Objective: To assess the genetic and nongenetic correlates of circulating measures of vitamins K and D status in a community-based sample of men and women.
Subjects/methods: A cross-sectional study of 1762 participants of the Framingham Offspring Study (919 women; mean age 59 years). Vitamin K status was measured as plasma phylloquinone and serum percent undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC), and vitamin D was measured using plasma 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D). Associations between vitamin K status and vitamin D status with biologically plausible nongenetic factors were assessed using stepwise regression. Heritability and linkage were determined using Sequential Oligogenic Linkage Analysis Routines (SOLAR).
Results: Nongenetic factors accounted for 20.1 and 12.3% of the variability in plasma phylloquinone in men and women respectively, with triglycerides and phylloquinone intake being the primary correlates. In men 12.2% and in women 14.6% of the variability in %ucOC was explained by nongenetic factors in our models. Heritability estimates for these vitamin K status biomarkers were nonsignificant. Season, vitamin D intake, high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and waist circumference explained 24.7% (men) and 24.2% (women) of the variability in plasma 25(OH)D. Of the three vitamins examined, only 25(OH)D was significantly heritable (heritability estimate=28.8%, P<0.01), but linkage analysis of 25(OH)D did not achieve genome-wide significance.
Conclusions: Variability in biomarkers of vitamin K status was attributed to nongenetic factors, whereas plasma 25(OH)D was found to be significantly heritable. Further studies are warranted to investigate genetic loci influencing vitamin D status.