Clinical calcium

[In vivo metabolism of vitamin K: in relation to the conversion of vitamin K1 to MK-4].

PMID 19949269


Phylloquinone is a major form (>90%) of dietary vitamin K, but the form of vitamin K that exists at the highest concentrations in tissues of animals and humans is menaquinone-4 (MK-4) . Despite this great difference, the origin of tissue MK-4 had not been clarified until recently. We demonstrated that deuterium-labeled phylloquinone was converted into deuterium-labeled MK-4 in mice and this conversion occurred following an oral or enteral administration, but not parenteral administration. By the oral route, the phylloquinone with the deuterium-labeled side chain (phytyl side-chain) was clearly converted into menaquinone-4 with a non-deuterium-labeled side chain (geranylgeranyl side-chain), implying that phylloquinone was converted into menaquinone-4 via integral side-chain removal. Our results suggest that cerebral menaquinone-4 originates from phylloquinone intake and the release of menadione from phylloquinone in the intestine followed by the prenylation of menadione into menaquinone-4 in the intestine or tissues.