Journal of chromatography. B, Analytical technologies in the biomedical and life sciences

Quantification of phylloquinone and menaquinones in feces, serum, and food by high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry.

PMID 24956079


Vitamin K, comprising phylloquinone (PK) and menaquinones (MKn), is a family of vitamers found in multiple biological and environmental matrices. Advancing emerging evidence for novel and distinct physiologic roles of these vitamers in human health and disease necessitates sensitive and selective methods for quantifying PK and MKn in these matrices. We developed a novel method employing high-performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry with atmospheric pressure chemical ionization (LC-APCI-MS) for simultaneous quantification of 11 vitamin K vitamers that can be applied in feces, serum and food. Minimal detectable concentrations of vitamin K vitamers ranged from 1 pmol/g to 30 pmol/g. Limits of quantification ranged from 5 pmol/g to 90 pmol/g. Inter-assay and intra-assay variations were <17% and <8%, respectively, in food, and <12% and <8%, respectively, in feces. Recovery exceeded 80% for all vitamers in both food and feces. The method successfully quantified PK and MKn concentrations in rat chow, feces and serum. In summary, this LC-APCI-MS method provides a sensitive and selective tool for quantifying vitamin K vitamers in feces, serum and food. This method can be applied in human and animal studies examining the role of vitamin K vitamers derived from the diet and gut bacteria synthesis in health and disease.