It has been reported that vitamin K supplementation effectively prevents fractures and sustains bone mineral density in osteoporosis. However, there are only limited reported data concerning the association between vitamin K nutritional status and bone mineral density (BMD) or fractures in Japan. The objectives were to evaluate the association between plasma phylloquinone (K 1) or menaquinone (MK-4 and MK-7) concentration and BMD or fracture in Japanese women prospectively. A total of 379 healthy women aged 30-88 years (mean age, 63.0 years) were consecutively enrolled. Plasma K1, MK-4, MK-7, and serum undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC) concentrations, BMD, and incidence of vertebral fractures were evaluated. In stepwise multiple linear regression analyses, L2-4 BMD and a bone turnover marker, log K 1, concentrations were independently correlated with vertebral fracture incidence. When subjects were divided into low and high K1 groups by plasma K1 concentration, the incidence of vertebral fracture in the low K1 group (14.4%) was significantly higher than that in the high K1 group (4.2%), and its age-adjusted RR was 3.58 (95% CI, 3.26-3.93). L2-4 BMD was not different between the two groups. These results suggest that subjects with vitamin K1 insufficiency in bone have increased susceptibility for vertebral fracture independently from BMD.
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