Vitamin K refers to the vitamins, or the so-called vitamers, known as K1, K2, and K3. Vitamers are different forms of a vitamin that are related but perform different functions. Vitamins K1 and K2 occur naturally, while vitamin K3 is produced synthetically. Furthermore, vitamin K2 is further divided into vitamin K2 MK-4 and MK-7.
Vitamin K is one of the four fat-soluble vitamins (along with vitamins A, D, and E). That means you should take these vitamins with a fat-rich component. Vitamin K was discovered in Germany in 1929. The name of the vitamin is due to its positive effects on blood clotting ("K" for coagulation).
Furthermore, vitamin K is important for your bone health because it helps regulate calcium. Vitamin K therefore causes more calcium to be deposited in your bones. This can prevent many diseases, such as osteoporosis. Vitamin K2 is also associated with a reduction in cancer risk and improves your cardiovascular health.
The vitamin is an essential vitamin. That means you have to get it from food, because your body cannot produce it itself. Green vegetables, matcha, and some animal products contain vitamin K. However, the important vitamin K2 is contained more in animal products such as meat, eggs, and dairy products.
If you consume very little of these foods, you should consider dietary supplements that contain the vitamin. This is especially true if you are on a vegetarian or vegan diet.
The recommended daily dose of vitamin K1 is 50 mcg. The recommended minimum dose for vitamin K2 (MK-4) is 1.5 mg (up to 45 mg). For vitamin 2 (MK-7), the recommended minimum dose is between 90 and 360 mg.
Many dietary supplements rely on a combination of vitamin K2 and the also fat-soluble vitamin D3. The reason for this is that vitamin D3 causes more calcium to be found in your blood vessels. If the calcium is not transported along, this can in the worst case lead to negative effects such as osteoporosis or atherosclerosis. Vitamin K2 helps to transport the calcium and pass it on to the teeth or bones.
So always make sure you have an adequate supply of vitamin K2, especially if you also consume vitamin D3.