Bioavailability of phylloquinone and menaquinones after oral and colorectal administration in vitamin K-deficient rats.Biochem Pharmacol 1995; 50(6):797-801BP
Rats were made vitamin K-deficient by feeding them a diet devoid of vitamin K and by rigorously preventing coprophagy. After one week, circulating prothrombin concentrations were between 5 and 10% of initial values, and various amounts of phylloquinone, menaquinone-4, and menaquinone-9 were given in a single dose either subcutaneously, orally, or colorectally. The relative 'vitamin K activities' of these compounds were assessed by comparing their ability to support prothrombin synthesis after subcutaneous injection. Intestinal and colonic absorption were deduced from the difference between subcutaneous and either oral or colorectal administration of the vitamers. It is concluded that the colonic absorption of all three forms of vitamin K is extremely poor, suggesting that physiological menaquinones in the colon do not contribute substantially to vitamin K status in rats. Furthermore, the stimulation of prothrombin synthesis by menaquinone-9 lasted much longer than that by the two other K-vitamers, resulting in a substantially higher 'vitamin K activity' of menaquinone-9.