Three-Year Low-Dose Menaquinone-7 Supplementation Helps Decrease Bone Loss in Healthy Postmenopausal Women (Knappen MH et al.)

According to the International Osteoporosis Foundation, osteoporosis, a disease that leads to an increased risk of fractures of bones, is estimated to affect 75 million people in Europe, USA, and Japan. A recent clinical study, published in Osteoporosis International in 2013, showed that vitamin K2 as menaquinone-7 (MK-7) plays a positive role in bone health – showing that both the amount of bone and quality of bone are better conserved in the vitamin K2 group.

The purpose of the study was to demonstrate that MK-7 has a health benefit in apparently healthy postmenopausal women. In a placebo-controlled, randomized, clinical trial the effect of an MK-7  supplement was monitored during 3 years on bone quantity.

Knapen et al. showed for the first time clinically statistically significant protection of the vertebrae and the hip (femoral neck) against osteoporosis. After 3 years of supplementation of 180 mcg vitamin K2 as MK-7 daily, improvements in both bone-mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) were statistically significant in the vitamin K2 group. Moreover bone strength was statistically improved, demonstrating therapeutic benefits for the MK-7 group as compared to the placebo group. This data indicates that MK-7 supplementation helps postmenopausal women to prevent bone loss.

According to Dr. Cees Vermeer, Principal Investigator for the study at VitaK laboratory at Maastricht University, “These demonstrated improvements in clinical outcomes are extremely important. 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 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 daily dose of 180 mcg significantly decreases age-related loss in bone mass and thereby exerts improvements in bone strength.”

In total 244 women were included in the study and randomly assigned to either a non-treatment group receiving placebo capsules (n=124) or a treatment group receiving capsules containing 180 mcg vitamin K2 as MK-7 (n=120). One capsule was taken daily during a period of 36 months. Participants came to the research site every year (0, 1, 2, and 3 years) for measurements of body weight and height, blood sampling and DXA measurements. The compliance was 91.4% of the randomized participants staying in the study until its completion.

Reference: Knappen MH, et al. Three-year low-dose menaquinone-7 supplementation helps decrease bone loss in healthy postmenopausal women. Osteoporosis Int. 2013 Sep;24(9):2499-507.

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