Bone is more susceptible to vitamin K deficiency than liver in the institutionalized elderly.Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2011; 20(1):50-5.AP
In Japan, γ-carboxylation of blood coagulation factors is the basis for determining adequate intake (AI) for vitamin K in Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) issued in 2010. Recently, vitamin K is also known to be essential for preventing fracture. In this study, relative susceptibility of liver and bone to vitamin K deficiency was studied. Thirty-seven elderly institutionalized subjects were evaluated for vitamin K status by measuring serum PIVKA (protein induced by vitamin K absence) -II and ucOC (undercarboxylated osteocalcin) levels, as sensitive markers for hepatic and skeletal vitamin K deficiency, respectively. Serum PIVKA-II and ucOC levels, with their cut-off values in the parentheses, were 20.2±8.9 mAUmL (28 mAU/mL) and 4.7±3.0 ng/mL (4.5 ng/mL), respectively. Median vitamin K intake was approximately 200 μg/day, which is more than 3 times higher than the current Japanese AI. Vitamin K intake was significantly correlated with serum PIVKA-II and ucOC/OC levels, but not with serum ucOC level. Although serum ucOC level is generally a good indicator for vitamin K status, multiple regression analysis revealed that elevated bone turnover marker significantly contributed to serum ucOC level. All subjects had vitamin K intake exceeding AI for vitamin K. Nevertheless, serum PIVKA-II and ucOC concentrations exceeded the cut-off value in 14% and 43% of subjects, respectively. The present findings suggest that vitamin K intake greater than the current AI is required for the skeletal health in the institutionalized elderly.