Difference Between Vitamin K and Vitamin K2 (With Table)

Vitamin is an organic compound which people need in low quantities. Most vitamins come from the 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 both are essential for an organism’s health. They are also two fat-soluble vitamins. Sometimes people get confused between the nutrient’s vitamin K and vitamin K2. But still, there is a distinction between both of them. 

 Vitamin K vs Vitamin K2 

The main 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 blood for many hours.

Vitamin K is structurally similar to fat-soluble vitamers which are found in foods and are considered as dietary supplements. 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 lacks then uncontrolled bleeding occurs.  

Vitamin K2, or simply menaquinone is one of the subtypes of vitamin K. Vitamin K2 is both a bacterial and tissue product that is generally found in fermented foods or animal products. Vitamin K2 has mainly nine chemical variants which are determined by the number of isopentyl units located in their side chains. 

Comparison Table Between Vitamin K and Vitamin K2 

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 plays 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 found in plant foods, and vitamin K2 (menaquinone) mainly found 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 the blood vessels and promotes bones 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 health care provider may suggest supplements of vitamin K. The indications of vitamin K deficiency are severely mannerist, higher consumption of alcohol, and disease with absorption problem in the digestive tract.  

Drugs like antibiotics, blood thinners, aspirin, seizures, and others may interfere with vitamin K effects. It is necessary to watch vitamin K intake closely per person is using coumadin for clotting disorders, heart problems, or other conditions. It can be dangerous to take vitamin K supplements without the preference of health care. 

What is Vitamin K2? 

Vitamin K2 is a subtype of vitamin which is never heard by most people. In the western diet, this vitamin is rare and has not received much attention. This vitamin is so powerful you 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 vitamin that can be further divided into many subtypes. Among them, MK- 4 and MK- 7 are two of the most important ones. 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 anemia, 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, prevention of kidney stones, and strengthen the bones, whereas the benefits of vitamin K2 are supports dental health, improves hormonal balance, and prevents arteries from calcification. 


It can be concluded that both vitamin K and K2 are fat-soluble vitamins. Vitamin K has mainly three forms as vitamin K1, K2, and K3. Vitamin K2 subtypes vary from MK-4 to MK-15. So, it can be said that vitamin K1 is just the other chief form of vitamin K.

Vitamin K is referred to as a group of vitamins that are widely famous for their role in blood clotting. Vitamin K2 is one of the two chief forms of vitamin K that is notable for bone and heart health. Vitamin K is majorly found in products derived from plants, whereas vitamin K2 is mainly found in animal products and fermented foods. Daily dosage of 0.08 mg for women and 0.12 mg for men is enough of vitamin K, while 180- 200 micrograms for vitamin K2.


  1. https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=2295630
  2. https://asbmr.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1359/jbmr.2000.15.3.515
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