The short answer to why we should be takingVitamin K2 and D3 together is simple, withoutD3 and K2,calcium cannot do its job effectively. A real power couple! Taking the two together will only amplify the effects of each.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of it, let's break down the significance and functions of each vitamin.
Vitamin K was discovered in 1929 as an essential nutrient for blood coagulation orblood clotting. Have you ever cut yourself, started to bleed for a (hopefully) short amount of time, and then it stops? This stoppage isblood clotting in action.
The initial discovery was reported in a German scientific journal, where it was called “Koagulationsvitamin” (pretty straightforward there) — which is where the “K” comes from (1).
Whencalcium absorption occurs in our bodies, the calcium is broken down. This is where K2 swoops in to activate a protein that helps the mineral bind to our bones so it can adequately perform its duties. While continued research is still being performed, studies show a higher K2 intake improves bone density and reduces the risk of bone fractures
Vitamin K comes in two primary forms:
Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone): Found in plant foods like leafy greens.
Vitamin K2 (menaquinone): Found in animal foods and fermented foods.
Vitamin K2 can be further divided into several different subtypes, the most important ones being MK-4 and MK-7. When comparing the two, MK-7 has shown to have better bioavailability or the amount of a substance that can be absorbed by the body to have an active effect.
Vitamin K2 helps turn on processes outside of the liver, like in ourbones or our blood vessels. In blood vessels, it activates a protein called Matrix Gla-protein (MGP), which removes calcium from the lining ofblood vessels. This is important for heart health, as calcification of blood vessels is a risk factor for heart disease. In bones, it activates osteocalcin, a bone-forming protein. It is an essential nutrient for bone health because it helps our bones draw calcium from our blood vessels and turn it into bone tissue. This is why they say that the best vitamin for bone health is Vitamin K2 and Vitamin D3.
Interestingly enough, many animals can convert vitamin K1 into vitamin K2, which is why animal foods can be a good source for Vitamin K intake. For animal food, focus on meat and egg yolks which, if you eat meat, is a great way to start your day. If you prefer to stay away from meat, dairy foods high in fat are a great source of vitamin K. Think yogurt, cheese, and whole milk.
However, some of thebest sources ofvitamin K2 originate from microbes like bacteria. This means that certain fermented foods such as kimchi, full-fat kefir, and natto (fermented soybeans) are some of the best sources of vitamin K2. Natto contains significantly more vitamin K2 than any otherfood source (over 20x more than cheese).
Vitamin K also regulates calcium levels, ensuring that no excess calcium is circulating through your body, which could potentially have adverse effects on your bones, cause kidney stones, and even interfere with how your heart and brain work. YIKES!
Vitamin D The Sunshine Vitamin
Vitamin D (cholecalciferol) is of great importance to our health. Without enough of it, you may feel weak, get extremely tired, and even experience muscle and joint pain. Does this sound like winter to you? If it does, it's because the most abundant source of Vitamin D comes from the sun. Hence, you live in a location where the sun hangs a bit lower in the winter months and might not come out as much, and you’ll likely experience some of these effects of a vitamin D deficiency.
Benefits of Vitamin D
Vitamin D3 offers many health benefits. It strengthens bones and muscles, is vital for immune function, improves mood, reduces inflammation, and improves heart function. It makes sense that a vitamin we get from the sun is so powerful and necessary, just like the sun itself.
Remember when we spoke about the two different kinds of vitamin K? Well, vitamin D is similar in that it can be found in two main types, D2 and D3.
When doctors recommend vitamin D supplements, they're likely to tell you to take D3 vitamins. This is because D3 raises your overall vitamin D level higher than D2, and it even lasts longer than D2.
To increase your vitamin D levels, you can take supplements, get more sunlight, or eat more foods with a lot of vitamin D3. It's challenging to get enough D3 through diet alone, but eating more of the foods below can help.
Vitamin D is measured in IUs (international units); however, this may be converted into mcg (microgram). The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends adults up to age 70 get 600 IU per day. Those over 70 should get 800 IU per day. You can handle a maximum daily intake of 4,000 IU in most cases. When purchasing supplements, both units of measure are normally provided on the label.
This may look confusing or sound like a lot; however, these numbers translate to roughly 10-30 minutes of midday sunlight, three days per week.
The amount of light you need depends on how dark your skin is and how sensitive it is to sunlight. So if your skin is a bit darker, consider staying out in the sun for a few extra minutes.
Are you looking to pack on some muscle? Make sure you're getting your daily Vitamin D. Recent studies have shown a connection between Vitamin D levels and muscle growth. Researchers found that people with more vitamin D had leaner bodies, more muscle mass, and muscles that worked better.
Strong muscles need healthy bones, and Vitamin D goes to work with calcium to support your bones. You see, Vitamin D absorbs calcium from the food we eat as it passes through the intestines. If we're low on vitamin D, the body can't get calcium from food, so it takes calcium out of your bones. This leads to weaker bones, fractures, and osteoporosis.
Vitamin D may also play an essential role in keeping our immune system functioning to its maximum potential. Vitamin D can help protect us from viruses, bacterial infections, and pneumonia and battle against acute respiratory infections.
Vitamin D deficiencies in people have also been connected to clinical depression. On the other hand, changes in lifestyle due to depression such as poor eating habits, little time outdoors, alcohol or drug use, etc. could cause a drop in vitamin D. This is the snake eating its tail.Vitamin D leveldrops lead to depression, which leads to poor life choices, leading to a further drop in Vitamin D levels. GET. YOUR. SUN!
Researchers have found evidence that raising vitamin D levels helps with symptoms of depression are hopeful that vitamin D may eventually be used as part of a treatment for depression.
What kind of foods can D3 be found in? Your D3 levels should be fine if you’re into seafood since D3 is so plentiful infatty fish such as halibut, mackerel, & herring. Not into fish? All good. Check out cod liver oil or afish oil supplement. These will benefit you just as well.
Both D3 and K2 arefat-soluble vitamins, which means they are absorbed along with fats in the diet and stored in the body's fatty tissue and liver. They work together to metabolize calcium in your body by activating helpful proteins. While vitamin D3 improves your calcium absorption, vitamin K2 allocates where calcium can be most effectively used.
To sum it all up, the 1,2 punch of vitamin D3 and K2 has gained scientific and public attention recently due to their complementary effects. Promising research on thesynergistic effectof combining these two vitamins in everyday supplements has been on the rise and continues to gain traction.
VITAMIN K2 + D3
STRONG BONES. Vitamin D3 & K2 work together to strengthen bones – D3 increases the absorption of calcium and K2 directs more of that calcium to bones rather than joints and arteries.
HEALTHY HEART. D3 & K2 vitamins are both essential nutrients for a healthy heart and cardiovascular system, and help promote healthy cholesterol levels.
DEFENSE SYSTEM SUPPORT. Science shows that vitamin D supplements are proven to strengthen your body’s natural defense system, which comes in handy during the winter season.
MOOD BOOSTER. The D3 vitamin is a great option for people who don’t get enough sunlight to maintain adequate levels of vitamin D, which plays a critical role in our mood and vitality.
POWERFUL SYNERGISTIC FORMULA. The combination of vitamin K2 (as MK-7, the most bioavailable form) and vitamin D3 work synergistically to provide greater health benefits together than when each vitamin is taken on its own.
VEGAN FRIENDLY.Manufactured in the USA at a cGMP compliant facility using easy to swallow capsules. Formula does not contain wheat, gluten, soy, milk, egg, fish, or tree nuts.