Japanese clinicians have reported evidence that a treatment for osteoporosis may improve serum cholesterol levels as well. They gave vitamin K2, 45 mg daily, to 17 patients (eight men and nine women) who had chronic renal failure and were being treated with continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis for four to 236 months. Patients were between the ages of 36 and 70; all had osteoporosis secondary to hyperparathyroidism. Total cholesterol, triglycerides, and high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations were measured in the morning and after overnight fasting every month for one year. Low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) was measured before treatment began and six months after treatment. Except for calcium carbonate, the drug regimen was maintained.
After administration of vitamin K2, total cholesterol concentrations at seven months and beyond were significantly lower than at three months before treatment. There were no significant changes in triglycerides and HDL-C during observation. Average triglyceride concentrations were between 3.7 and 4.7 mmol/L. There were significant decreases in LDL-C and, consequently, the ratios of HDL-C to LDL-C increased significantly at six months and beyond.
These results, say the authors, suggest that vitamin K2 may have a beneficial effect on total cholesterol concentrations. Such an effect, they believe, might shed light on findings that postmenopausal women with aortic atherosclerosis have a low intake of vitamin K2, and may explain their observation that total cholesterol concentrations decreased in 23 hemodialysis patients treated with vitamin K2 and returned to baseline when vitamin K2 was discontinued.
Source: Lancet 351:724 (research letters), Mar. 7, 1998