Nutritional Interventions in Osteoporosis

Susan J. Whiting, PhD; Hassanali Vatanparast, MD


Geriatrics and Aging. 2005;8(9):14-20. 

In This Article

Alternative Therapies: Vitamin K and Isoflavones

Vitamin K and isoflavones were included in OSC guidelines as alternative therapies.[1] Vitamin K plays a role in synthesis of bone proteins such as osteocalcin, which is involved in mineralization. Although vitamin K provides a promising nutrition therapy showing positive correlation with bone mineral density,[1] no randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have been completed on its efficacy in preventing bone loss or promoting bone mineralization in osteoporosis. Therefore, the OSC recommendations cannot be restated any more positively, and a recommendation for intake is the same as for healthy adults.[3] In contrast, isoflavones have been studied in numerous trials, with promising indications that the synthetic form, ipriflavone, is a second-line therapy.[1] What remains to be determined is whether food isoflavones such as soy can also provide protection against bone loss in postmenopausal women. Short-term RCTs indicate there may be effects with as little as 40-60mg isoflavones from soy or red clover;[19,20] this amount can be obtained in 100g of tofu.


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