Three-year low-dose menaquinone-7 supplementation helps decrease bone loss in healthy postmenopausal women
Osteoporosis International March 2013
M. H. J. Knapen, N. E. Drummen, E. Smit, C. Vermeer, E. Theuwissen
We have investigated whether low-dose vitamin K2 supplements (menaquinone-7, MK-7) could beneficially affect bone health. Next to an improved vitamin K status, MK-7 supplementation significantly decreased the age-related decline in bone mineral density and bone strength. Low-dose MK-7 supplements may therefore help postmenopausal women prevent bone loss.
Introduction: Despite contradictory data on vitamin K supplementation and bone health, the European Food Safety Authorities (EFSA) accepted the health claim on vitamin K’s role in maintenance of normal bone. In line with EFSA’s opinion, we showed that 3-year high-dose vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (short-chain menaquinone-4) supplementation improved bone health after menopause. Because of the longer half-life and greater potency of the long-chain MK-7, we have extended these investigations by measuring the effect of low-dose MK-7 supplementation on bone health.
Methods Healthy postmenopausal women (n = 244) received for 3 years placebo or MK-7 (180 μg MK-7/day) capsules. Bone mineral density of lumbar spine, total hip, and femoral neck was measured by DXA; bone strength indices of the femoral neck were calculated. Vertebral fracture assessment was performed by DXA and used as measure for vertebral fractures. Circulating uncarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC) and carboxylated OC (cOC) were measured; the ucOC/cOC ratio served as marker of vitamin K status. Measurements occurred at baseline and after 1, 2, and 3 years of treatment.
Results: MK-7 intake significantly improved vitamin K status and decreased the age-related decline in BMC and BMD at the lumbar spine and femoral neck, but not at the total hip. Bone strength was also favorably affected by MK-7. MK-7 significantly decreased the loss in vertebral height of the lower thoracic region at the mid-site of the vertebrae.
Conclusions: MK-7 supplements may help postmenopausal women to prevent bone loss. Whether these results can be extrapolated to other populations, e.g., children and men, needs further investigation.
The MenaQ7 supplementation group significantly increased the circulating active Osteocalcin (cOC), a well-established biomarker for bone and vitamin K status. The inactive protein, Undercarboxylated Osteocalcin (ucOC), in the MenaQ7 group, decreased with 51% +/- 21 % as compared to the placebo group (+4 % +/- 49%). This is pointing to the positive MenaQ7 bone effect. After three years of supplementation, improvements in both bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) were statistically significant in the MenaQ7 group. Moreover bone strength (BS) was statistically improved, demonstrating therapeutic benefits for the MenaQ7 group as compared to the placebo group.
“These demonstrated improvements in clinical outcomes are extremely important”, says Dr. Cees Vermeer, Principal Investigator for the study at VitaK laboratory at Maastricht University. “Despite reports on small or insignificant effects on bone health after clinical interventional studies on vitamin K2 – lasting up to one year - we have documented that MenaQ7 supplementation over three years prevents bone loss in postmenopausal women, confirming that bone health benefits of vitamin K2 is best demonstrated over longer periods than previously thought. The dose of 180 mcg of MenaQ7 per day significantly decreases age-related loss in bone mass and thereby exerts improvements in bone strength.”
- Overview Vitamin K and Vitamin D
- Soft Bones, Hard Arteries, Vitamin D, Vitamin K2 and antibiotics – Sept 2012
- Hip fractures greatly reduced by sunshine, vitamin D, and vitamin K – meta-analysis Sept 2012
- Vitamin D, K2, Magnesium, etc increase bone density when taking together– Jan 2012
- Interview of Vitamin K2 and Calcium Paradox author by Dr. Mercola – Dec 2012
100 micrograms of Vitamin K2 (MK-7) per 1,000 IU of vitamin D (example: 1,000 micrograms if taking 10,000 IU)
200 micrograms minimum (this is increased from the time her book was published)
Vermeer recommends 300 micrograms, Cannell recommends 1,000 micrograms
- Low cost cofactors for vitamin D includes K2, Mg
- Osteocalcin – overview of the hormone needed to build bones, etc. Jan 2018
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