Dietary intake of menaquinone-4 may determine hepatic and pancreatic menaquinone-4 in chickens

  • Merete Askim HiST Trondheim
  • Anna Haug
  • Gaut Gadeholt
Keywords: Metabolism


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the biological effects of natural dietary intake of vitamin K as phylloquinone (K1) and menaquinone-4 (MK-4) and a control diet also containing menadione (K3) on levels of K1 and total MK-4 (menaquinone-4) and menaquinone-4-2,3-epoxide (MK-4O) in liver and pancreas, and on femur bending resistance in a fast-growing animal model. Design: Chickens were fed four wheat-based diets from day 11 to day 22 after hatching. The diets contained different combinations of fat sources: rapeseed oil, animal rendered fat, soybean oil and hydrogenated soybean oil. Concentration of K1 in the three experimental diets was 120 ng/g whereas MK-4 levels were 23, 52 and 63 ng/g respectively. The control diet contained 157 ng K1/g, 75 ng MK-4/g and 2.250 ng K3/g. Results: Growth rates and femur strength confirmed adequate supply of nutrients and vitamin K in the test groups. There were no significant differences in femur bending resistance among the test groups, but these were higher than the control. K1, MK-4 and MK-4O were found in liver. In pancreas, mainly MK-4O was found with small amounts of MK-4, but none had content of K1. In the test groups the hepatic levels of MK-4 and MK-4O reflected the dietary intake of MK-4. Conclusion: The chickens were in good health with good bone resistance without supplements of K3in the feed, but at least a natural content of 23 ng MK-4/g feed. Liver and pancreas appears to use MK-4 in different ways.

Keywords: Menaquinone-4; diet; liver; pancreas; chicken

(Published: 2 April 2012)

Citation: Food & Nutrition Research 2012. 56: 5380 - DOI: 10.3402/fnr.v56i0.5380


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Author Biography

Merete Askim, HiST Trondheim

Assistant Professor

Department of Technology

How to Cite
Askim M., Haug A., & Gadeholt G. (2012). Dietary intake of menaquinone-4 may determine hepatic and pancreatic menaquinone-4 in chickens. Food & Nutrition Research.
Vitamin Supplement

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