Aging is often associated with loss in function in a variety of systems. Many of these losses can be managed with the use of a variety of drugs that can affect the need for certain nutrients. Of interest is the possible drug- and age-related change in vitamin K need. This vitamin plays an important role in the postcarboxylation of glutamic acid residues in a small number of proteins that are important to blood coagulation, bone formation, and maintenance and seems to play a role as an anti-inflammatory agent. When an anti–vitamin K drug is used to control clotting, there may be effects on the actions of these other vitamin K–dependent proteins. This then raises the question of whether aging carries with it an increased need for this vitamin.
Carolyn D. Berdanier, PhD, is professor emeritus, Nutrition and Cell Biology at the University of Georgia, Athens. She has authored more than 100 articles in peer-reviewed journals, contributed 40 chapters to multiauthored books, prepared 45 invited reviews for scientific journals, and authored/edited 19 books. She has served on the editorial boards of the FASEB Journal, the Journal of Nutrition, Biochemistry Archives, Nutrition Research, Nutrition Today, and the International Journal of Diabetes Research.
The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose.
Correspondence: Carolyn D. Berdanier, PhD, 802 Timbercrest Trail, Valencia, PA 16059 (firstname.lastname@example.org).