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Prevention of Non Communicable Diseases

Vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7) increases plasma adiponectin but does not affect insulin sensitivity in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial

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Vitamin K is a co-factor in the carboxylation of the bone matrix protein osteocalcin (OC), and thus decreases the concentration of undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC). Animal and in vitro studies suggest that ucOC increases insulin sensitivity. However, epidemiological studies find positive associations between vitamin K intake and insulin sensitivity. We aimed to investigate the effect of vitamin K2 in the form of menaquinone-7 (MK-7) on serum ucOC, bone mass, and insulin sensitivity in postmenopausal women.


This was a randomized placebo-controlled trial. One hundred forty-eight postmenopausal women received MK-7 375 µg daily or placebo, as an add-on to calcium (800 mg) and vitamin D (38 µg) for 12 months. We measured serum ucOC, insulin sensitivity by HOMA-IR, and plasma adiponectin and leptin at baseline and after 12 months.


S-ucOC decreased in the MK-7 group (−70.3 (−75.6; −63.8) %) compared to the placebo group (−7.2 (−15.9; 2.0) %) after 12 months (p < 0.01). P-adiponectin increased in the MK-7 group (6.1 ± 20.1%) (mean ± SD) compared to the placebo group (−0.7 ± 15.5%) after 12 months (p = 0.03). HOMA-IR and p-leptin did not change in the two groups.


Treatment with MK-7 for 12 months decreased p-ucOC, increased p-adiponectin, but did not change insulin sensitivity suggesting that ucOC does not affect insulin sensitivity in healthy postmenopausal women.

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Data availability

The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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The authors thank the staff at the Osteoporosis Clinic for their help with conducting the study.


This work received financial support (category 1) from Orkla Health, that also supplied vitamin MK-7, placebo tablets, calcium and vitamin D. The study was supported by Aase and Ejnar Danielsens Foundation, the Danish Osteoporosis Society, the Family Hede Nielsens Foundation, the Department of Endocrinology at Aarhus University Hospital Research Foundation and the Central Denmark Region Research Foundation.

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All authors contributed to the design of the study, participated in conducting the study, and the interpretation of the results. SHR drafted the manuscript, that was subsequently revised by all authors. All authors have approved the manuscript and have agreed to be accountable for all aspects of the work in ensuring that questions related to the accuracy and integrity of any part of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved.

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Correspondence to Bente Lomholt Langdahl.

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Conflict of interest

SHR and SBP have nothing to disclose. TH has received honoraria for lectures from Amgen and Eli Lilly. BL has received research funding from Novo Nordisk and Amgen and has received honoraria for lectures and advisory boards from Amgen, UCB, Eli Lilly, Gilead, and Gedeon-Richter.

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Rønn, S.H., Harsløf, T., Pedersen, S.B. et al. Vitamin K2 (menaquinone-7) increases plasma adiponectin but does not affect insulin sensitivity in postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial. Eur J Clin Nutr 75, 1661–1667 (2021).

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