How Research Can Mislead – An Example with Vitamin K

In October of 2008, an original research article was published in PLoS Medicine that reports 5mg of daily vitamin K1 supplementation for two to four years does not prevent or reduce age related losses in bone mineral density, but may protect against fractures and cancer.  The results are interesting, but provide little new information in the treatment of osteoporosis with vitamin K.  The studies that have shown good results with vitamin K used 45mg per day of a different form of vitamin K – vitamin K2.  I am concerned that these results, on face value, may lead clinicians to believe that vitamin K does not work for osteopenia or osteoporosis.  This study actually tests a new therapy with a different medicine and different dosing.

Another recent study using vitamin K2 used only 200 IU of vitamin D daily in conjunction with vitamin K2 treatment. This is far below the vitamin D3 dosage that has been used in effective vitamin K2 studies in the past.

Sometimes the headlines from new medical research can be misleading and easy to misinterpret.  These are just a couple of possible examples.

Be well,

Richard

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