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J Nutr. 2003 Aug;133(8):2565-9.

Dietary phylloquinone depletion and repletion in older women.

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Jean Mayer U.S. Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.


Biological markers indicative of poor vitamin K status have been associated with a greater risk for hip fracture in older men and women. However, the dietary phylloquinone intake required to achieve maximal carboxylation of hepatic and extrahepatic vitamin K-dependent proteins is not known. In an 84-d study in a metabolic unit, 21 older (60-80 y) women were fed a phylloquinone-restricted diet (18 micro g/d) for 28 d, followed by stepwise repletion of 86, 200 and 450 micro g/d of phylloquinone. Plasma phylloquinone, urinary gamma-carboxyglutamic acid excretion and gamma-carboxylation of hepatic (prothrombin) and extrahepatic proteins (osteocalcin) decreased in response to phylloquinone restriction (P < 0.001), demonstrating the production of subclinical vitamin K deficiency. The gamma-carboxylation of prothrombin was restored to normal levels in response to phylloquinone supplementation at 200 micro g/d. In contrast, all other biochemical markers of vitamin K status remained below normal levels after short-term supplementation of up to 450 micro g/d of phylloquinone. These data support previous observations in rats that hepatic vitamin K-dependent proteins have preferential utilization of phylloquinone in response to phylloquinone dietary restriction. Moreover, our findings suggest that the current recommended Adequate Intake levels of vitamin K (90 micro g/d) in women do not support maximal osteocalcin gamma-carboxylation in older women.

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