Vitamin D3 & K2 Health Benefits
• Awareness around vitamin D deficiency has increased significantly in recent years; fortunately people are beginning to realise just how important this nutrient is for optimal health. There’s another piece of the puzzle though that many aren’t familiar with, and that relates to vitamin K2.
• One of the many roles of vitamin D is to support bone health1. Calcium is required for normal growth, development and maintenance of the skeleton, where it provides strength and structure. Vitamin D boosts calcium absorption from the intestines and its re-absorption from the kidneys, thus greatly enhancing levels of available calcium within the body.
• Vitamin D acts directly on the osteoblasts (bone building cells) within bone to upregulate their expression of osteocalcin, which is essential for directing calcium into the bones. However, osteocalcin needs to be carboxylated before calcium can get into the bone. The carboxylation of osteocalcin is a vitamin K dependant process, making vitamin K essential for bone mineralization2.
• If there is a deficiency of vitamin K and carboxylation doesn’t occur, then this can lead to high levels of uncarboxylated osteocalcin. As a result, not only is calcium not delivered to the bones, which can then become porous, but it is may be deposited in the arteries3, which can become calcified and increase the risk of coronary heart disease.
• Numerous peer-reviewed studies have shown that vitamin K2 is a highly effective activator of osteocalcin4. It is therefore recommended that vitamin D3 is combined with vitamin K2 when using supplementation to support bone health and to protect cardiovascular health.
• Dosages of 1000 IU vitamin D3 and 45 mcg vitamin K2 (MK7) are used in research to support the prevention of bone loss and demineralization.
1. Holick M. F. (1996). Vitamin D and bone health. The Journal of nutrition, 126(4 Suppl), 1159S–64S. https://doi.org/10.1093/jn/126.suppl_4.1159S
2. Rodríguez-Olleros Rodríguez, C., & Díaz Curiel, M. (2019). Vitamin K and Bone Health: A Review on the Effects of Vitamin K Deficiency and Supplementation and the Effect of Non-Vitamin K Antagonist Oral Anticoagulants on Different Bone Parameters. Journal of osteoporosis, 2019, 2069176.
3. Florea, A., Kooi, M. E., Mess, W., Schurgers, L. J., Bucerius, J., & Mottaghy, F. M. (2021). Effects of Combined Vitamin K2 and Vitamin D3 Supplementation on Na[18F]F PET/MRI in Patients with Carotid Artery Disease: The INTRICATE Rationale and Trial Design. Nutrients, 13(3), 994.
4. Hu, L., Ji, J., Li, D. et al. (2012) The combined effect of vitamin K and calcium on bone mineral density in humans: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 16, 592
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