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Diet lacking vitamin K1 makes knee joint susceptible to arthritis
If you don't consume much vitamin K1 [structural formula below] you are much more likely to develop arthritic knees than if you eat spinach, broccoli or other sources of vitamin K1 regularly. American nutritionists have written about it in the Journal of Medicine.
The MRI scans also showed that the participants with too little vitamin K in their blood were more likely to have osteophytes – or growths – in their knee joints. But this relationship was not statistically significant.
A shortage of vitamin K1 increased the likelihood of osteoarthritis in the joint, and this was visible on the X-rays. Here there was also a doubling of the chance of osteoarthritis developing.
"Vitamin K acts as an essential co-factor for the process of gammacarboxylation of Gla proteins, thereby conferring functionality to vitamin K-dependent Gla proteins. The bone and cartilage Gla proteins, such as MGP, osteocalcin, and Gas-6, play an important role in regulation of mineralization in these tissues, and the absence of functional forms of these proteins results in changes that are similar to those that occur in osteoarthritis."
The researchers refer to animal studies in which mice that produce no MGP die at a few months because their tissues calcify. [Nature. 1997 Mar 6;386(6620):78-81.] In in-vitro studies cartilage cells calcify less quickly if MGP is present in large quantities. [J Cell Biol. 2001 Aug 6;154(3):659-66.]