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Further Bone Health Benefit of Vitamin K Found

Vitamin K has been receiving an increasing amount of attention for its wide ranging health benefits. A recent study conducted by researchers with Oslo University Hospital adds another benefit to the list.

Previous studies have shown that Vitamin K may be able to improve bone health. This new study found that the vitamin may be particularly essential for improving bone health following an organ transplant.

The researchers published their findings in the February 2010 issue of the journal Transplantation.

For their study the researchers gave 35 lung and 59 heart recipient's daily vitamin K2 supplements or a placebo pill for one year.

The researchers measured the bone density in the participant's spine before and after the study and found a significant increase among the K2 group. They also measured bone mineral content and found an even higher increase.

Osteoporosis is characterized by low bone mass which leads to an increased risk of fractures. Osteoporosis is a serious problem after transplantation. The researchers noted that vitamin K2 may have the potential to alleviate the risk of osteoporosis following transplantation.

There are two main forms of vitamin K: phylloquinone (K1) and menaquinone (K2). Vitamin K1 is the form found in foods like lettuce, broccoli and spinach and it makes up about 90 percent of the vitamin K consumption in a Western diet.

Vitamin K2 is more difficult to come by. It is most common in fermented foods such as cheese but can also be found in meat, green leafy vegetables and milk products.

This important vitamin has received significant attention for its bone health benefits but it also has been linked to cell growth, heart health, joint health and disease prevention.

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