The function of vitamin K is to serve as a co-factor during the post-translational carboxylation of glutamate (Glu) residues into γ-carboxyglutamate (Gla) residues. The vital importance of the Gla-proteins essential for normal haemostasis is well recognized. During recent years, new Gla-containing proteins have been discovered and the vitamin K-dependent carboxylation is also essential for their function. It seems, however, that our dietary vitamin K intake is too low to support the carboxylation of at least some of these Gla-proteins. According to the triage theory, long-term vitamin K inadequacy is an independent, but modifiable risk factor for the development of degenerative diseases of ageing including osteoporosis and atherosclerosis.