Differences Between Vitamin K-1 and Vitamin K-2

Time: 2:37 Added: 10/6/2009
Views: 6133

Dr. Leon Schurgers details the similarities and differences between Vitamin K-1 and Vitamin K-2 and which one provides more health benefits.

Contributor(s): Schurgers, Leon Ph.D.
Tags: vitamin k
Differences Between Vitamin K-1 and Vitamin K-2
Interview with Dr. Leon Schurgers
Interviewed by Raena Morgan
May 15, 2009

Raena Morgan: Quite simply, Doctor Schurgers, what is difference between vitamin K-1 and vitamin K-2?

Dr. Leon Schurgers: Yeah. Vitamin K-1 and vitamin K-2 and structurally related.

RM: All right.

LS: They have the same function and both are equally active in activating vitamin K dependent proteins. So if you would look at vitamin K as the molecule, they contain of a ring structure in the beginning, and that is similar in K-1 and K-2. However, K-1 and K-2 differ in the side chain. In the side chain, we call it an aliphatic side chain so it’s a fat soluble side chain, and that makes that vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin. So the function is the same, however the side chain determines absorption, how good it is absorbed, how good it is to transport it to the blood, and where does it go to, and there is the difference which makes K-2 much more bioavailable than K-1. For if we take it via the food the K-2 is absorbed very well whereas the K-1 is bound to the chloroplast membrane, next it is transported to the liver,-

RM: Right.

LS: -and because of this solubility difference K-1 stays in the liver whereas K-2 is redistributed into the circulation. Due to this very good solubility and fat, vitamin K2, MK-7, has a very long half life, for the half life after the intake of vitamin K-1 is three hours, vitamin K-2 is three days, so it stays around for three days building up a reserve for all the tissues. And then we have also the targeting to the extrahepatic tissues such as bone or vasculature, and that is due to this lipid distribution, this difference in lipid distributions; K-2 goes to extrahepatic tissues whereas K-1 stays mainly in the liver.

RM: K-1 is known as the coagulating vitamin,-

LS: Yes.

RM: -and K-2 plays a totally different role that’s vital in bone health and heart health, right?

LS: Yeah.

RM: So those would be two differences right there.

LS: It is two differences, but I have to generalize it a little bit.

RM: All right.

LS: K-1 is indeed mainly affecting clotting,-

RM: All right.

LS: -so in the liver. K-2, because it is redistributed into circulation, also the liver can take it, so actually K-2 is a K vitamin which is for general health; it’s good for the liver, it’s good for the bone, and it’s good for the arteries. So actually we can omit K-1 and just only take vitamin K-2.

RM: That’s pretty exciting.

LS: It is.
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