Vitamin K and Potassium: What’s The Difference?

Vitamin K and Potassium: What’s The Difference?

Two nutrients that are often confused are vitamin K and potassium. You may have stumbled upon this article because you are wondering if vitamin K and potassium are the same or you may simply just want to know what the difference between vitamin K and potassium is. 

Whatever you’re looking to learn, this article will cover pretty much everything you need to know about Vitamin K and Potassium.

In this article, we will explain what the differences are between the two and whether or not potassium is the same as vitamin K

We will also investigate the benefits of each micronutrient, share some great sources of each as well as the daily required intake of each.

From proteins to vitamins and minerals, it is somewhat difficult to keep up with all the different nutrients that are needed for the body. 

While the technical knowledge of these nutrients might not be critically important, it is necessary that you have, at least, a basic understanding of the various nutrients so that you can understand where to find them. 

Without these necessary nutrients in the right amounts, your body will not function at the optimum level.

Yes, the available information on the internet and even health books can be overwhelming, but that’s why we are here. 

We are here to give your health and wellness information to improve your life.

 

Is Vitamin K Potassium?

Many people ask this same question, “is vitamin K the same as potassium”. This question is all around the place because these two nutrients are often confused. 

Perhaps the main source of this mix up is that potassium is symbolized by a ‘K’ on the periodic table. While this is so, the two are completely different. 

They are both essential micronutrients. However, vitamin k is classified, obviously as a vitamin while potassium is a mineral. Vitamin K and Potassium both have different functions within the body. 

You will find that some food items have both of these micronutrients, nonetheless, the foods that are reported to be the major source of each micronutrient are different.

So, let’s take a look at each of them independently.

 

What is Vitamin K?

Contrary to what you might have previously understood, vitamin K is not simply one vitamin. It is a group of molecules that are structurally similar. 

This group of similar molecules are named after a Danish term, ‘Koagulation’. This sums up their role in promoting blood clotting within the human body. 

This role is prominently carried out by Vitamin K1.

Within the vitamin K group, the most important molecules or compounds are Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2. The primary sources of Vitamin K1 are leafy greens and some other vegetables. 

Vitamin K2, on the other hand, is largely found in such things as egg, cheese, and meat. Vitamin K2 is also synthesized by some bacteria. 

You will also find that vitamin K1 is the most prominent vitamin K supplement that is available in the United States of America.

We will look a little closer at the foods that are considered to be rich in Vitamin K.

According to James J DiNicolantonio, Jaikrit Bhutani, and James H O’Keefe, in a study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, states that vitamin K is a vitamin that is fat-soluble, and that it is critical to the proper function of numerous proteins within the human body.

Now that we have a clearer idea of what exactly vitamin K is, or are, we can now look at the major health benefits of vitamin K. (1) (2)

 

Benefits of Vitamin K

In a 2015 study, researchers found that Vitamin K offered health benefits that could positively impact bone health, vascular calcification, insulin sensitivity, cancer among a host of other benefits.

One of the most vital benefits of Vitamin K1 in particular, as mentioned earlier in this article, is that it helps your blood to clot. 

At a fundamental level, what this means is that if we do not have enough vitamin K1, we could easily bleed to death from a very small cut.

Vitamin K is known for its ability to reduce inflammation within the body. These inflammatory biomarkers are the ones that are responsible for osteoporosis in humans. 

They are also associated with type II diabetes and obesity. Large studies conducted in the United States and in Europe have discovered that the more Vitamin K 1 that is present in a human being’s body is the less inflammation that will be around. (3) (4) (5)

 

Where to Get Vitamin K?

Vitamin K can be found in:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Kale
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Spring greens
  • Spring onions
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Cheese
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Bacon
  • Cheese
  • Egg
  • Butter
  • Whole Milk
 
 

How much Vitamin K do I need?

The table below shows the required daily intake of potassium as recommended by WebMD.

Age Group & Gender Daily Intake
Children (0-6 months)
2 mcg
Children (7-12 months)
2.5 mcg
Children (1-3 years)
30 mcg
Children (4-8 years)
55 mcg
Children (9-13 years)
60 mcg
Girls (14-18 years)
75 mcg
Women (19 years and up)
90 mcg
Women, pregnant or breastfeeding (19-50)
90 mcg
Women, pregnant or breastfeeding (under 19)
75 mcg
Boys 14-18
75 mcg
Men 19 and up
120 mcg

 

It is important that you get the required amount of vitamin K. Vitamin K deficiency is relatively rare, however, you may be at risk for vitamin K deficiency if you:

  • Have a disease that affects absorption in the digestive tract. These include Crohn’s disease and celiac disease
  • Are being treated with medication that interferes with your body’s ability to absorb vitamin K
  • Are chronically malnourished
  • Are a heavy drinker of alcoholic beverages
 
 
is vitamin k potassium, image

What is Potassium?

A study done by Susan A. Lanham-New and Helen Lambert from the Department of Nutritional Sciences of the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Surrey in Guildford, Surrey, 

England along with Lynda Frassetto from the Department of Medicine and General Clinical Research Center at the University of California in San Francisco, California and they found that potassium is critical to membrane potential and electrical excitation of nerve and muscle cells and acid-base regulation. 

This might sound very complicated, but it really is not. however, this means that potassium is necessary for the proper function of your muscles, nerves and for acid management within your body.

In more simple terms, potassium is a mineral. No, it is not a vitamin and it is not the same as vitamin K. 

It is a mineral! This mineral is very important to the sustenance of human life. It is critical for the proper function of your heart, kidneys, and other organs. (6) (7

 

Benefits of Potassium?

Potassium, like most nutrients, provides a lot of health benefits. Some of these include: (8) (9) (10)

 

Nervous System Support

Potassium is important to the proper function of your nervous system. The impulses of your nerves are dependent on potassium. 

The impulses are actually generated by potassium ions moving in and out of the cells within the human body. It is this activity that makes nerve impulses fire.

A deficiency in the human body of potassium is called hypokalemia. This leads to the impairment of the nervous system. (11) (12)

This is felt in abnormal heart rhythm and possibly muscle paralysis. The lower level of potassium deficiency manifests itself in fatigue and muscle weakness.

 

Fluid Balance Regulation

As a key electrolyte in the body, potassium is important for the regulation of fluid.

 

Manages Muscle Contractions

As you now know, potassium is important to nerve impulses. Naturally, muscles contract as a result of these impulses. 

Therefore, a lack of potassium will ultimately result in muscles that are not easy to move. (13) (14) (15)

In a more specific sense, the relaxation and contraction cycle of your muscles is dependent on potassium. By the way, this includes your heart.

 

Manages Heart Rate

The same way that potassium is beneficial to the relaxation and contraction cycles of your muscles, is the same way it is important to your heart and heart rate. 

If you have too much potassium in your body, you can still experience an irregular heart rate. (16) (17)

 

Minimize Stroke Risk

Because of the multitude of benefits that potassium brings to your heart, muscles, nervous system, and the fluid management within your body, it also helps to protect you from strokes. (18) (19) (20)

The other benefits of potassium include:

  • High blood pressure alleviation
  • Relief for muscle cramps
  • A reduction in the risk of developing kidney stones
  • Improved bone health
 
 

How much Potassium do I need?

The table below shows the required daily intake of potassium as recommended by WebMD.

Category CHILDREN Intake Per Day
0-6 months
400 mg
7-12 months
700 mg
1-3 years
3,000 mg
4-8 years
3,800 mg
9-13 years
4,500 mg
14 years and up
4,700 mg
18 years and up
4,700 mg
Pregnant women
4,700 mg
Breastfeeding women
5,100 mg
 

Be sure to include potassium in your daily diet. Potassium deficiency is uncommon in human beings according to researchers.

 

Where to get Potassium?

With the amazing benefits of potassium listed above, it is critical that you identify great sources of this incredible nutrient. 

Below is a list of some of the major sources of potassium. You may already know a number of them such as banana and coconut, but take a look at all the others:

  • Apricots (dried)
  • Avocado
  • Potato (baked with the skin on)
  • Raisins
  • Prunes
  • Medjool Dates
  • Pomegranate
  • Peanuts (dry-roasted)
  • Coconut Water
  • Spinach (raw)
  • Sweet Potato (baked with the skin on)
  • Soybeans
  • Lima Beans
  • Salmon
  • Acorn Squash (cooked)
  • Kidney Beans
  • Tomato
  • Banana
  • Sardines
  • Chicken Breast (grilled)
  • Brussel Sprouts (raw)
  • Mustard Greens
  • Yogurt
  • Lentils (cooked)
  • Milk (1%)
  • Kale
  • Beets (raw
  • Lean Ground Beef
  • Mushrooms
  • Nectarine (or peach)
  • Cantaloupe
  • Orange
  • Honeydew Melon
  • Kiwi Fruit
 
 

Conclusion

After reading this question you will no longer need to ask questions such as:

“is vitamin k potassium?”
“is vitamin k the same as potassium?”
“vitamin k and potassium? What is the difference?”

We clearly covered this subject and answer these questions in this article. No, vitamin K is not potassium. Vitamin K is a vitamin while potassium is a very important mineral. 

These are two powerful micronutrients but should not be confused with each other. 

The confusion, as mentioned in this article, is largely due to the fact that potassium is represented by a ‘K’ on the periodic table. 

Vitamin K itself is not a single vitamin but is a group of familiar compounds or molecules. This nutrient is very popular for its ability to help with blood clotting in the human body.

Potassium is significant to a number of processes in the body such as fluid regulation, nerve impulses, heart rate management and many more. This powerful nutrient is critical to heart health as well.

Vitamin K is not the same as Potassium; however, we are imploring you to ensure that you are getting enough of each of these micronutrients in your daily diet. 

Deficiencies in either will result in health conditions that are far from pleasurable. The great thing is that both of these nutrients are found in a host of foods. 

as a matter of fact, many foods have both of these micronutrients at the same time.

Your health is your wealth. Do not take it lightly. By following the sources of vitamin K and potassium mentioned in this article, you will guarantee your body an adequate supply of these essential micronutrients.

Leave a Reply