ScienceDaily.com has an article on the role that two joined proteins, osteopontin and osteocalcin, play in the role of bone health. The article says that bone loss may begin with tiny holes in the bones – holes no bigger than 500 atoms in diameter! – That’s tiny! They say a person may fall or trip and that the force of the impact deforms those joined proteins.
Because those two joined proteins get deformed, the bone develops these nanoscale-sized holes called dilatational bands (as in dilated? Open? Like an iris?)
The dilatational bands may sound bad, but they’re actually a defense mechanism meant to shore up weak bone. But if the force of your fall is too great, or if your bones are too lacking in one or both of those joined proteins (osteopontin and osteocalcin) – then a fracture or break may occur.
This is where the broccoli and spinach come in to play.
Now that osteocalcin is known to participate in bone fracture, new strategies for strengthening the bond between osteocalin and osteopontin can be investigated, Vashishth said. Augmenting the body’s natural supply of osteocalcin, for example, could be one possible strategy for treating osteoporosis and other conditions leading to increased fracture risk, he said. Osteocalin must be in its carboxylated form to get absorbed into bone, and the protein is carboxylated by vitamin K. Vashishth said future studies could investigate the relation between vitamin K intake, osteocalcin, and bone strength.
“Currently, all of the advice for treating osteoporosis is related to calcium. We believe there’s more to the story than just calcium, and the results of this new study raise an important question about vitamin K. Leafy green vegetables are the best source of vitamin K — wouldn’t it be great if eating spinach and broccoli was not only healthy, but also good for your bones? We plan to investigate this link in future,” Vashisth said.
In some ways, this isn’t anything new. We all know how important it is to get adequate K1 and K2 (the K1 is the stuff found in leafy greens; K2 in butter and organ meats). The Japanese have been using Vitamin K supplements to combat osteoporosis for years. If you don’t get enough of the K vitamins from your diet, you might consider supplementation. Of all the K supplements out there, there are only a handful that come close to having any kind of therapeutic dosage levels: LEF Super K and Vitacost Vitamin K with Advanced K2 Complex (NOTE: This used to be called NSI Vitamin K with Advanced K2 Complex. They seem to have switched to being called “Vitacost” brand now, which explains why Vitacost has been phasing out many of the LEF brand supplements. Of the two, I prefer the LEF, even though it’s more expensive.)
If you missed it, an explanation of the difference between K, K2 and the different forms of K2.