2009 Volume 55 Issue 1 Pages 15-21
It has been reported that treatment with a pharmacological dose (45 mg/d) of menaquinone-4 (MK-4) prevents bone loss in postmenopausal women. However, it is not known whether supplementation with low dose MK-4 has beneficial effects on bone metabolism in healthy women. The aim of this study is to examine the effects of the supplementation of 1.5 mg/d MK-4 for 4 wk on bone and lipid metabolism in healthy postmenopausal Japanese women. The study was performed as a randomized double blind placebo-controlled trial. The participants aged 53-65 y were randomly assigned to 2 groups and supplemented with 1.5 mg/d of MK-4 or a placebo for 4 wk (n=20 for each group). The most marked effects of MK-4 intake were observed on serum osteocalcin (OC) concentrations. Serum undercarboxylated OC (ucOC) concentration decreased, and the γ-carboxylated OC (GlaOC) and GlaOC/GlaOC+ucOC ratio that indicates the degree of OC γ-carboxylation increased significantly at 2 and 4 wk compared with that at baseline in the MK-4 group. The serum ucOC and GlaOC concentrations in the MK-4 group were significantly different from those in the placebo group at 2 wk. These results suggest that supplementation with 1.5 mg/d MK-4 accelerated the degree of OC γ-carboxylation. The concentrations of serum lipids and other indices were not different between the groups at either intervention period. Thus, the additional intake of MK-4 might be beneficial in the maintenance of bone health in postmenopausal Japanese women.