Decreased bone mineral density, Vitamin K and Vitamin D in ulcerative colitis patients

Disminución de la densidad mineral ósea, la vitamina K y la vitamina D en los pacientes con colitis ulcerosa

Background & Objective

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an inflammatory bowel disease, usually begins in the rectum and can involve the entire colon. Damage done by this condition can lead to several intestinal and extraintestinal manifestations (EIMs). Due to malnutrition, malabsorption and medications used in UC patients, bone mineral loss seems to happen at a higher pace, compared to healthy population. In this study, we aim to investigate bone mineral density (BMD) and its related biomarkers like Vitamin K, Vitamin D and Calcium in patients with UC.


One hundred and one documented UC patients with at least one year of treatment entered our study. BMD was measured with dual X-ray absorptiometry. Lab tests were done to examine Vitamin K, Vitamin D, Calcium and Magnesium levels in patients’ serum.


Among 101 patients, 32 (31.7%) were men and 69 (68.3%) were women. The mean age of participants was 32.15±9.46 years. The mean duration of the disease was 6.24±3.30 years. Based on the femoral T-score index, 75 (74.3%) patients had normal femoral density, 24 (23.8%) were osteopenic and (2%) 2 patients had osteoporosis. Bone loss significantly correlated with age and disease. Patients with lower BMI tend to have lower BMD values. The data analysis revealed lower levels of Vitamin K, Vitamin D and Calcium in UC patients significantly decreased bone density indexes, except for lumbar T-score which did not showed a clear relationship with serum Vitamin K. Also, the cumulative dose of prednisolone significantly reduced all BMD indicators, especially in patients with longer disease durations.


BMD in UC patients seems to decrease at a higher pace and it's associated with lower levels of Vitamin K, Vitamin D and Calcium in serum as well as corticosteroid consumption. Close follow-ups, dietary supplements and corticosteroid usage limitations could be beneficial for UC patients and decrease the risk of developing osteoporosis.

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