Vitamin K and sphingolipid metabolism: evidence to date

Nutr Rev. 2005 Apr;63(4):111-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2005.tb00129.x.


The brain is enriched with sphingolipids, which are important membrane constituents and major lipid signaling molecules that have a role in motor and cognitive behavior. Vitamin K has been implicated in brain sphingolipid metabolism for more than 30 years. The in vitro and in vivo studies to date suggest a role of vitamin K in the regulation of multiple enzymes involved in sphingolipid metabolism within the myelin-rich regions in the brain. However, the precise mechanisms of action are not well understood. Further, the physiological consequences of the observed effects of vitamin K on sphingolipid metabolism have not been systematically studied.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Sphingolipids / chemistry
  • Sphingolipids / metabolism*
  • Vitamin K / physiology*


  • Sphingolipids
  • Vitamin K