Topic of the Month
Vitamin K – established and potential new functions
1 March 2013
Vitamin K is the name given to a group of essential micronutrients: vitamin K1 (phylloqui-none), the best characterized form, is found mainly in green leafy vegetables, while vitamin K2 (menaqui-none-4, -7, -8 and -9) is found in small amounts in meat, cheese and fermented soy products and is also synthesized by the body’s own gut flora. Vitamin K3 (menadione) is a synthetically manufactured form, but may also occur during absorption from the gastrointestinal tract of vitamin K1 and K2. In practical terms, the two forms K1 and K2 are of greatest importance in human metabolism. The involvement of vitamin K1 in blood clotting and bone metabolism is well documented. It is likely that an adequate intake of vitamin K could also reduce the development of atherosclerosis and the incidence of brain function disorders. Depending on national health authority, the recommended daily intake of vitamin K for adults is between 60 and 120 micrograms.