Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Vitamin K and bone health

Vitamin K supplements get better bone health and lessen risk of bone fractures, mainly in postmenopausal women who are at risk for osteoporosis. Three vitamin-K proteins have been isolated in bone. Higher vitamin K levels match to greater bone density, while low levels of vitamin K have been found in those with osteoporosis. In bones, vitamin K mediates the gamma-carboxylation of glutamyl residues on few bone proteins, particularly osteocalcin. Osteocalcin is a protein synthesized by osteoblasts (bone forming cells). The mineral-binding capability of osteocalcin requires vitamin K-dependent gamma-carboxylation of three glutamic acid residues.

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