Vitamin K2 could boost bone health

Recent research has touted vitamin K2 as being beneficial to heart, bone and brain health. The vitamin can help bones because K2 functions as a contributor to the enzyme that catalyzes the production of osteocalcin - a protein produced by osteoblasts, which are cells responsible for bone formation, reports.

Scientists from the University of Maastricht have discovered that vitamin K2 may reverse bone loss and in some cases even increase bone mass in people with osteoporosis. Also, it is three times more effective than vitamin K1 in raising osteocalcin, which controls the building of bone.

Further, researchers from the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York found that vitamin K2 supplementation produces a 60 percent reduction in vertebral fractures and an 80 percent reduction in hip and other non-vertebral fractures.

Although the body can convert K1 into K2, studies from the University of Maastricht show that the amount of K2 produced by this process alone may be insufficient. Even if one is consuming enough K1, the body uses most of it to make clotting factors, leaving little remaining for bones.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 34 million Americans are estimated to have low bone mass and are at high risk for osteoporosis.