Research Research and Professional Brief| Volume 108, ISSUE 12, P2095-2099, December 2008

Low Vitamin K Intakes in Community-Dwelling Elders at an Early Stage of Alzheimer's Disease


      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 μg/day in patients and 139±233 μg/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.
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      N. Presse is a dietitian, Centre de recherche, Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal (CRIUGM) and doctoral student, Département de nutrition, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Canada


      B. Shatenstein is an associate professor, Département de nutrition, Université de Montréal, and a scientist at CRIUGM, Montréal, Canada


      M.-J. Kergoat is associate professor, Faculté de médecine, Université de Montréal, head, Département de médecine spécialisée, Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, and a scientist at CRIUGM, Montréal, Canada


      G. Ferland is a full professor, Département de nutrition, Université de Montréal, and a scientist at CRIUGM, Montréal, Canada