Several reports indicate an important role for vitamin K in bone health as well as blood coagulation. However, the current Adequate Intakes (AI) might not be sufficient for the maintenance of bone health. To obtain a closer estimate of dietary intake of phylloquinone (PK) and menaquinones (MKs), PK, MK-4 and MK-7 contents in food samples (58 food items) were determined by an improved high-performance liquid chromatography method. Next, we assessed dietary vitamin K intake in young women living in eastern Japan using vitamin K contents measured here and the Standard Tables of Food Composition in Japan. PK was widely distributed in green vegetables and algae, and high amounts were found in spinach and broccoli (raw, 498 and 307 μg/100 g wet weight, respectively). Although MK-4 was widely distributed in animal products, overall MK-4 content was lower than PK. MK-7 was observed characteristically in fermented soybean products such as natto (939 μg/100 g). The mean total vitamin K intake of all subjects (using data from this study and Japanese food composition tables) was about 230 μg/d and 94% of participants met the AI of vitamin K for women aged 18-29 y in Japan, 60 μg/d. The contributions of PK, MK-4 and MK-7 to total vitamin K intake were 67.7, 7.3 and 24.9%, respectively. PK from vegetables and algae and MK-7 from pulses (including fermented soybean foods) were the major contributors to the total vitamin K intake of young women living in eastern Japan.
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