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Women who are short on vitamin K might be at risk of osteoporosis

10/12/2006 - News

Women who are short on vitamin K might be at risk of osteoporosis

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD

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Women who are short on vitamin K might be at risk of osteoporosis

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

Vitamin K deficiency could contribute towards osteoporosis, according to a new study.
Vitamin K is needed to make a bone protein called osteocalcin fully functional. A new study from the University of Michigan School of Nursing now reveals what may happen if a woman's diet is deficient in vitamin K.

The researchers studied a group of healthy young or middle-aged women, determining both dietary intake and bone density at the lumbar spine and hip. The findings suggested that declining estrogen levels impair vitamin K function and have an early impact on bone density. Most of those in the study were not consuming sufficient vitamin K for their bone health and this effect sets in even before menopause-related bone loss occurs.

Vitamin K is not found in most vitamin supplements (and people on blood thinning medication should not take it in supplement form). But vitamin K does occur in green leafy vegetables, green vegetables, and vegetable oils. A woman can best help herself by deliberately increasing her intake of vegetables, especially dark green ones, in early menopause. Meanwhile, the researchers would like to look into whether vitamin K supplementation may also help ward off osteoporosis among high risk women.

Source
Menopause September/October 2006 Volume 13 Issue 5

Created on: 10/12/2006
Reviewed on: 10/12/2006

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