Recommended dietary intakes (RDI) of vitamin K in humans

Am J Clin Nutr. 1987 Apr;45(4):687-92. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/45.4.687.


Vitamin K is essential for the formation of at least three proteins involved in blood clotting as well as of other proteins found in plasma, bone, and kidney. Vitamin K deficiency, however, primarily affects the blood clotting process. Vitamin K is provided both from the diet and from endogenous bacterial synthesis, presumably in roughly equal measure. Because intakes of 0.4 micrograms X kg-1 X d-1 (0.89 nmol X kg-1 X d-1) and probably lower intakes maintain normal clotting activities in healthy neomycin-treated adults, rounded daily recommended dietary intakes (RDI) for essentially all reference 76-kg men and 62-kg women are 45 micrograms (100 nmol) and 35 micrograms (78 nmol) phylloquinone, respectively. Newborn infants are at high risk because breast milk contains inadequate concentrations of vitamin K and their intestines are not yet colonized with vitamin K-producing bacteria. Body reserves of vitamin K are small and turnover rapidly. Hence, supplementation of infants with vitamin K is highly advisable. Increments of vitamin K during pregnancy and lactation are also suggested.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lactation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Pregnancy
  • Prothrombin / metabolism
  • Vitamin K / administration & dosage*


  • Vitamin K
  • Prothrombin