Vitamin K homologs as potential biomarkers for disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (Khojah et al.)

J Bone Miner Metab has recently reported on a cross-sectional, case-control study that was conducted in Saudi Arabia and aimed at evaluating the possible role of Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2 (MK-4 and MK-7) as potential biomarkers for disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

The important biological activity that Vitamin K has in bone metabolism has already been supported by many studies. Particularly Vitamin K2 was suggested to be an effective treatment for osteoporosis and a preventive agent against fractures. More recently, it has been found that Vitamin K2 is able to decrease disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis.

The researchers enrolled 42 patients with RA and 40 healthy controls for the purpose of the present study. They measured clinical articular features, serum levels of Vitamin K1 and K2 (MK-4 and MK-7 form) and different biochemical markers.

This study has revealed that serum levels of Vitamin K1 and K2 were reduced in RA patients. Moreover, Vitamin K2 levels were moderately to strongly inversely correlated with the clinical articular features in RA patients, whereas Vitamin K1 levels were weakly correlated. The authors found that in case of RA patients, serum levels of K vitamins (MK-4, MK-7, K1) were strongly inversely correlated with undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC), matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-3) and disease activity score assessing 28 joints with erythrocyte sedimentation rate (DAS28-ESR). In contrast, serum levels of MK-4, MK-7 and Vitamin K1 were weakly correlated with C-reactive Protein (CRP), rheumatoid factor (RF) and anticyclic citrullinated polypeptide (anti-CCP).

“The results of this study confirm the role of Vitamin K deficiency in the etiology of RA, and suggest that serum levels of Vitamin K1 and K2 may be considered as potential biomarkers for disease activity. Moreover, these results may support the use of Vitamin K in the treatment and early prophylaxis of RA” says Dr. Katarzyna Maresz, president of the International Science and Health Foundation. “However, Vitamin K2 seems to be a better choice to decrease disease activity,” Dr. Maresz emphasizes. “And larger scale clinical investigations may be necessary to confirm this new  findings,” she adds.

Reference:

Khojah, H.M., Ahmed, S., Abdel-Rahman, M.S. et al. Vitamin K homologs as potential biomarkers for disease activity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. J Bone Miner Metab (2016). First Online: 08 October 2016. doi:10.1007/s00774-016-0785-4

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