, Volume 25, Issue 7, pp 406–411 | Cite as

Quantitation of vitamin K in human milk

  • Louise M. Canfield
  • Judy M. Hopkinson
  • Anne F. Lima
  • Gail S. Martin
  • Kyoto Sugimoto
  • Jeanne Burr
  • Larry Clark
  • Daniel L. McGee


A quantitative method was developed for the assay of vitamin K in human colostrum and milk. The procedure combines preparative and analytical chromatography on silica gel in a nitrogen atmosphere followed by reversed phase high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Two HPLC steps were used: gradient separation with ultraviolet (UV) detection followed by isocratic separation detected electrochemically. Due to co-migrating impurities, UV detection alone is insufficient for identification of vitamin K. Exogenous vitamin K was shown to equilibrate with endogenous vitamin K in the samples. A statistical method was incorporated to control for experimental variability. Vitamin K1 was analyzed in 16 pooled milk samples from 7 donors and in individual samples from 15 donors at 1 month post-partrum. Vitamin K1 was present at 2.94±1.94 and 3.15±2.87 ng/mL in pools and in individuals, respectively. Menaquinones, the bacterial form of the vitamin, were not detected. The significance of experimental variation to studies of vitamin K in individuals is discussed.


High Performance Liquid Chromatog Milk Sample Human Milk Menaquinones High Performance Liquid Chromatog 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



hemorrhagic disease of the newborn


high performance liquid chromatography


(Ve−Vo)/Vo(Ve=elution volume


void volume


optical density


tetrabutyl ammonium perchlorate




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Copyright information

© American Oil Chemists’ Society 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louise M. Canfield
    • 1
  • Judy M. Hopkinson
    • 2
  • Anne F. Lima
    • 3
  • Gail S. Martin
    • 4
  • Kyoto Sugimoto
    • 5
  • Jeanne Burr
    • 1
  • Larry Clark
    • 1
  • Daniel L. McGee
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biochemistry and Family and Community MedicineUniversity of ArizonaTucson
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsBaylor College of MedicineHouston
  3. 3.Process Development DepartmentPitman-MooreTerre Haute
  4. 4.Department of BiochemistryTexas A&M UniversityCollege Station
  5. 5.Houston

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