Vitamin K and Potassium
Sometimes the scientific designations for certain chemicals or nutrients can get a little confusing, especially if you aren’t fluent in German, Greek or Latin. But that’s okay, because we’re here to help you understand the benefits of many vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in order to make the best decisions for long term health and wellness.
An example of a confusing designation for some is vitamin K and the mineral known as potassium. While both play an important role in our health, these two nutrients are actually quite different. To better understand, let’s look into the common question Is vitamin K the same as potassium?
Is Potassium Vitamin K?
The simplest answer we can give on this question is, no, potassium is not vitamin K. But you’d be forgiven for wondering, since potassium is designated on the periodic table as K (from the modern Latin kalium).1 When it comes to vitamin K vs. potassium, we’re really looking at two different classes of nutrients. As the name indicates, vitamin K is a vitamin, or rather, a family of similar compounds with a similar chemical structure.1 By contrast, potassium is an essential mineral.2
Let’s examine these two nutrients individually to better understand their nature and function.
What is Vitamin K?
As mentioned above, vitamin K (from the German koagulation) is a fat-soluble vitamin, with the name also being used to refer to a family of similar compounds used by the body. Generally speaking, vitamin K comes in two forms: K1 and K2.1
The K2 branch of this vitamin can be further broken down into a series known as menaquinones with designations ranging from MK4-MK13 depending on the length of their respective unsaturated isoprenyl side chains.1 While that may sound a little confusing, most vitamin K supplements will simply be listed as either K1 or K2.
What is Potassium?
Potassium is an essential mineral—one which is needed by every cell in your body and therefore very important to your overall health and wellbeing.2 Potassium is considered an electrolyte mineral, which means that it carries a small electrical charge that activates certain nerve and cellular functions.2 It also means that potassium is associated with helping to maintain proper hydration and water balance in the body. Potassium supplements can include potassium by itself, or combined with other elements, such as potassium citrate or potassium gluconate.
Potassium vs. Vitamin K
With all this in mind it’s easy to see that the answer to the question Is vitamin K potassium is No. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin generally designated as K1 or K2. Potassium, however, is an essential mineral known to be an electrolyte beneficial to nervous and cellular function. Now that we have a better understanding of what these nutrients are, let’s consider their benefits.
Benefits of Vitamin K
Vitamin K is an important nutrient used by the body to support a number of functions. Here are some of its top benefits:4
- Supports blood health and the normal function of blood cells, such as proper coagulation mechanisms
- Helps maintain arterial health5
- May support normal blood glucose function5
- Promotes healthy joints and bones by working together with calcium and vitamin D
Benefits of Potassium
Found in every cell in our bodies, potassium is an essential mineral which delivers a number of health benefits. These include:3
- Helping maintain normal intracellular fluid volume
- Supporting whole-body hydration
- Promoting cardiovascular health
- Helping to support healthy kidneys
- Contributing to healthy bones and joints
Incorporating Vitamin K and Potassium in Your Diet
Incorporating healthy levels of vitamin K and potassium into your daily diet is a great way to support overall health and wellness over time. Swanson offers a wide range of vitamin K supplements and potassium supplements, each designed to plug any nutritional gaps which may exist in your diet.
In addition to those options, some natural food sources of vitamin K include:1
- Iceberg lettuce
- Canola oil
- Soybean oil
Some great food sources of potassium would include:2
- Beans or lentils
- Oranges or orange juice
- Dried fruits like raisins or apricots
- Coconut water
- Milk, including cow, soy or almond
We hope this information has helped you feel ready to make the best decisions to support your health. Swanson is proud to offer a variety of supplements for vitamin K, potassium and many other nutrients so you can enjoy science-backed and quality support along your health journey.
Always serving our customers,
Your friends at Swanson
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
1. Vitamin K Fact Sheet. National Institutes of Health. Read source
2. Potassium. Harvard School of Public Health. Read source
3. Potassium Fact Sheet. National Institutes of Health. Read source
4. Top Benefits of Vitamin K. Cleveland Clinic. Read source
5. The Health Benefits of Vitamin K. National Library of Medicine. Read source