Vitamin K vs Vitamin K2: Difference and Comparison

Vitamin is an organic compound which people need in low quantities. Most vitamins come from food because the body either fails to produce or produces very little. There are many vitamins, such as Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin B, and many more.  

Vitamin K and its subtype, vitamin K2, are essential for an organism’s health.

They are also two fat-soluble vitamins. Sometimes people get confused between the nutrients vitamin K and vitamin K2. But still, there is a distinction between them. 

Key Takeaways

  1. Vitamin K is vital in blood clotting and leafy green vegetables, vegetable oils, and cereal grains.
  2. Vitamin K2 supports bone health and cardiovascular function and is present in fermented foods, animal products, and certain cheeses.
  3. The body requires vitamin K and K2 for optimal health, but they perform different functions and come from different sources.

 Vitamin K vs Vitamin K2 

The difference between vitamin K and vitamin K2 is that vitamin K is a fat-soluble group and, in biochemistry, known as naphthoquinones. On the other hand, vitamin K2 is one of the fat-soluble vitamins and, in biochemistry, known as menaquinone. Vitamin K reaches into the liver, whereas vitamin K2 flows in the blood for many hours.

Vitamin K vs Vitamin K2

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Vitamin K is structurally similar to fat-soluble vitamers found in foods and is considered a dietary supplement.

In the human body, certain proteins require post-synthesis modification for blood coagulation which can be fulfilled with the consumption of vitamin K. When vitamin K is lacking then, uncontrolled bleeding occurs.  

Vitamin K2, or simply menaquinone, is one of the subtypes of vitamin K. Vitamin K2 is a bacterial and tissue product found in fermented foods or animal products.

Vitamin K2 has nine chemical variants, determined by the number of isopentyl units in their side chains. 

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonVitamin KVitamin K2
InterpretationIt is a group of fat-soluble, in biochemistry, known as naphthoquinones. It is a fat-soluble, in biochemistry, known as menaquinone.
Daily dosage0.08 mg (women) and 0.2 mg (men)180-200 micrograms
FormsVitamin K1, K2, and K3Vary from MK-4 and MK-15
Absorption by bodyPoorlyHigher
DestinyReaches into the liverFlows in blood for many hours

What is Vitamin K? 

In 1929, vitamin K was discovered and played a vital role in blood coagulation or blood clotting. A dentist, namely Weston Price, was the one who discovered vitamin K.

Vitamin K can be divided into vitamin K1 (phylloquinone), mainly in plant foods, and vitamin K2 (menaquinone) in animal foods.

Vitamin K helps to activate proteins, which play a vital role in calcium metabolism, heart health, and blood clotting. It also prevents the calcification of kidneys and blood vessels and promotes bone calcification. Vegetables like broccoli, spinach, and legumes like soybeans are good sources of vitamin K.  

It is uncommon to have vitamin K deficiency, but if a person is suffering from vitamin K deficiency, it is better to go to a doctor. In this case, a healthcare provider may suggest supplements of vitamin K.

The indications of vitamin K deficiency are severe mannerist, higher consumption of alcohol, and disease with absorption problems in the digestive tract.  

Drugs like antibiotics, blood thinners, aspirin, seizures, and others may affect vitamin K.

It is necessary to watch vitamin K intake closely per person using coumadin for clotting disorders, heart problems, or other conditions. Taking vitamin K supplements without the preference of health care can be dangerous. 

What is Vitamin K2? 

Vitamin K2 is a subtype of vitamin that most people never heard of. In the western diet, this vitamin is rare and has not received much attention.

This vitamin is so powerful nutrient and plays a vital role in many aspects of health. Maybe this nutrient is a missing link between diet and many chronic diseases.  

A dentist, namely Weston Price, found that the diets of non-industrial were high in some unidentified nutrients. This nutrient protects against chronic disease and tooth decay.

After a long search, he named “activator X” as a mysterious nutrient. Now, that nutrient is believed to be vitamin K2.  

Vitamin K2, or menaquinone, is a form of the vitamin that can be further divided into many subtypes. Among them, MK-4 and MK-7 are the most important.

Vitamin K2 (MK-4) helps to reduce the calcification of blood vessels. Vitamin K2 supplements also improve heart and bone health. 

According to studies, the conversion process is inefficient, so it is better to intake vitamin K directly. The gut bacteria present in the large intestine also produce vitamin K2.

Vitamin K2 is majorly found in fermented and animal food. Still, in the modern diet, the average intake of this nutrient is extremely low. 

Main Differences Between Vitamin K and Vitamin K2 

  1. The sources of vitamin K are vegetables, fruits, spices, legumes, herbaceous plants, etc., whereas animal products and fermented foods are sources of vitamin K2.  
  2. Blood coagulation is the main function of vitamin K. On the other hand, promoting heart and bone health is the main function of vitamin K2.  
  3. The indications of vitamin K deficiency are anaemia and bleeding from the nose, gastrointestinal tract, and gums, while frequent bone fractures, osteoporosis, and calcification of the heart valves are indications of vitamin K2 deficiency.  
  4. The half-life of vitamin K is 1-2 hours. On the flip side, the half-life of vitamin K2 (MK- 4) is 1-2 hours, and vitamin K2 (MK- 7) is 72 hours.  
  5. Vitamin K gives benefits by supporting growth, preventing kidney stones, and strengthening the bones, whereas the benefits of vitamin K2 are supports dental health, improves hormonal balance, and prevents arteries from calcification. 
Difference Between Vitamin K and Vitamin K2

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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