Vitamin K Status in Nutritionally Compromised Circumstances

  • Mina Yamazaki PriceEmail author
  • Victor R. Preedy
Living reference work entry


Vitamin K deficiency is very rare except in neonatal populations. This is due to dietary sources, particularly plant-derived phylloquinones (vitamin K1) being abundantly distributed in nature and ubiquitously available in common foods. However, there is very little information on the bioavailability of vitamin K from foods. Furthermore, despite the increased understanding of vitamin K’s biological roles, there are difficulties in establishing a causal link between plausible biomarkers of vitamin K deficiency and reproducible health outcome measures. Additionally, with vitamin K there is the added complication that this vitamin is also synthesized in the gastrointestinal tract by gut microflora. As a result, the exact dietary requirements for vitamin K in numerical terms have not been fully established. Clinically significant vitamin K deficiency is almost nonexistence in healthy populations. However, there are states in which it is compromised in some population cohorts other than neonatal populations. This review illustrates some examples of vitamin K insufficiency states, which include eating disorders, undernourished children, inflammatory bowel disease, and chronic kidney disease. It also describes some biomarkers of vitamin K status used in recent studies.


Vitamin K Phylloquinones Menaquinones Natto Carboxylation Uncarboxylated Glutamate residues 

List of Abbreviations


Body mass index


End-stage renal failure


Inflammatory bowel disease


Protein induced by vitamin K absence-II


Undercarboxylated matrix Gla protein


Undercarboxylated osteocalcin


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Critical Care, Medicine and Surgery, Department of TherapiesRoyal Free Hospital, Royal Free London NHS Foundation TrustLondonUK
  2. 2.Diabetes & Nutritional Sciences DivisionSchool of Medicine, King’s College LondonLondonUK

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