Vitamin K is an umbrella term that refers to a group of chemically related fat-soluble compounds (meaning that the vitamin can dissolve in fats in the body). This group of compounds includes vitamins K, K1, K2 and K3. The Vitamin K1 is the natural form of Vitamin K that is primarily obtained through foods.
Vitamin K is necessary because it is an essential nutrient to aid the healing process from an injury, as it regulates normal blood clotting. It is helpful in bone health, by assisting in transporting calcium throughout the body to reduce bone loss and decrease the risk of bone fractures. And it may also help to prevent calcification (the accumulation of calcium salts in a body tissue and it normally occurs in the formation of bone, but calcium can be deposited abnormally in soft tissue, causing it to harden) of arteries and other soft tissue.
While rare, a person can have a vitamin K deficiency which can lead to blood clotting, increased bleeding and osteoporosis. The systems of an deficiency include easy bruising, gastrointestinal bleeding, excessive menstrual bleeding and blood in urine. Those most at risk are people with chronic malnutrition, alcohol dependency and anyone with health conditions that limit absorption of dietary vitamins.