Vitamin K was discovered in 1929. The Danish scientist, Henrik Dam and colleagues, were investigating the role of dietary cholesterol by feeding chickens a diet without fat. After several weeks the animals started to suffer from frequent bleedings1. This could not be stopped by adding cholesterol to the diet. So he postulated that – together with fat - there had to be another compound in the diet which prevented the bleedings. After years of research he found a factor in hempseed which prevented bleeding; and decided to call it the coagulation vitamin. It was designated in German as Koagulations vitamin and that is how the new vitamin got the letter K.
The discovery of vitamin K was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1943. It was shared by Professors Henrik Dam and Edward Doisy.
Henrik Dam and Edward Doisy