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Who Discovered Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a group of essential vitamins known for their important blood clotting function in the human body. There are two natural forms of this vitamin, known as K1 and K2. These forms of the vitamin are found in food products such as leafy green vegetables, eggs, meat and dairy products. The synthetic forms of the vitamin are named K3, K4 and K5, which are used in many areas. You might be wondering who discovered this group of essential vitamins and their role in the body? Read on to find out.

Who discovered vitamin K?
The discovery of vitamin K is credited to a scientist from Denmark called Henrik Dam. He was investigating the role that cholesterol played in the body by feeding chickens a diet that lacked cholesterol. After a few weeks of this diet the chickens began to suffer from bleeding. When this began he reintroduced cholesterol, but it didn’t stop the bleeding. He then knew that it couldn’t be caused by a lack of cholesterol. He assumed another compound must have been removed from the diet which was responsible for blood coagulation. The new vitamin was given the letter K after being published in a German scientific journal as “Koagulationsvitamin”. Edward Adelbert Doisy completed much of the follow up research, which showed the chemical makeup and structure of the vitamin. These two scientists were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1943 for medicine.

Interestingly, the “chicken method” was used for many years to discover which foods contained vitamin K and in what quantities. The way the vitamin works in the body wasn’t discovered until 1974 when it was discovered by three separate laboratories.

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