Low vitamin K intakes in community-dwelling elders at an early stage of Alzheimer's disease

J Am Diet Assoc. 2008 Dec;108(12):2095-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jada.2008.09.013.


An increasing body of evidence points to a role for vitamin K in brain physiology through its participation in sphingolipid metabolism and biological activation of the vitamin K-dependent protein Gas6. One hypothesis is that vitamin K may also play a role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. A recent study found that patients with early-stage Alzheimer's disease consumed less vitamin K than did cognitively intact control subjects. To learn more about the dietary intakes and food sources of vitamin K in these patients, a detailed analysis was conducted. Dietary vitamin K intakes were assessed from 5 nonconsecutive days of food records collected from 31 community-dwelling patients with early-stage Alzheimer's disease and in 31 age- and sex-matched cognitively intact control subjects. Mean vitamin K intake on a person-day basis was 63+/-90 microg/day in patients and 139+/-233 microg/day in control subjects. Vitamin K intakes were significantly less in participants with Alzheimer's disease (P<0.0001), even after adjusting for energy intakes (P=0.0003). Vegetables, fats, and fruits contributed more than 70% of total vitamin K intake in both groups. The main source of vitamin K was green vegetables, which contributed 33% and 49% to total intakes in patients and control subjects, respectively. This lower consumption of green vegetables in participants with Alzheimer's disease explained their lower vitamin K intakes overall. Despite their limitations, results are in line with the most recent research in both vitamin K and Alzheimer's disease and suggest a need to consider vitamin K in future investigations on the role of diet in Alzheimer's disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / etiology*
  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diet Records
  • Diet*
  • Female
  • Food Analysis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Vegetables / chemistry
  • Vitamin K / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin K / physiology


  • Vitamin K