Vitamin K does not stem BMD decline in postmenopausal women with osteopenia

Oct 14, 2008

In a randomized controlled trial called the "Evaluate the Clinical use of vitamin K Supplementation in Postmenopausal Women with Osteopenia" (ECKO) trial, Angela Cheung and colleagues at the University of Toronto found that a high dose daily vitamin K1 supplement did not protect against age-related bone mineral density (BMD) decline. However, as reported in this week's PLoS Medicine, the findings also suggest that vitamin K1 may protect against fracture and cancer in postmenopausal women with osteopenia.

Dr. Cheung and colleagues randomized 440 postmenopausal women with osteopenia to receive either 5 mg of vitamin K1 or a placebo daily for two years. Two hundred and sixty one of these women continued their treatment for two more years to gather information about the long-term effects of vitamin K1 supplementation.

After two years and after four years, lower back and hip measurements of bone mineral density (BMD) had decreased by similar amounts in both the vitamin K and the placebo groups.

Over the four-year period, fewer women in the vitamin K group had fractures (9 versus 20 women in the placebo group) and fewer women had cancer (3 versus 12). Vitamin K supplementation was well tolerated over the four-year period and adverse health effects were similar in the two treatment groups, report the researchers. They emphasize that the study was not powered to examine fractures or cancers and the numbers were small, therefore the findings must be interpreted with caution.

The researchers say that larger studies are needed to examine the effect of vitamin K1 on fractures and on cancer and, until these are done, high dose vitamin K1 supplementation should not be recommended for the prevention of osteoporosis.

In the US, 10 million people have osteoporosis and 18 million have osteopenia, a milder condition that precedes osteoporosis.

Source: Public Library of Science

Explore further: Goat to be cloned to treat rare genetic disorder

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study finds watermelon lowers blood pressure

Oct 13, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- No matter how you slice it, watermelon has a lot going for it –– sweet, low calorie, high fiber, nutrient rich –– and now, there’s more. Evidence from a pilot study led by food scientists ...

Recommended for you

Researchers transplant regenerated oesophagus

15 hours ago

Tissue engineering has been used to construct natural oesophagi, which in combination with bone marrow stem cells have been safely and effectively transplanted in rats. The study, published in Nature Communications, shows ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Low Vitamin D may not be a culprit in menopause symptoms

A new study from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) shows no significant connection between vitamin D levels and menopause symptoms. The study was published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopa ...

Astronomers: 'Tilt-a-worlds' could harbor life

A fluctuating tilt in a planet's orbit does not preclude the possibility of life, according to new research by astronomers at the University of Washington, Utah's Weber State University and NASA. In fact, ...