Bone is a living tissue that is in a constant state of rebuilding. To make new bone, the body must first remove some of the old bone. It is much like the natural removal of dead skin to make way for new skin.
Old bone is removed by cells called osteoclasts, and the new bone is laid down by cells called osteoblasts. When the osteoclastic activity is excessive, large holes of bone removal weaken the bone and lead to osteoporosis.
Normally, osteoblasts lay down a substance called osteocalcin, which enables new calcium to be laid down as bone. For the calcium to bind and ultimately become bone, it requires the services of vitamins K-2 and D-3.
Vitamin K-2 plays two important roles in maintaining optimal bone health:
- It protects against excessive osteoclastic activity and the overzealous reabsorption of bone.
- It also enables the osteocalcin to pull calcium out of the blood to support new bone formation via the osteoblasts.
One study followed over 72,000 women for 10 years. It was found that women who had the lowest intake of vitamin K-2 had a 30% higher risk of hip fractures. Women who had the highest intake of vitamin K-2 had a 65% lower incidence of hip fractures. (1)
Vitamin D-3 takes dietary calcium out of the gut and delivers it into the blood. Vitamin D-3 also helps in the production of osteocalcin, which is secreted by the osteoblasts that make the new bone. Vitamin K-2 protects healthy bone and helps pull the calcium out of the blood so the osteoblasts can make new bone.
In short, proper amounts of vitamin K-2 and vitamin D-3, along with an absorbable form of calcium (Microcrystalline Hydroxyapatite Concentrate or MCHC), are required to build healthy bone.
Booth, Tucker. Dietary Vitamin K intake associated with hip fracture but not bone density. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2000 May. 1201-6