Vitamin K–what is known regarding bariatric surgery patients: a systematic review

Shiri Sherf-Dagan, Ariela Goldenshluger, Carmil Azran, Nasser Sakran, Tali Sinai, Tair Ben-Porat

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin, is involved in blood coagulation, bone mineralization, inhibition of vascular calcification, and regulation of numerous enzyme systems. Patients who undergo bariatric surgery (BS), especially procedures that involve a malabsorptive component, are prone to develop vitamin K deficiency (VKD). The causes of VKD include decreased absorptive surface areas, steatorrhea, bacterial overgrowth, marked reduction of carriers of vitamin K, decrease in vitamin K intake, and modifications of gut microbiota. Data on vitamin K status among BS patients are scarce and the strength of evidence supporting vitamin K supplementation is weak. Thus, this systematic review summarized the scientific literature on vitamin K and examined the status among patients before and after BS, as well as among pregnant women with a history of BS. A MEDLINE/Pubmed and Embase electronic search was performed. After a thorough screening of 204 titles, 19 articles were selected by 2 independent reviewers. Five studies on BS candidates (n = 750), 12 studies after BS (n = 1442), and 4 studies on pregnant woman after BS (n = 83, of them n = 7 from case reports) were included. Results of the current review suggest that patients who undergo major malabsorptive surgeries are at a higher risk of developing VKD and should be better monitored. At this point, it is still unclear whether supplementation of vitamin K is required, and what oral dose or vitamer type should be used to normalize serum levels after different types of bariatric procedures. It should be noted that the current protocols for VKD treatment are still experiential in these patients. It is also unknown at what intervals screening tests for vitamin K should be performed and what assay is most appropriate for screening purposes. Future studies are needed to answer these unresolved issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1402-1413
Number of pages12
JournalSurgery for Obesity and Related Diseases
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Menaquinones
  • Obesity surgery
  • Phylloquinone
  • Vitamin K


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