Vitamin K levels often low in Crohn's disease

December 1, 2004 in Gastrointestinal Health, Nutrition Topics in the News, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Vitamin K levels often low in Crohn's disease

People with Crohn's disease, a chronic inflammation of the colon, have lower levels of vitamin K than do healthy subjects, a recent study shows.

Moreover, the rate of bone loss in Crohn's patients is higher when vitamin K is low, the researchers report. Thinning bones are often seen in people with Crohn's disease, say researchers from University College in Cook, Ireland. There is some evidence that a deficiency of certain bone-active nutrients, including vitamins K and D, may have a partial role in this bone loss.

The researchers compared vitamin K status in 44 Crohn's disease patients and 44 matched controls. The Crohn's disease patients were currently in remission and were taking very low doses of steroids, or none at all.

Food frequency questionnaires were used to estimate vitamin K1 intake, and this tended to be lower in the participants with Crohn's disease than in the controls. Biomarkers of bone resorption were also higher in the Crohn's group.

Based on these findings, the research team concludes that "it would seem timely to investigate the effect of vitamin K supplementation on bone turnover and bone mass in Crohn's disease patients."

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