A new study shows that this vitamin can significantly reduce the risk of bone fractures

A new study shows that this vitamin can significantly reduce the risk of bone fractures

Vitamin K1, also known as phylloquinone, is a type of vitamin K found in leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, green beans, kale and spinach, as well as in fruits such as prunes, kiwis and avocados. It is important for the proper functioning of the body’s blood clotting mechanism and for maintaining healthy bones.

A long-term study that analyzed the relationship between fracture-related hospitalizations and diet in nearly 1,400 older women found that vitamin K1 significantly reduced the risk of hospitalization.

Bone fractures can have a significant impact on a person’s life, especially in old age when hip fractures can lead to disability, reduced independence and an increased risk of mortality.

However, research from the Nutrition and Health Innovation Research Institute at Edith Cowan University found that there may be steps you can take to reduce your risk of fracture later in life.

In partnership with University of Western Australiastudy looked at the relationship between fracture-related hospitalizations and vitamin K1 intake in nearly 1,400 older Australian women over a 14.5-year period from the Perth Longitudinal Study of Aging Women.

Marc Sim

Dr. Marc Sim. Credit: Edith Cowan University

It found that women who ate more than 100 micrograms of vitamin K1 – the equivalent of about 125g of dark leafy greens or one to two servings of vegetables – were 31 per cent less likely to have a fracture compared to participants who consumed less than 60 micrograms per day, which is the current guideline for adequate vitamin K intake in Australia for women.

There were even more positive results regarding hip fractures, with those who ate the most vitamin K1 nearly halving their risk of hospitalization (49 percent).

Study leader Dr. Marc Sim said the results are further evidence of the benefits of vitamin K1, which has also been shown to improve cardiovascular health.

“Our results are independent of many established factors for fracture rate, including body mass index, calcium intake, vitamin D status and underlying disease,” he said.

“Basic studies of vitamin K1 have identified a key role in vitamin K1-dependent carboxylation of bone proteins, such as osteocalcin, which is believed to improve bone strength.

“Previous ECU research indicates that dietary vitamin K1 intake of less than 100 micrograms per day may be too low for this carboxylation.

“Vitamin K1 may also promote bone health by inhibiting various bone resorption substances.”

So what should we eat—and how much?

dr. Sim said that eating more than 100 micrograms of vitamin K1 a day is ideal — and luckily, that’s not too hard to do.

“Consumption of this much daily vitamin K1 can easily be achieved by consuming between 75-150 g, which is equal to one to two servings, of vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli and cabbage,” he said.

“That’s another reason to follow public health guidelines, which advocate a higher intake of vegetables, including one to two servings of green leafy vegetables—which is consistent with our study’s recommendations.”

Reference: “Dietary intake of vitamin K1 is associated with lower long-term risk of fracture-related hospitalization: the Perth Longitudinal Study of Older Women” Marc Sim, Andre Strydom, Lauren C. Blekkenhorst, Nicola P. Bondonno, Rachel McCormick, Wai H . Lim, Kun Zhu, Elizabeth Byrnes, Jonathan M. Hodgson, Joshua R. Lewisabch, and Richard L. Prince, 12 Sep 2022, Food and function.
DOI: 10.1039/D2FO02494B

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