Pharmacological Uses of Vitamin K

The pharmacological uses of vitamin K are in the treatment of (rare) vitamin K deficiency, prophylaxis in newborn infants (Section 5.4.1), and as an antidote to overcome anticoagulant toxicity. Because of its cytoxic effects, menadione has been used in cancer chemotherapy. It also potentiates the analgesic actions of salicylates and opiates, and has been used to enhance pain relief in cancer patients.

It has been suggested that supplements may be beneficial in the healing of bone fractures. There is some evidence that patients with osteoporosis (Section 3.4.3) have low circulating concentrations of vitamin K, and some evidence that supplements ofvitaminKmay retard the progression of osteoporosis (Vermeer etal., 1995, 1996; Feskanichet al., 1999).

FURTHER READING

Berkner KL (2000) The vitamin K-dependent carboxylase. Journal of Nutrition 130, 1877-80.

CadenasE, Hochstein P, and Ernster L (1992) Pro- and antioxidant functions ofquinones and quinone reductases in mammalian cells. Advances in Enzymology and Related Areas of Molecular Biology 65, 97-146.

Dowd P, Ham SW, Naganathan S, and Hershline R (1995) The mechanism of action of vitamin K. Annual Reviews of Nutrition 15, 419-40.

Furie B and Furie BC (1988) The molecular basis of blood coagulation. Cell 53, 505-18.

Lian JB, Stein GS, Stein JL, and van Wijnen AJ (1999) Regulated expression of the bone-specific osteocalcin gene by vitamins and hormones. Vitamins and Hormones 55, 443-509.

MeganathanR (2001) Biosynthesis ofmenaquinone (vitaminK2) and ubiquinone (coenzyme Q): a perspective on enzymatic mechanisms. Vitamins and Hormones 61, 173218.

Nelsestuen GL, Shah AM, and Harvey SB (2000) Vitamin K-dependent proteins. Vitamins and Hormones 58, 355-89.

Olson RE (1984) The function and metabolism ofvitaminK. Annual Reviews of Nutrition 4, 281-337.

Price PA (1988) Role of vitamin-K-dependent proteins in bone metabolism. AnnualRe-views ofNutrition 8, 565-83.

Shearer MJ (1997) The roles of vitamins D and K in bone health and osteoporosis prevention. Proceedings of the Nutrition Society 56, 915-937.

Shearer MJ, Bach A, and KohlmeierM (1996) Chemistry, nutritional sources, tissue distribution and metabolism of vitamin K with special reference to bone health. Journal of Nutrition 126, 1181S-6S.

Suttie JW (1988) Vitamin K-dependent carboxylation of glutamyl residues in proteins. Biofactors 1, 55-60.

Suttie JW (1995) The importance of menaquinones in human nutrition. Annual Reviews of Nutrition 15, 399-417.

Suttie JWand Jackson CM (1977) Prothrombin structure, activation, and biosynthesis. Physiological Reviews 57, 1-70.

VermeerC, Jie KS, andKnapenMH (1995) Role ofvitaminK in bone metabolism. Annual Reviews of Nutrition 15, 1-22.

Weber P (2001) Vitamin K and bone health. Nutrition 17, 880-7.

References cited in the text are listed in the Bibliography.

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