 and vitamin K2), and they come from different sources and have different biological activities. Epidemiologic studies suggest a diet high in vitamin K is associated with a lower risk of hip fractures in aging men and women. However, randomized controlled trials of vitamin K1 or K2 supplementation in white populations did not increase bone mineral density at major skeletal sites. Supplementation with vitamin K1 and K2 may reduce the risk of fractures, but the trials that examined fractures as an outcome have methodological limitations. Large well-designed trials are needed to compare the efficacies of vitamin K1 and K2 on fractures. We conclude that currently there is not enough evidence to recommend the routine use of vitamin K supplements for the prevention of osteoporosis and fractures in postmenopausal women.
Keywords: Bone mineral density; fractures; menaquinones; osteoporosis; phylloquinone; vitamin K.
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