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Bone mass peaks at around age 30 in women, after which bone breakdown outpaces new bone formation. This net loss of bone mass over time increases the risk of osteoporosis-related fractures and the pain and disability that accompany them.
Good bone health depends on adequate intake of many nutrients including calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, phosphorus, and several B-vitamins. Weight-bearing exercise plays an integral part, too. As the bones are “stressed” by this type of exercise, they’re stimulated to lay down more bone tissue.
Previous studies have found that vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and one form of vitamin K2 (menaquinone-4) can improve bone health in postmenopausal women. The aim of the current study was to evaluate whether similar effects could be seen with another form of vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7).
In the current study, 244 postmenopausal women took 180 micrograms of vitamin K2 (as menaquinone-7) per day or a placebo for three years. Bone mineral density, bone mineral content, vertebral fracture risk, and measures of bone strength were taken at baseline and after one, two, and three years of treatment.
“Our findings support the European Food Safety Authorities’ acceptance of the health claim that a cause and effect relationship has been established between vitamin K and maintenance of normal bone,” the researchers concluded.
Beyond making sure that you’re getting enough basic nutrients, try these strategies to keep your bones healthy and strong as you age:
(Osteoporos Int 2013; DOI 10.1007/s00198-013-2325-6)