Data from 888 elderly men and women participating in the Framingham Heart Study between 1988 to1995 found that the risk of hip fractures among the elderly decreased as intakes of vitamin K increased. Men and women who reported the lowest daily vitamin K intakes (average56 micrograms) in 1988 had experienced significantly more hip fractures by the 1995 examination than those reporting the highest intakes (average 256 micrograms). Vitamin K activates at least three proteins involved in bone health, but exactly how it all works is still a mystery. Dark green leafy vegetables, like spinach and broccoli, are rich in vitamin K-- known chemically as phylloquinone. One serving of spinach or two servings of broccoli provide four to five times the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), now set at 65 to 80 micrograms.
The new findings support others reported in 1999. Analysis of data from more than 72,000 women in the Nurses' Health Study showed that low vitamin K intakes increased risk of hip fracture.
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