The colonic absorption of menaquinones was examined in rats by the in situ loop method. The overall disappearance of [14C]menaquinone-4 from the colonal loop was approximately 6% at 3 h and much slower than that of menadione. After administration of [14C]menaquinone-4 into the jejunal loop with bile, approximately 17% of unchanged menaquinone-4 was recovered in the lymph after 6 h, but none was found when the administration had been into the colonal loop. Portal absorption of menaquinone-4 from the colon was detected and the unchanged form (approximately 23% of the absorbed radioactivity) was identified in the mesenteric venous blood. When menaquinone-9 was administered into the colon, almost all was recovered from the colonal loop. No transfer of menaquinone-9 from the colon into the lymph or blood was observed at 6 h after dosing. The present observations indicate that only a part of bacterially produced menaquinones is absorbed from the colon via the portal pathway, but the absorption rates of menaquinones decrease markedly with an increase in the number of isoprenoid units.