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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: The role of menaquinones (vitamin K2) in human health)

item Beulens, Jolin
item Booth, Sarah
item Van Den Heuvel, Ellen
item Stoecklin, Elisabeth
item Baka, Athanasia
item Vermeer, Cees

Submitted to: British Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/22/2013
Publication Date: 10/1/2013
Citation: Beulens, J.W., Booth, S.L., Van Den Heuvel, E., Stoecklin, E., Baka, A., Vermeer, C. 2013. The role of menaquinones (vitamin K2) in human health. British Journal of Nutrition. 110(8):1357-1368.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Europe convened experts in vitamin K selected from academia and industry to review the need for specific dietary reference values (DRVs) for vitamin K2, also known as menaquinones. This review describes the literature based on the following items required to set a DRV: dietary intake, amount of nutrient required to prevent deficiency, maintain optimal body stores and/or prevent chronic disease and factors influencing requirements like absorption, metabolism, lifestage and sex. Because significant gaps in the current knowledge were identified, it was concluded that currently a separate DRV cannot be set. However, present DRVs for vitamin K are exclusively based on vitamin K1, also known as phylloquinone. Based on the current literature, we conclude that there is merit for consideration of the unique qualities of menaquinones when formulating vitamin K requirements. This conclusion is based on the considerations that phylloquinone and menaquinones are different with respect to their chemical structure and pharmacokinetics and that possibly they have different tissue specificities that might lead to different health effects.

Last Modified: 05/26/2017
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