Vitamin D3 has been receiving a lot of attention as of late. This may be due to the statistic that almost 50% of the world’s population is Vitamin D deficient. Known as the “sunshine vitamin” because of the skin’s ability to make Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, this incredibly important vitamin is not actually a vitamin at all. It is a hormone that is produced by the kidneys and helps to control the concentration of calcium in the blood. This makes Vitamin D vital for the development of strong bones. But, Vitamin D works synergistically with Vitamin K to promote bone health, and thus must be supplemented together for maximum benefit.
Why is Vitamin D so important?
Researchers have discovered that maintaining healthy vitamin D levels provides a myriad of benefits, ranging from potentially reducing one’s risk of cancer to aiding in the treatment of multiple sclerosis. These effects are primarily attributed to vitamin D’s combination of anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. The most important benefit of Vitamin D is its link to bone health. One of its most essential functions is to promote the absorption of calcium. When the bodies does not absorb calcium properly, this important bone-strengthening mineral can actually end up in our arteries and organs by way of our bloodstream. This is where Vitamin K’s important role comes into the equation.
Why is Vitamin K so important?
Vitamin K is a key part of many biological processes, including blood clotting. It also works in conjunction with Vitamin D to promote bone health. In simple terms, Vitamin K is required to move the calcium (that Vitamin D promotes the absorption of in our blood) to our bones. More scientifically, Vitamin K activates the matrix Gla protein (MGP) and osteocalcin (bone Gla protein) through a process called carboxylation. When circulating concentrations of vitamin K are insufficient, a greater proportion of MGP and osteocalcin remain uncarboxylated, which is associated with unfavorable outcomes such as cardiovascular disease, lower bone mineral density (BMD), and osteoporosis.
Vitamins are Not Created Equal
Not all Vitamin D is created equal. You may notice that there are a few different types of Vitamin D available. Vitamin D2 comes naturally from the ergosterol in plants when exposed to the sun. It is the Vitamin D commonly used to fortify milk. D3, on the other hand, is the kind absorbed by the human body from the sun. It can be found naturally in animal products like fatty fish and eggs. D3 is the better option because it is more potent than D2 because of its ability to better bind to human tissues.
Like vitamin D, there is also more than one form of vitamin K. Vitamin K is found in many food sources, including green leafy vegetables, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and animal products such as fish, meat and eggs. K1 is the most abundant form, found in vegetables, while K2 is rarer, found not only in animal products but some fermented foods. Both forms of vitamin K work to help your body use calcium, but vitamin K2 is important because it can help determine where calcium goes in the body–mainly, to your bones and teeth.
Vitamin D3 and K2: Better Together
So, again, while vitamin D ensures, in part, that there is enough calcium in your blood, vitamin K helps direct calcium to the right place. When Vitamins D3 and K2 are used in conjunction, your body is not only absorbing more calcium, but it is your bones that are on the receiving end.
Finding the Right Vitamin D3 and K2 Supplement
It isn’t necessary that you become a chemist to understand the way vitamin supplements work, but it is important that you work with a practitioner who understands the complexities behind vitamin supplementation. These above mentioned insights into how Vitamins D3 and K2 work in the body has led to new innovations in supplementation. It’s true that Vitamin D deficiencies are very common. But, popping a Vitamin D supplement that you buy at the grocery store is not always the best way to counteract such a deficiency. While Vitamin D alone may help with your calcium absorption, vitamin K is the nutrient that helps your bones use that calcium effectively. And, we just learned that it is Vitamins D3 and K2 that will produce the most benefit. Vitamin D is also a fat soluble vitamin, which needs fat to be absorbed by the body. Thus, all of these boxes need to be checked in order to receive maximum benefit from Vitamins D3 and K2 supplementation.
At Tringali Vibrant Health, we recommend pharmaceutical-grade supplements that maintain the purity of ingredients and quality assurance. Pharmaceutical supplements meet actual pharmaceutical standards, which means that the product must contain 99% purity with no binders, fillers, excipients, dyes, or unknown substances.
Elizabeth Tringali, PA-C recommends Ortho-Molecular’s Vitamin D3 and K2 is available in the Tringali Vibrant Health Supplement store.
Schedule a consult or Vitamin D deficiency test with Elizabeth Tringali, PA-C today: 561-283-1166.
Elizabeth Tringali, PA-C
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