Vitamin K, an essential nutrient element, plays a central role in many critical bodily functions, particularly blood clotting and the maintenance of healthy bones. Its discovery, various forms, absorption options, dosages and its potential in the treatment of diseases are fascinating aspects to explore. In addition, the importance of complementary food supplements and medicinal plants as well as its use in medicine as a natural remedy will be highlighted.

The discovery of vitamin K

The discovery dates back to 1929, when the Danish scientist Henrik Dam, while researching cholesterol metabolism in chickens, found that a fat-free diet led to bleeding. These bleedings could not be stopped by previously known vitamins. It became clear that it was a previously unknown nutrient that was essential for blood clotting. Dam called this nutrient “coagulation vitamin”, which later gave rise to the name vitamin K. Almost at the same time, the American biochemist Edward Adelbert Doisy discovered the chemical structure, which led to the synthesis of this vitamin. Both scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize for their discoveries in 1943.

Forms and recording options

Vitamin K exists in two main forms: Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone), found mainly in leafy green vegetables, and vitamin K2 (menaquinone), which is produced in fermented foods and by intestinal flora. A third form, vitamin K3 (menadione), is a synthetic variant used in food supplements.

Dietary intake

It can be absorbed through a balanced diet. Rich sources of vitamin K1 are green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale and broccoli, while vitamin K2 is found in fermented foods such as natto, certain cheeses and fermented vegetables.

Food supplements

Food supplements are available for people who have difficulty absorbing sufficient amounts through food. These usually contain vitamin K1 or K2 and are available in various forms such as tablets, capsules or drops.

Vitamin K: Dosage

The recommended daily dose of vitamin K varies depending on age, gender and state of health. In general, professional societies recommend an intake of around 75-120 µg per day for healthy adults. Pregnant and breastfeeding women and older people may have a higher requirement.

Therapeutic applications and diseases

Vitamin K is crucial for the activation of proteins involved in blood clotting and thus helps to prevent uncontrolled bleeding. It also plays an important role in bone mineralization and can reduce the risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis.

Diseases it can cure or alleviate:

  • Blood clotting disorders: It can be used in newborns to prevent bleeding.
  • Osteoporosis: Regular intake can improve bone strength and reduce the risk of fractures.
  • Heart disease: Vitamin K2 has the potential to slow down arteriosclerosis and therefore reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Vitamin K: Supplementary food supplements and medicinal plants

To optimize the effect, taking it together with other nutrients such as vitamin D and calcium may be useful as they work synergistically for bone health. Medicinal plans that can support absorption and action include:

  • Nettle: Rich in vitamin K and other minerals, supports blood health.
  • Parsley: Another excellent source that can also promote bone health.

Vitamin K: Medical use as a natural remedy

In alternative medicine, vitamin K is used as a natural remedy for various conditions, from improving bone health to preventing heart disease. It is also used in complementary medicine to support blood clotting and as part of the treatment of osteoporosis.


Vitamin K is a vital vitamin that plays a key role in blood clotting and bone health. Through a balanced diet, supplemented by targeted dietary supplements and medicinal plants, vitamin K requirements can be met and well-being improved. Its discovery and ongoing research show its potential in the prevention and treatment of various diseases, underlining its importance in the spectrum of vitamins and nutrients.

Published on: 10. March 2024


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