Lifespan Nutrition

Bill Sardi Health Blog

  • Vitamin K belatedly proposed for bone health (decades late)

    How come the research community launches out to prove something that is already widely known?

    A recent news headline reads: “Cheesy vitamin boosts bones; could mean an end for osteoporosis.”  The article went on to say a trial has been launched with vitamin K supplements to see if it slows or even reverses progressive bone loss in post-menopausal females.  Vitamin K, known as a blood-clotting nutrient, is also an anti-calcifying agent.  –[Daily Mail UK June 25, 2016]

    Knowledge that vitamin K nutriture is important in the bone of post-menopausal females dates back to 1971. [Clinical Endocrinology 1971]  A successful trial of a vitamin K dietary supplement was cited over two decades ago. [Annals Internal Medicine 1989]  Natto, which is a popular cheese in Japan that is rich in vitamin K, was found to help prevent osteoporosis in 1996. [Japanese Journal Geriatrics 1996]

    Why does modern medicine promote its bone problematic hardening drugs (bisphosphonates) over essential nutrients like vitamin K?

    The dietary supplement industry is way ahead here.  There are already a slew of vitamin K-based dietary supplements formulated to support bone health on the market.  Why is modern medicine playing catch up to the fact vitamin K is a critical nutrient in the maintenance of bone among older women?

    To make matters worse, for decades physicians prescribed vitamin K-blocking drugs as blood thinners (Warfarin), which are associated with accelerated bone loss and arterial calcification (trading one disease for another). [Biochimica et Biophysica Acta Clinical 2015]

    Addendum: while on the topic of bone health, I was stunned to read phytoestrogens (mild plant estrogens) do not have a robust effect in prevention of bone loss. [Nutrition Research 2014] Furthermore I thought flaxseed lignans (a phytoestrogen) was helpful for bones.  Actually, researchers say flaxseed may contribute to improvement in bone strength but the effect is derived from the omega-3 oil in flaxseed, not lignans. [Nutrition 2011]  Indeed, a trial of flaxseed lignans was beneficial for women with metabolic syndrome (diabesity), but had no effect on bone mineral density. [Applied Physiology Nutrition Metabolism 2009] Flaxseed has not been conclusively shown to allay menopausal symptoms either. [Journal Medicinal Food 2012]  Take flaxseed for its concentrated omega-3 and its ability to beneficially modify metabolic syndrome and for its ability to favorably later gut bacteria. [International Journal Food Science Nutrition 2016; Journal Nutritional Biochemistry 2016]