Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Animal and Food Sciences

First Advisor

Dr. Merlin D. Lindemann


The role of vitamin K in the blood clotting cascade has been well documented. Vitamin K has recently been implicated in improving bone health. The current studies were conducted to determine the effects of vitamin K in diets with and without mycotoxin contaminated corn on growth performance, bone characteristics, and related blood metabolites in pigs from weaning to market. Menadione sodium bisulfite complex (MSBC, 33% vitamin K) was chosen as the source of supplemental vitamin K because it is the most common form fed to swine. Vitamin K was tested at 0, 0.5, and 2.0 ppm in a corn-soybean meal based diets on two generations of pigs to evaluate any time and dose responses. The first generation of pigs was subjected to mycotoxin contaminated corn in the nursery phase to test for any interactions between the toxins and vitamin K. The addition of 0.5 ppm vitamin K reduced (P < 0.0001) prothrombin time. No additional decrease in prothrombin time was detected when increasing vitamin K inclusion from 0.5 to 2.0 ppm. With regard to growth performance, daily gain, feed intake, and feed efficiency were unaffected (P > 0.10) by supplemental vitamin K. However, pigs fed mycotoxin contaminated corn ate less (P = 0.005) and grew slower (P = 0.015) compared to those receiving good corn. The addition of vitamin K did not alleviate the negative growth effects in response to corn type. Vitamin K did not affect bone characteristics (P > 0.10), blood Ca (P > 0.05) or OC (P > 0.10). Other than blood clotting it does not appear that dietary vitamin K provides any additional benefits at these levels of inclusion and stages of swine production.