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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Vitamin K Contents of Meat, Dairy and Fast Food in the U.S. Diet

Authors
item Elder, Sonya - TUFTS/HNRCA
item Haytowitz, David - USDA-ARS-BELTSVILLE HNRC
item Howe, Juliette - USDA-ARS-BELTSVILLE HNRC
item Peterson, James - TUFTS/HNRCA
item Booth, Sarah - TUFTS/HNRCA

Submitted to: Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2005
Publication Date: January 25, 2006
Citation: Elder, S.J., Haytowitz, D.B., Howe, J., Peterson, J.W., Booth, S.L. 2006. Vitamin K Contents of Meat, Dairy and Fast Food in the U.S. Diet. Journal of Agricultural Food and Chemistry. 54(2):463-467.

Interpretive Summary: The purpose of this study was to determine the contents of three different forms of vitamin K [phylloquinone, dihydrophylloquinone and menaquinone-4 (MK-4)] in meat, dairy and fast foods common to the U.S. diet. Chicken, cheddar cheese, and egg yolks contained the highest amounts of MK-4. Meat and dairy foods contained low levels of phylloquinone. Fast foods, including hamburgers, tacos, fast food pizza and fish and chicken sandwiches, contained higher amounts of phylloquinone than other meats and dairy foods. Overall, dihydrophylloquinone was not detectable in meat and dairy foods, but was present in low levels in most fast foods. The highest levels of dihydrophylloquinone were found in chicken nuggets and tenders. The findings of our analysis indicate that no single food item in these categories is a rich dietary source of any one form of vitamin K. However, these foods are often consumed in large quantities, hence they may be of importance in overall contribution to total vitamin K intake. The presence of MK-4 in meat and dairy foods could be important as physiologic functions unique to MK-4 are identified.

Technical Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine the contents of three forms of vitamin K [phylloquinone, dihydrophylloquinone and menaquinone-4 (MK-4)] in representative samples of meat (n=128), dairy (n=24) and fast foods (n=169) common to the U.S. diet. Chicken, cheddar cheese, and egg yolks contained the highest amounts of MK-4 in this study, with mean ranges of 6.3 to 22.1 microg /100g of MK-4. Meat and dairy foods contained low levels of phylloquinone, ranging from non-detectable levels in chicken liver, pork loin, some fish, and egg whites to 4.3 microg/100g in beef hot dogs. Fast foods, including hamburgers, tacos, fast food pizza and fish and chicken sandwiches, contained higher amounts of phylloquinone than other meats and dairy foods, with concentrations that ranged from 5.9 to 19.3 microg/100g. Overall, dihydrophylloquinone was not detectable in samples of meat and dairy foods, but was present in low levels in most fast foods. Higher levels of dihydrophylloquinone were found in chicken nuggets and tenders, which contained 15.9 and 20 microg dK/100g respectively. The findings of our analysis indicate that no single food item in these categories is a rich dietary source of any one form of vitamin K. However, these foods are often consumed in large quantities, hence they may be of importance in overall contribution to total vitamin K intake. The presence of MK-4 in meat and dairy foods could be important as physiologic functions unique to MK-4 are identified.

Last Modified: 7/28/2014
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