The name Vitamin K comes from the German word “Koagulation”. Vitamin K is required by the human liver to manufacture blood-clotting proteins. Vitamin K keeps a balance between blood thinning and Blood clotting. Need for vitamin K was therefore based on the amount necessary to maintain a normal balance between blood clotting and thinning. Blood should not be excessively “thinned” and prone to abnormal bleeding, nor excessively “thick” and prone to clotting in the wrong place. Vitamin K-blocking drug is given to patients who have blood clots or are at risk for blood clot formation. Beyond its role in blood clotting, vitamin K has a vital role in maintaining healthy bones and arteries by keeping calcium in the bones and out of the arteries. In nature, vitamin K is found in two forms:
- Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) in leafy green vegetables
- Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) in organ meats, egg yolks, and dairy products.