Category Archives: Vitamin K

Glakay Vitamin K2 (MK-4) Capsules 15mg

Glakay is the trade name for the prescription Vitamin K2 (MK-4) treatment for osteoporosis in Japan. It is manufactured by Eisai Co. It was approved in 2005 by the Japanese Ministry of Health & Welfare which is the equivalent of the FDA in Japan.

Glakay is 15mg MK-4 taken 3 times per day. The total dose is 45mg per day.

2005 Glakay Press Release
Glakay Package Insert

Vitamin K1 or K2 (MK-4) Does Not Increase Bone Density in Healthy Postmenopausal Women


Vitamin K treatment reduces undercarboxylated osteocalcin but does not alter bone turnover, density, or geometry in healthy postmenopausal North American women.

Low vitamin K status is associated with low BMD and increased fracture risk. Additionally, a specific menaquinone, menatetrenone (MK4), may reduce fracture risk. However, whether vitamin K plays a role in the skeletal health of North American women remains unclear. Moreover, various K vitamers (e.g., phylloquinone and MK4) may have differing skeletal effects. The objective of this study was to evaluate the impact of phylloquinone or MK4 treatment on markers of skeletal turnover and BMD in nonosteoporotic, postmenopausal, North American women. In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 381 postmenopausal women received phylloquinone (1 mg daily), MK4 (45 mg daily), or placebo for 12 mo. All participants received daily calcium and vitamin D(3) supplementation. Serum bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BSALP) and n-telopeptide of type 1 collagen (NTX) were measured at baseline and 1, 3, 6, and 12 mo. Lumbar spine and proximal femur BMD and proximal femur geometry were measured by DXA at baseline and 6 and 12 mo. At baseline, the three treatment groups did not differ in demographics or study endpoints. Compliance with calcium, phylloquinone, and MK4 treatment was 93%, 93%, and 87%, respectively. Phylloquinone and MK4 treatment reduced serum undercarboxylated osteocalcin but did not alter BSALP or NTX. No effect of phylloquinone or MK4 on lumbar spine or proximal femur BMD or proximal femur geometric parameters was observed. This study does not support a role for vitamin K supplementation in osteoporosis prevention among healthy, postmenopausal, North American women receiving calcium and vitamin D supplementation.

Binkley N, Harke J, Krueger D, Engelke J…
J. Bone Miner. Res. Jun 2009
PMID: 19113922 | Free Full Text

Vitamin K2 (MK-4) Stimulates Osteoblastogenesis and Suppresses Osteoclastogenesis


Vitamin K2 stimulates osteoblastogenesis and suppresses osteoclastogenesis by suppressing NF-κB activation.

Several bone protective factors are reported to exhibit stimulatory activities on bone formation coupled with inhibitory effects on bone resorption; one such factor is vitamin K2. Vitamin K species [K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (menaquinone)] have long been associated with bone protective activities and are receiving intense interest as nutritional supplements for the prevention or amelioration of bone disease in humans. However, the mechanisms of vitamin K action on the skeleton are poorly defined. Activation of the nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) signal transduction pathway is essential for osteoclast formation and resorption. By contrast, NF-κB signaling potently antagonizes osteoblast differentiation and function, prompting us to speculate that NF-κB antagonists may represent a novel class of dual anti-catabolic and pro-anabolic agents. We now show that vitamin K2 action on osteoblast and osteoclast formation and activity is accomplished by down-regulating basal and cytokine-induced NF-κB activation, by increasing IκB mRNA, in a γ-carboxylation-independent manner. Furthermore, vitamin K2 prevented repression by tumor necrosis factor α (TNFα) of SMAD signaling induced by either transforming growth factor ß (TGFß) or bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2). Vitamin K2 further antagonized receptor activator of NF-κB (RANK) ligand (RANKL)-induced NF-κB activation in osteoclast precursors. Our data provide a novel mechanism to explain the dual pro-anabolic and anti-catabolic activities of vitamin K2, and may further support the concept that pharmacological modulation of NF-κB signal transduction may constitute an effective mechanism for ameliorating pathological bone loss and for promoting bone health.

Yamaguchi M, Weitzmann MN
Int. J. Mol. Med. Jan 2011
PMID: 21072493

Vitamin K1 Increases Bone Density


Two-year randomized controlled trial of vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and vitamin D3 plus calcium on the bone health of older women.

Dietary supplementation with vitamin K(1), with vitamin D(3) and calcium or their combination, was examined in healthy older women during a 2-year, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Combined vitamin K with vitamin D plus calcium was associated with a modest but significant increase in BMC at the ultradistal radius but not at other sites in the hip or radius.
The putative beneficial role of high dietary vitamin K(1) (phylloquinone) on BMD and the possibility of interactive benefits with vitamin D were studied in a 2-year double-blind, placebo-controlled trial in healthy Scottish women > or =60 years of age.
Healthy, nonosteoporotic women (n = 244) were randomized to receive either (1) placebo, (2) 200 microg/day vitamin K(1), (3) 10 microg (400 IU) vitamin D(3) plus 1000 mg calcium/day, or (4) combined vitamins K(1) and D(3) plus calcium. Baseline and 6-month measurements included DXA bone mineral scans of the hip and wrist, markers of bone turnover, and vitamin status. Supplementation effects were tested using multivariate general linear modeling, with full adjustment for baseline and potential confounding variables.
Significant bone mineral loss was seen only at the mid-distal radius but with no significant difference between groups. However, women who took combined vitamin K and vitamin D plus calcium showed a significant and sustained increase in both BMD and BMC at the site of the ultradistal radius. Serum status indicators responded significantly to respective supplementation with vitamins K and D. Over 2 years, serum vitamin K(1) increased by 157% (p < 0.001), the percentage of undercarboxylated osteocalcin (%GluOC) decreased by 51% (p < 0.001), serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] increased by 17% (p < 0.001), and PTH decreased by 11% (p = 0.049).
These results provide evidence of a modest synergy in healthy older women from nutritionally relevant intakes of vitamin K(1) together with supplements of calcium plus moderate vitamin D(3) to enhance BMC at the ultradistal radius, a site consisting of principally trabecular bone. The substantial increase in gamma-carboxylation of osteocalcin by vitamin K may have long-term benefits and is potentially achievable by increased dietary intakes of vitamin K rather than by supplementation.

Bolton-Smith C, McMurdo ME, Paterson CR, Mole PA…
J. Bone Miner. Res. Apr 2007
PMID: 17243866

Vitamin K1 500mcg No Benefit for Bone Density Over 3 Years


Effect of vitamin K supplementation on bone loss in elderly men and women.

Vitamin K has been implicated in bone health, primarily in observational studies. However, little is known about the role of phylloquinone supplementation on prevention of bone loss in men and women.
The objective of this study was to determine the effect of 3-yr phylloquinone supplementation on change in bone mineral density (BMD) of the femoral neck bone in older men and women who were calcium and vitamin D replete.
In this 3-yr, double-blind, controlled trial, 452 men and women (60-80 yr) were randomized equally to receive a multivitamin that contained either 500 mug/d or no phylloquinone plus a daily calcium (600 mg elemental calcium) and vitamin D (400 IU) supplement.
Measurements of the femoral neck, spine (L2-L4), and total-body BMD, bone turnover, and vitamins K and D status were measured every 6-12 months. Intent-to-treat analysis was used to compare change in measures in 401 participants who completed the trial.
There were no differences in changes in BMD measurements at any of the anatomical sites measured between the two groups. The group that received the phylloquinone supplement had significantly higher phylloquinone and significantly lower percent undercarboxylated osteocalcin concentrations compared with the group that did not receive phylloquinone. No other biochemical measures differed between the two groups.
Phylloquinone supplementation in a dose attainable in the diet does not confer any additional benefit for bone health at the spine or hip when taken with recommended amounts of calcium and vitamin D.

Booth SL, Dallal G, Shea MK, Gundberg C…
J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. Apr 2008
PMID: 18252784 | Free Full Text

Review: Vitamin K1 Cost Effectiveness for Osteoporosis


Vitamin K to prevent fractures in older women: systematic review and economic evaluation.

To determine the clinical and cost-effectiveness of vitamin K in preventing osteoporotic fractures in postmenopausal women.
Searches were conducted in May 2007 in MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process, EMBASE, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Controlled Trials Register, BIOSIS, CINAHL, DARE, NHS EED and HTA databases, AMED, NRR, Science Citation Index and Current Controlled Trials. The MEDLINE search was updated in March 2009.
Selected studies were assessed and subjected to data extraction and quality assessment using standard methods. Where appropriate, meta-analysis was carried out. A mathematical model was constructed to estimate the cost-effectiveness of vitamin K1.
The electronic literature searches identified 1078 potentially relevant articles. Of these, 14 articles relating to five trials that compared vitamin K with a relevant comparator in postmenopausal women with osteoporosis or osteopenia met the review inclusion criteria. The double-blind ECKO trial compared 5 mg of phylloquinone (vitamin K1) with placebo in Canadian women with osteopenia but without osteoporosis. Four open-label trials used 45 mg of menatetrenone (vitamin K2) in Japanese women with osteoporosis; the comparators were no treatment, etidronate or calcium. The methodological quality of the ECKO trial was good; however, all four menatetrenone trials were poorly reported and three were very small (n < 100 in each group). Phylloquinone was associated with a statistically significant reduction in the risk of clinical fractures relative to placebo [relative risk 0.46, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.22 to 0.99]; morphometric vertebral fractures were not reported. The smaller menatetrenone trials found that menatetrenone was associated with a reduced risk of morphometric vertebral fractures relative to no treatment or calcium; however, the larger Osteoporosis Fracture (OF) study found no evidence of a reduction in vertebral fracture risk. The three smaller trials found no significant difference between treatment groups in non-vertebral fracture incidence. In the ECKO trial, phylloquinone was not associated with an increase in adverse events. In the menatetrenone trials, adverse event reporting was generally poor; however, in the OF study, menatetrenone was associated with a significantly higher incidence of skin and skin appendage lesions. No published economic evaluations of vitamin K were found and a mathematical model was thus constructed to estimate the cost-effectiveness of vitamin K1. Comparators were alendronate, risedronate and strontium ranelate. Vitamin K1 and alendronate were markedly more cost-effective than either risedronate or strontium ranelate. The base-case results favoured vitamin K1, but this relied on many assumptions, particularly on the efficacy of preventing hip and vertebral fractures. Calculation of the expected value of sampled information was conducted assuming a randomised controlled trial of 5 years’ duration comparing alendronate with vitamin K1. The costs incurred in obtaining updated efficacy data from a trial with 2000 women per arm were estimated to be a cost-effective use of resources.
There is currently large uncertainty over whether vitamin K1 is more cost-effective than alendronate; further research is required. It is unlikely that the present prescribing policy (i.e. alendronate as first-line treatment) would be altered.

Stevenson M, Lloyd-Jones M, Papaioannou D
Health Technol Assess Sep 2009
PMID: 19818211 | Free Full Text

This is a huge 158 page report. The reason they used K1 instead of K2 was:Vitamin K to prevent fractures in older women: systematic review and economic evaluation

No formal evaluation of vitamin K2 has been undertaken for a number of reasons. This intervention is currently not permitted as a food supplement in the EU because there is no evidence for its independent role in health26 and the price of the intervention is unknown. Additionally, the fracture efficacy data have wide confidence intervals, all of which spanned unity, and the only large (n > 1500 patients per arm) RCT reported a RR of 1.01 for vitamin K2 compared with calcium or no active intervention.



Review: Nutrition for Osteoporosis


Osteoporosis prevention and nutrition.

Although calcium and vitamin D have been the primary focus of nutritional prevention of osteoporosis, recent research has clarified the importance of several additional nutrients and food constituents. Further, results of calcium and vitamin D supplementation trials have been inconsistent, suggesting that reliance on this intervention may be inadequate. In addition to dairy, fruit and vegetable intake has emerged as an important modifiable protective factor for bone health. Several nutrients, including magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K, several B vitamins, and carotenoids, have been shown to be more important than previously realized. Rather than having a negative effect on bone, protein intake appears to benefit bone status, particularly in older adults. Regular intake of cola beverages shows negative effects and moderate alcohol intake shows positive effects on bone, particularly in older women. Current research on diet and bone status supports encouragement of balanced diets with plenty of fruit and vegetables, adequate dairy and other protein foods, and limitation of foods with low nutrient density.

Tucker KL
Curr Osteoporos Rep Dec 2009
PMID: 19968914

Vitamin K2 (MK-4) Prevents Bone Loss in Postmenopausal Women


A longitudinal study of the effect of vitamin K2 on bone mineral density in postmenopausal women a comparative study with vitamin D3 and estrogen-progestin therapy.

To investigate the effect of vitamin K2 treatment for a year on spinal bone mineral density (BMD) in postmenopausal women, comparing with vitamin D3 hormone replacement therapy and to determine the factors which affect the efficacy of vitamin K2 therapy.
Seventy-two postmenopausal women were randomized into four groups and treated with respective agents. Before the therapy, 6 and 12 months after the treatment, their lumbar spine BMD were measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. The rates of change in BMD (delta BMD) were calculated. Correlations of BMD with age, year since menopause and the initial BMD were determined.
Vitamin K2 suppressed the decrease in spinal BMD as compared with no treatment group. BMD in women treated with vitamin K2 was inversely correlated with their age (r = -0.54; P < 0.05).
Vitamin K2 therapy may be a useful method for preventing postmenopausal spinal bone mineral loss. In addition, the therapy should be started early in postmenopausal period.

Iwamoto I, Kosha S, Noguchi S, Murakami M…
Maturitas Jan 1999
PMID: 10227010

Vitamin K2 (menatetrenone) effectively prevents fractures and sustains lumbar bone mineral density in osteoporosis.


Vitamin K2 (menatetrenone) effectively prevents fractures and sustains lumbar bone mineral density in osteoporosis.

We attempted to investigate whether vitamin K2 (menatetrenone) treatment effectively prevents the incidence of new fractures in osteoporosis. A total of 241 osteoporotic patients were enrolled in a 24-month randomized open label study. The control group (without treatment; n = 121) and the vitamin K2-treated group (n = 120), which received 45 mg/day orally vitamin K2, were followed for lumbar bone mineral density (LBMD; measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry [DXA]) and occurrence of new clinical fractures. Serum level of Glu-osteocalcin (Glu-OC) and menaquinone-4 levels were measured at the end of the follow-up period. Serum level of OC and urinary excretion of deoxypyridinoline (DPD) were measured before and after the treatment. The background data of these two groups were identical. The incidence of clinical fractures during the 2 years of treatment in the control was higher than the vitamin K2-treated group (chi2 = 10.935; p = 0.0273). The percentages of change from the initial value of LBMD at 6, 12, and 24 months after the initiation of the study were -1.8 +/- 0.6%, -2.4 +/- 0.7%, and -3.3 +/- 0.8% for the control group, and 1.4 +/- 0.7%, -0.1 +/- 0.6%, and -0.5 +/- 1.0% for the vitamin K2-treated group, respectively. The changes in LBMD at each time point were significantly different between the control and the treated group (p = 0.0010 for 6 months, p = 0.0153 for 12 months, and p = 0.0339 for 24 months). The serum levels of Glu-OC at the end of the observation period in the control and the treated group were 3.0 +/- 0.3 ng/ml and 1.6 +/- 0.1 ng/ml, respectively (p < 0.0001), while the serum level of OC measured by the conventional radioimmunoassay (RIA) showed a significant rise (42.4 +/-6.9% from the basal value) in the treated group at 24 months (18.2 +/- 6.1% for the controls;p = 0.0081). There was no significant change in urinary DPD excretion in the treated group. These findings suggest that vitamin K2 treatment effectively prevents the occurrence of new fractures, although the vitamin K2-treated group failed to increase in LBMD. Furthermore, vitamin K2 treatment enhances gamma-carboxylation of the OC molecule.

Shiraki M, Shiraki Y, Aoki C, Miura M
J. Bone Miner. Res. Mar 2000
PMID: 10750566


I don’t know why they had to say “the vitamin K2-treated group failed to increase in LBMD”, when they could have said the vitamin K2-treated group prevented the decrease in LBMD seen in the control group, or that LBMD was increased compared to controls.

Vitamin K2 (MK-4) Suppresses RANKL Alone or With Bisphosphonates


Osteoclast inhibitory effects of vitamin K2 alone or in combination with etidronate or risedronate in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: 2-year results.

To investigate the effects of vitamin K2 (Vit K2) alone or in combination with etidronate and risedronate on bone loss, osteoclast induction, and inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Subjects comprised 79 patients with RA who were receiving prednisolone, divided into 3 groups: Group K, Vit K2 alone; Group KE, Vit K2 plus etidronate; and Group KR, Vit K2 plus risedronate. During a 24-month treatment and followup period, levels of N-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (NTx) and bone alkaline phosphatase were measured. Bone mineral density (BMD) of the 3 groups was measured using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Damage score to fingers on radiographic findings were measured according to the Larsen method. Serum levels of receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG) were measured.
Falls in rate of change of BMD decreased after 18 months in groups KR and KE. Larsen damage scores indicated a significant difference between Group KE and other groups. Significant decreases in serum NTx were observed in groups KE and KR at all timepoints, but not in Group K. Levels of RANKL decreased significantly in all 3 groups.
Vit K2 alone or in combination with bisphosphonates for treatment of osteoporosis in patients with RA may inhibit osteoclast induction via decreases in levels of RANKL.

Morishita M, Nagashima M, Wauke K, Takahashi H…
J. Rheumatol. Mar 2008
PMID: 18260178