Vitamin K vs. Potassium

Difference Between Vitamin K and Potassium

A fat soluble vitamin by nature, Vitamin K, which is derived from 2-methilo-naphthoquinone are of the following types, Vitamin K1 (phytonadione, phylloquinone), Vitamin K2 (menaquinones) and Vitamin K3. Both K1 and K2 are synthesized by natural bacteria of the intestines. Phylloquinone originates from plants and it has a dietary predominance. Chicken egg yolk, butter, cow liver etc are rich sources of K2. Vitamin K which is vital for blood coagulation is not stored in the body in large quantity instead small amounts is deposited in the liver and in the bones so that needs for few days are covered.

In the process of carboxylation of protein glutamate residues Vitamin K forms gamma-carboxyglutamate residues.  Thus Vitamin K is important for proteins like coagulation facotrs II (prothrombin), VII (proconvertin), IX (Christmas factor), X (Stuart factor), protein C, protein S, growth-arrest-specific factor (Gas6) where this function is necessary for their biological activity. The functions of vitamin K are normal blood clotting, normal calcification of bone. Vitamin K is also important for carboxylation so that the proteins remain biologically active. It plays a part in bone metabolism in carboxylation of osteocalcin. Concentrations of high serum that has undercarboxylated osteocalcin and low serum concentrations of vitamin K result in low density in bone mineral. Vitamin K also decreases the risk of hip fracture. Vitamin K stops the calcification of arteries and other soft tissues, when a person is aging. Vitamin K plays a vital role in blood sugar level maintenance. The Vitamin K deficiency is a rare incident and happens in newborns due to antibiotics and impaired absorption.


Potassium which is by nature an important mineral for maintaining the cardiac tissues properly is a primary electrolyte and can exist as ions. It is an important aspect in nerve conduction and transport that depends on ions. Dietary supplements are necessary and in case of old people diseases occurs due to it deficit. Fruits, vegetables, meat and fish are rich sources of Potassium. It is important in human body and its deficit results in hypokalemia however excess of potassium is dangerous and caused hyperkalemia. Excessive presence of dietary sodium leads to potassium deficiency.

Deficit symptoms in case of older people are improper kidneys operations and mineral excretion failure. Potassium level in the body is affected by drugs like diuretics, ACE inhibitors and Non steroidal Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Potassium deficit increases the toxic effects of digoxin.

Both of these substances are chemically denoted by the letter K.  Apart from that there are no similarities. K stands for Potassium in the chemical department and vitamin K is denoted by K in the medical reports. Any confusion and wrong treatment leads to severe consequences.

While vitamin K is vitamin potassium is a mineral by nature.

Effects of wrong doses of vitamin K are quite mild except when the person is administered with anticoagulants. However high potassium dose is dangerous and result in low B.P, mental confusion and heart attack. Patients suffering from dehydration and heat cramps, ulcers, kidney disease should not take potassium without medical council.


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