Meat is a good, natural source of vitamin K2, which prevents osteoporosis. Round steak and tenderloin have the highest content of the healthy vitamin. Photo: Jon-Are Berg-Jakobsen

Project Year 2015

Round steak prevent osteoporosis

Tenderloin and round steak is good food, not least for preventing osteoporosis.

Meat is a good, natural source of vitamin K2, a vitamin that prevents osteoporosis.

The vitamin has several biological effects. It is well-documented that vitamin K2 is important for bone structure and can protect against osteoporosis. It has been indicated that the high occurrence of osteoporosis in Norway may be linked to a low intake of vitamin K.

As the first group in the world, researchers at Nofima have investigated whether the content of vitamin K2 varies between cattle breeds and muscle groups in cattle. Results show that there is more vitamin K2 in round steak than in tenderloin and in the meat from Jersey cattle compared to NRF (Norwegian Red).

“It seems like muscles active in body movement contain more vitamin K2 than relaxing muscles. There was most K2 in the round steak, followed by sirloin, while the lowest concentration was found in tenderloin. However, all three muscles and both cattle breeds provide good contributions of vitamin K2,” researcher Rune Rødbotten of Nofima emphasizes.

The investigation showed no connection between intra-muscular fat and the share of vitamin K2, nor between the animal’s age and vitamin K2.

The researchers have been thorough in their investigations. Trials started when the animals were 1-2 months old and lasted until they were slaughtered at 18 to 24 months age. During the study all animals were given the same feed. They grazed at Jæren in the summer, and during winter they were given roughage and a small proportion of concentrate (which was not enriched with vitamin K).

“Vitamin K is fat-soluble vitamins, which comes in different forms. Vitamin K1 is primarily found in plants, while K2 is found in animal products such as meat, liver and cheese,” Rune Rødbotten says.

“In Norway meat is an important food source for vitamin K, because bioabsorbtion is high,” senior researcher Bente Kirkhus of Nofima says. Bioabsorbtion indicates to which degree nutrients are absorbed by the body.

In the United States authorities recommend a daily intake of approximately 100 micrograms of vitamin K. In Norway and the EU there are currently no vitamin K recommendations.

PARTNERS: Thomas Gundersen from AS Vitas in Oslo and Cees Vermeer from VitaK BV in the Netherlands

FFL – Fondet på forskningsavgift på landbruksprodukter and the Research Council of Norway

More useful research results