The little understood protein, osteocalcin, plays a significant role in the strength of our bones. It is made by osteoblasts, the cells that lay down new bone. Osteocalcin cannot be absorbed into bone in the absence of adequate vitamin K, which comes from eating green leafy vegetables. This is a particular problem in people taking Coumadin for protection against, stroke, heart attack, thrombophlebitis, and much more. Most MDs advise their patients to avoid these vegetables because they counteract the effects of Coumadin. This creates a vitamin K deficiency, which leads to the development of osteoporosis.
I recommend that my patients eat plenty of leafy green vegetables and supplement with a low dose of vitamin K and titrate the anticoagulation effects of Coumadin. Vitamin K deficiency leads to an increased risk for MI and stroke, aortic valve calcification, as well as osteoporosis.