Talk with others about bone density, osteopenia and osteoporosis, and ways to keep your bones strong
Posted on: Dec 24, 2015 10:16PM - edited Oct 31, 2019 10:16AM by macb04
Something I never see mentioned, which was never mentioned to me even when I saw an orthopedic specialist after breaking my foot, was that Vitamin K2 deficiency along with Vitamin D3 deficiency increases the risk of fractures.
Just look at the following research about it. Vitamin K2 works SYNERGISTICICALLY with Vitamin D3 to move Calcium out of blood vessels and soft tissue spaces into bones. Without enough Vitamin K2 it is very hard to get the Calcium into your bones. Not only that, but Vitamin K2 is important in lowering risks of Atherosclerosis and Coronary Heart Disease. This should be a major health article, but you don't hear a word about it. Guess it might cut into the pricey, revenue generating big bucks the pharmaceutical industry gets with the Bisphosphonates
Vitamin K2 is not the same as Vitamin K 1, which is involved in blood clotting. There are a number of studies out of Japan where it is used in combination with Vitamin D3 for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis/osteomalacia. The research is using MK 4 and MK 7 types of Vitamin K2. MK4 is found in animal products like Gouda, Edam and Brie Cheeses. MK 7 is found in Natto, a weird Japanese food made from fermented Soy beans.
No Vitamin K2 supplements unless approved by your doctor if taking Blood Thinners.Log in to post a reply
Posts 121 - 150 (206 total)
Feb 3, 2018 01:23PM stephilosphy00 wrote:
I take daily Vitamin K2 (MK4+MK7) along with Vitamin D3. I have been on Aromasin for over 6 months and never got bone pain.
Feb 3, 2018 08:36PM EastcoastTS wrote:
I take K2 along with my calcium. Also take Vit D3. Magnesium as well.
Feb 4, 2018 07:49AM grandma3X wrote:
k2 is hard to find in the store, but Walgreens will automatically ship it to me every 60 days. One less thing I have to remember. I also take D3 and a magnesium- calcium supplement. My VitD levels increased from 29 to 46 over 6 months. I'm trying to get it a bit higher
Feb 4, 2018 03:34PM zogo wrote:
One thing I realized after taking a D3 from Costco for a couple years, was that you have to be aware of the oil it is made with. D3 is a fat soluble vitamin, and needs to be consumed with fat. After being shocked at the bad oils many were made with, I found one made with extra virgin olive oil. Much healthier option for me, as I take 10,000 iu/day.
Feb 4, 2018 04:57PM EastcoastTS wrote:
Pure is a very good brand for supplements but $$$.
Mar 29, 2018 10:16AM Michelle49 wrote:
I'm waiting for my next bone density test (in the fall)to see if there has been any changes since taking Vit K-2. I did notice my teeth getting really smooth and shiny. I've read in the comment sections at amazon that this happens. I'm seeing MO next week and I'll find out what he thinks of what I'm doing. Last time I saw him, he recommended zometa.
Nov 17, 2018 10:22AM Michelle49 wrote:
At my appointment with MO month ago, he said that he did not think I needed another annual bone density test even while taking letrozole. He seems convinced that the osteopenia and osteoporosis are irreversible. I wanted to see if the Vit K2 was making a difference. I was thinking of getting it anyway after that visit but I think to make it reliable I need to use the same machine I used before. The result would be filed in my record (it's in the same hospital system as my MO) and if he saw it, I don't know how he would react. I'll have to figure out how to get around it.
I also had my annual mammogram taken. Last year, they found bits of calcification. This time, I asked if they are still there. The doctor showed me the views comparing last year's and the one just taken. He said that they are gone! I believe that Vit K2 cleaned it out. Another thing I noticed that changed are the deposits on my retainer/night guard. I have worn it for many years overnight and it would always have build up of hard white stuff on it. I would take it to the dentist to have it cleaned with ultrasound. It's been several months and I haven't seen any build up at all. I wonder if there is a correlation with calcium and Vit K2 in my system.
Nov 17, 2018 10:45AM marijen wrote:
My endocrinologist won’t give me anymore reclast infusions and I don’t know why. I’m going to ask this month when I see him. And only get a bone density test. very two years. I have been off letrozole for over a year. Taking calcium carbonate worries me, there are studies that it can cause brain lesions. But I continue the K 2. Don’t understand why doctors don’t recommend it with magnesium and D3.
Nov 17, 2018 01:02PM - edited Nov 18, 2018 12:26PM by macb04
Hey Michelle, that is so cool to hear the Calcifications are gone. I hope you can get the scan. Your oncologist should be educated about Vitamin K2, no harms, only benefits. I really think that Vitamin K2 can be a huge benefit to our bones. I have also heard women say it helps their teeth, so not unlikely it effected the buildup on your mouthguard. Everything is connected.
Hi Marijen, its great you keep up with the Vitamin K2. Like I said, Benefits, and no harms. Much better for you than Biphosphonates Injections like Reclast. Women have had spontaneous, atypical fractures of the Femur associated with their use. Like, out of the blue their thighbone snaps. Some MD was on a New York City Subway, just standing and pffttt! There went her leg. No fall associated with the fracture. So she started researching it.
Another article suggested that short term use, 3 to 5 years might be safe, but that they don't know how long is safe. Seems like they should spend more time looking into safer adjunctives or Alternatives like Vitamin K2 and Bioidentical Progesterone.
03/18/2010 05:12am ET | Updated November 17, 2011
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This time we'll look at one of the most controversial and misunderstood treatments for osteoporosis -- hormone replacement therapy. We'll also answer the question as to whether being obese can actually reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
Bioidentical Hormones for Women
Prior to the publication of the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study, hormone replacement therapy was the first choice in preventing and reversing osteoporosis. After WHI the bisphosphonates became number one (such as Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel and for those with bone cancers, Zometa). And this is for good reason. These drugs are effective in reducing risks of fracture in well conducted studies.
But long term studies of bisphosphonates have also revealed side-effects which, though only occurring in a small minority of patients, can be serious. These include jaw bone deterioration and ulceration of the esophagus. One comprehensive long term study of over 12,000 women with osteoporosis also showed it would be necessary to treat approximately 66 women to prevent one fracture (1).
Other, though possibly less effective, medications are also available for use if the bisphosphonates are unsuccessful.
But what about hormones? Why did they fall out of favor when they consistently helped prevent fractures?
Well, it was reported they also resulted in increased risks of blood clots, strokes and breast cancer, as was reported in the WHI studies. But a large part of the problem wasn't the hormones -- it was the study itself. There were major flaws in the WHI trials. Such prestigious institutions as the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, journals such as the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences and even the WHI researchers themselves have criticized almost every aspect of the WHI studies done (2-4).
That certainly let a lot of air out of the balloon. Even so, there still is good evidence that women who use the synthetic hormones doincrease their risks of side-effects and adverse events.
The one area which was not criticized, however, was the 30% reduction in all types of fractures and the 40% reduction in hip fractures in particular with the use of HRT (hormone replacement therapy) (5).
But who wants to risk adverse effects if these can be reduced?
Did you notice I wrote synthetic hormones have increased risks associated with their use? Synthetic hormones such as Premarin, Estratest, FemHRT, Prempro and Provera are all molecules which have been altered. They are not found in nature, nor are they made in our body. It is this alteration which most researchers believe accounts for the significant differences causing increased risks and adverse effects experienced with the synthetics in many women.
As it turns out, the risks associated with synthetic hormones are notseen to the same significance with the Bioidentical hormones as shown in a number of excellent studies.
Bioidentical hormones are the exact hormones which our bodies produce. To the last atom, they are identical in every way to that which nature gives us.
Bioidentical hormones have a much different -- and safer profile. This evidence comes for example, from studies which have looked at the risks of breast cancer with synthetic HRT to the significantly reduced risks with bioidentical hormones (6-7).
There is also good evidence that transdermal estrogen (patch or cream applied to the skin) has no increased risk of causing breast cancer or blood clots -- especially potentially fatal blood clots which can travel to the lungs, heart or brain (8-9).
Moreover, comprehensive reviews of the safety and effectiveness of Bioidentical HRT have also concluded that, from all the clinical evidence we have to date, they are an excellent choice for protecting against fractures in women with osteoporosis (10-11).
Bottom Line: Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy for women is a valid and viable option for protecting against osteoporotic fractures. There will always be a need for further studies to add to our knowledge, but the track record to date is excellent. They must be used by a knowledgeable practitioner, accompanied by periodic testing and all preventive medicine care. I appease my obsessive need to keep patients safe by tracking these things rather closely. And any hormone therapy should always be used at the lowest effective dose, using estrogen and progesterone together. This combination of the bioidenticals offers the best benefit and protection against problems.
In my clinical practice -- over 15 years of experience in the use of Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy -- I regularly see that we not only halt, but we reverse osteoporosis. For women, I require annual gynecological evaluations, mammograms and pelvic ultrasound as well as periodic lab testing to ensure we are achieving optimal ranges of therapy. Bone mineral density evaluation is also periodically required as appropriate.
Most importantly, you want to know you are in safe hands while benefiting from all the positives of this exceptional therapy. Therapy should be individualized and tailored to the specifics of each patient's needs and risk profile.
Well, that's great for women. But what about men and testosterone replacement for bone health? Which would also be terrific for the libido in older guys.
Except for one big problem. Doesn't testosterone cause prostate cancer? So for all the good it does, aren't men just helping one part and hurting another? Bummer. What's a guy to do?
Testosterone, Osteoporosis and the Risk of Prostate Cancer
In a comprehensive review of the subject, we see not only an increase in bone density, but significantly fewer fractures in older men with osteoporosis who are treated with testosterone replacement therapy. Moreover, this can be done with no evidence of any increased risk of prostate cancer (12).
Did we hear this right? No increased risk?
Well, quoting these authors:
"So far, there is no compelling evidence that testosterone has a causative role in prostate cancer."
And this review echoes literally a multitude of studies which have concluded exactly the same findings over the last 20 years. Testosterone replacement therapy does not increase a man's risk of prostate cancer.
Bottom Line: All men over the age of 50 should be screened for the possibility of bone loss with blood tests as well as bone mineral density testing where appropriate. Testosterone replacement therapy should be considered as first line therapy for men with bone loss or osteoporosis along with regular follow-up testing for optimal levels and a physical exam. Prostate health should be followed, these studies notwithstanding.
Moreover, men with a history of prostate cancer are not necessarily excluded from receiving testosterone therapy. In my practice, I work closely with prostate oncologists to carefully select and follow these individuals while they receive testosterone replacement.
Sweet. So now, what's the story on weight, obesity and osteo?
There are many potential causes for osteopenia and osteoporosis. This is not one of them. Despite the fact that there are a host of diseases which anyone with obesity is at increased risk for -- such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol and coronary heart disease, there are no studies which show that obesity will increase anyone's risk of developing osteoporosis. But, of course, there is a catch.
Obesity is also associated with an increased risk of falls. And even though the bone mineral density of many obese individuals is normal, there is an increased risk of fractures of the forearm, legs and spine. You heard it right. You can have a normal bone density and no osteoporosis and still have a significantly higher risk of breaking a bone if you are obese. This does not seem to be true for hip fractures, however, where there seems to be no increased risk with obesity (13 - 16).
What seems to be most likely is that the protective effect of increased body size is due to the amount of muscle we have on our bodies -- not just how obese we are. This lean tissue as it is called seems to be the most important factor in obese people which protects against fractures (17).
Bottom Line: If you are obese, start or continue working out to build muscle. Obesity will not cause osteoporosis. But it will increase your risk of breaking a bone whether or not your bone density is normal.
Remember: Osteoporosis is a reversible disease. And so is your risk of fractures due to obesity.
In our next and final installment on osteoporosis, we'll take a closer look at why I think my bones are better than my vegetarian buddy Jason's; the mineral Strontium; Vitamin K; fish oils (for stronger bones?); and the good, the bad and the surprising side of alcohol. Stay tuned!
Joseph Sciabbarrasi, M.D., has practiced Integrative Medicine in West Los Angeles since 1993. In addition to his work with Osteoporosis, Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, Cardiovascular and Chelation therapies, he also lectures, writes and celebrates his weekends with his wife, Kathleen and their 8 year old son, Kieran. Join him at his website: www.drjosephmd.com
1. Wells GA, et al. Alendronate for the primary and secondary prevention of osteoporotic fractures in postmenopausal women.Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2008 Jan 23;(1):CD001155.
2. Klaiber EL, et al. A critique of the Women's Health Initiative hormone therapy study. Fertil Steril. 2005 Dec;84(6):1589-601.
3. Mastorakos G, et al. Pitfalls of the WHIs: Women's Health Initiative. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Dec;1092:331-40.
4. Manson JE, et al. Estrogen therapy and coronary-artery calcification. N Engl J Med. 2007 Jun 21;356(25):2591-602.
5. Anderson GL, et al. Effects of conjugated equine estrogen in postmenopausal women with hysterectomy: the Women's Health Initiative randomized controlled trial. JAMA. 2004 Apr 14;291(14):1701-12.
6. Fournier A, et al. Unequal risks for breast cancer associated with different hormone replacement therapies: results from the E3N cohort study. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2008 Jan;107(1):103-11. Epub 2007 Feb 27.
7. Fournier A, et al. Breast cancer risk in relation to different types of hormone replacement therapy in the E3N-EPIC cohort. Int J Cancer. 2005 Apr 10;114(3):448-54.
8. Opatrny L, et al. Hormone replacement therapy use and variations in the risk of breast cancer. BJOG. 2008 Jan;115(2):169-75; discussion 175.
9. Canonico M, et al. Hormone therapy and venous thromboembolism among postmenopausal women: impact of the route of estrogen administration and progestogens: the ESTHER study. Circulation. 2007 Feb 20;115(7):840-5.
10. Moskowitz D. A comprehensive review of the safety and efficacy of bioidentical hormones for the management of menopause and related health risks. Altern Med Rev. 2006 Sep;11(3):208-23.
11. Holtorf K. The bioidentical hormone debate: are bioidentical hormones (estradiol, estriol, and progesterone) safer or more efficacious than commonly used synthetic versions in hormone replacement therapy? Postgrad Med. 2009 Jan;121(1):73-85.
12. Bassil N, et al. The benefits and risks of testosterone replacement therapy: a review. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2009 Jun;5(3):427-48. Epub 2009 Jun 22.
13. Premaor MO, et al. Obesity and Fractures in Postmenopausal Women. J Bone Miner Res. 2009 Oct 12.
14. Pirro M, et al. High weight or body mass index increase the risk of vertebral fractures in postmenopausal osteoporotic women. J Bone Miner Metab. 2009 Jul 4.
15. El Maghraoui A, et al. Body mass index and gynecological factors as determinants of bone mass in healthy Moroccan women.Maturitas. 2007 Apr 20;56(4):375-82. Epub 2006 Nov 28.
16. Barrera G, et al. A high body mass index protects against femoral neck osteoporosis in healthy elderly subjects. Nutrition. 2004 Sep;20(9):769-71.
17. Travison TG, et al. The relationship between body composition and bone mineral content: threshold effects in a racially and ethnically diverse group of men. Osteoporos Int. 2008 Jan;19(1):29-38. Epub 2007 Jul 28.
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Atypical fractures of the femur and bisphosphonate therapy
A systematic review of case/case series studies
Andrea Giusti, Neveen A.T. Hamdy, Socrates E. Papapoulos ⁎
Department of Endocrinology & Metabolic Diseases, Leiden University Medical Center, Albinusdreef 2, 2333 ZA, Leiden, the Netherlands
article info abstract
Received 12 April 2010
Revised 12 May 2010
Accepted 13 May 2010
Available online 20 May 2010
Edited by: R. Rizzoli
Atypical femur fractures
Atypical fractures of the femur below the lesser trochanter have been reported in patients treated with
bisphosphonates.We performed a systematic literature search of case/case series studies to better define the clinical
presentation and to identify characteristics that may predispose patients to such fractures. We considered only
women treated with a bisphosphonate at a dosing regimen used for the prevention or treatment of osteoporosis and
we included also eight own unpublished cases. We identified 141 women with atypical fractures of the femur, mean
age of 67.8±11.0 years, who were treated with bisphosphonate for 71.5±40.0 months (range=3–192 months).
The results of this analysis allow identification of patients on bisphosphonate treatment at risk of developing atypical
fractures, define fractures better as predominantly insufficiency fractures, illustrate that long-term bisphosphonate
treatment is not a prerequisite for their development, recognize the use of glucocorticoids and proton pump
inhibitors as important risk factors, but do not provide insights in the pathogenesis of these fractures and raise
questions that need to be addressed in properly designed studies.
© 2010 Elsevier Inc
Nov 17, 2018 02:45PM Lanne2389 wrote:
if your MO or any other Dr works in a setting with a pharmacy, you can ask to meet with the pharmacist - they will know much more than your MO and surgeons. I've communicated with mine several times and it helps to have an ally in that dept! I've had mine go over my list of vitamins etc to make sure everything plays well with everything else
Nov 17, 2018 03:09PM corky60 wrote:
There are different opinions. Vitamin K2 did hurt me. I can only take a quarter of the amount recommended and I can only eat a small bit of kale. Otherwise the varicose veins in my legs start hurting. It feels like they a so much heavier even though I wear support stockings.
And as for calcifications of the breast--my radiologist was very concerned when my calcifications disappeared. She said that there was a type of breast cancer that ate calcium, and that was IDC. She ordered a biopsy and found it, very tiny. The biopsy in effect removed the cancer. I was very lucky.
Nov 18, 2018 11:58AM keepthefaith wrote:
I was recommended the Vit D3 and Calcium/mag supplements because I have both Osteopenia and Osteoporosis. My last DEXA scan showed a light increase in bone loss. I have since started taking Vit K2; no recommendations from Dr's. So, I will be anxious to find out if that is helping when I have my next DEXA in 2020. My MO has suggested Prolia, but I am reluctant, as I have on-going dental issues.
I just had my 5 yr mammo and got an all-clear, so I am a happy camper!:)
Happy Thanksgiving to all!
Nov 18, 2018 12:45PM - edited Nov 18, 2018 12:50PM by macb04
Wow Corky60, I am sorry you have had such unfortunate and unexpected side effects with Vitamin K2. After I read your post I looked for other similar bc complications and haven't seen any. In fact I saw that Vitamin K2 seems to decrease risks of breast cancer. Perhaps your situation wasn't related to Vitamin K2 at all. I'm sorry, it really sucks either way.
Good for you, keepthefaith, in starting on Vitamin K2 for your bones. That is a win/win.
The Number ONE Killer of women in the US is Heart Disease. VITAMIN K2 reduces the risks of Coronary Artery Disease and Heart Attacks by decreasing Arterial Stiffness and Calcifications.
Fan Xv, Jiepeng Chen, [...], and Shuzhuang Li
All data analyzed during this study are included in this published article.
Despite the availability of multiple therapeutic methods for patients with cancer, the long-term prognosis is not satisfactory in a number of different cancer types. Vitamin K2 (VK2), which exerts anticancer effects on a number of cancer cell lines, is considered to be a prospective novel agent for the treatment of cancer. The present review aims to summarize the results of studies in which VK2 was administered either to patients with cancer or animals inoculated with cancerous cells, particularly investigating the inhibitory effects of VK2 on cancerous cells, primarily involving cell-cycle arrest, cell differentiation, apoptosis, autophagy and invasion. The present review summarizes evidence stating that treatment with VK2 could positively inhibit the growth of cancer cells, making it a potentially useful approach for the prevention and clinical treatment of cancer. Additionally, the combination treatment of VK2 and established chemotherapeutics may achieve better results, with fewer side effects. Therefore, more attention should be paid to the effects of micronutrients on tumors.
Dec 22, 2018 07:34AM windingshores wrote:
Natto is made from soy, which is estrogenic. Is it safe for those of us with hormone-positive breast cancer? I have severe osteoporosis but have stayed away from K2 because of the soy.
Dec 23, 2018 01:53AM - edited Dec 23, 2018 02:14AM by macb04
Well, considering how much soy is eaten in Japan, and the fact that those eating the traditional Japanese diet have less breast cancer than their relations who move to the US, I am not too worried about it.
It has never made the least bit of sense to me the way people demonize Estrogen. Think about puberty, when Estrogen levels explode upwards from childhood. Surely if Estrogen were the dangerous hormone the bc industry makes it out to be, the millions of 20 year olds would be riddled with breast c, after years of exposure to elevated Estrogen.
Also there is MK4 , one of the types of Vitamin K2 available.
MK-4, a relatively short-chain menaquinone, is found in foods of animal origin, such as butter and egg yolks. Longer-chain menaquinones (MK-5 to MK-10) are found in variable amounts in fermented foods, such as cheese.