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Vitamin K Supplements Can Cut Bone Loss, Fractures

Beneficial effect from oral phytonadione and menaquinone supplements seen in 12 out of 13 trials

TUESDAY, June 27 (HealthDay News) -- Oral vitamin K supplements may reduce bone loss and prevent osteoporosis-related fractures, according to a review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials published in the June 26 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

David J. Torgerson, Ph.D., from the University of York in England, and colleagues searched various medical databases and registers for randomized, controlled trials where patients received oral phytonadione and menaquinone supplements -- plant and bacterial sources of vitamin K, respectively -- for longer than six months.

Thirteen trials were identified that included data on bone loss and all but one showed an advantage from vitamin K supplementation in reducing bone loss. Most of the trials were conducted in postmenopausal women living in Japan. Seven trials that reported fracture data -- all of them Japanese and all using menaquinone -- showed a reduction in vertebral, hip and all non-vertebral fractures.

"From a clinical perspective, the results of this review suggest that patients at risk for fracture should be encouraged to consume a diet rich in vitamin K, which is chiefly obtained from green leafy vegetables and certain vegetable oils," the authors conclude. "Routine supplementation, however, is not justified until these results are confirmed in a large pragmatic randomized controlled trial with fractures as the main outcome."

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