Effect of vitamin K on bone mineral density: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials


A number of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) examining the role of vitamin K on bone mineral density (BMD) have yielded inconsistent results. We performed a meta-analysis of these trials to assess the effect of vitamin K on BMD. We searched MEDLINE, EMBASE and CENTRAL for relevant studies of RCTs examining the role of vitamin K on BMD. Data on participants, interventions, and outcomes were extracted and the quality of all included trials assessed. Primary outcomes for analysis were absolute changes in BMD (mg/cm2) at the lumbar spine and femoral neck. Relative changes (percentage change) in BMD at the lumbar spine were also assessed. Vitamin K supplementation was shown to be efficacious in increasing BMD at the lumbar spine but not the femoral neck. The weighted mean difference (WMD) in BMD absolute change was 21.60 mg/cm2 [95% confidence interval (CI) 3.63, 39.56] at the lumbar spine and 0.25 mg/cm2 (95% CI −2.64, 3.14) at the femoral neck. The WMD in BMD relative change was 1.27% (95% CI 0.47, 2.06) at the lumbar spine and 0.17 (95% CI −0.21, 0.54) at the femoral neck. Subgroup analysis revealed that ethnic difference, gender, and vitamin K type were associated with variable effects on BMD at the lumbar spine. The modest overall treatment effects for vitamin K on BMD observed in this review may be biased and should be interpreted with caution. Further studies are required to address factors relating to the observed effects of vitamin K on BMD.

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We thank Yan Wang for her assistance with the design and implementation of search strategy for this protocol, and Meiyun Guan for statistical advice.

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There are no identified conflicts of interest with any of the authors.

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Correspondence to Chuanlai Hu.

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Fang, Y., Hu, C., Tao, X. et al. Effect of vitamin K on bone mineral density: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. J Bone Miner Metab 30, 60–68 (2012) doi:10.1007/s00774-011-0287-3

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  • Vitamin K
  • Bone mineral density
  • Osteoporosis
  • Meta-analysis
  • Subgroup-analysis