One of the benefits of scientific research is learning how everyday people can take control of their personal health. With more knowledge about the body’s natural function and the importance of good nutrition, people have the ability to develop an overall health care plan that keeps them vital and active into their later years.
Recent insight into how vitamins D3 and K2 work in the body, and their connection to vitality, has led to new innovations in dietary choices and supplementation. In this overview, you can learn a bit more about each of these nutrients and their potency when taken in combination.
Why Do You Need Vitamin D3?
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin commonly called “the sunshine vitamin,” because people naturally receive it from the sun. Despite its availability, most people don’t get enough and have a vitamin D deficiency. A study of U.S. adults published in 2011 found that an alarming number — 41.6 percent — had low vitamin D levels.¹ So why is vitamin D so important? It has been linked to a number of positive outcomes, including immune system health, but perhaps the most important link is to supporting bone health. One of vitamin D3’s most essential functions is to help promote the absorption of calcium. When calcium isn’t absorbed properly, it can make its way into the bloodstream and end up in the arteries, leading to heart disease.
But not all vitamin D is created equal. If you take a supplement, you may notice the label will say vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) or vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). While both types of vitamin D can provide some benefit, vitamin D3 is the kind absorbed by the human body from the sun. Both forms exist in “the wild,” so to speak, as vitamin D3 is found mostly in animal products (fatty fish and eggs)², while D2 comes from the ergosterol in plants when exposed to the sun.
In addition to being the most “natural” version in the sense that it is the kind people absorb through the skin, vitamin D3 is more potent than D2. It binds better to human soft tissues and all those studies about the benefits of the sunshine vitamin? According to Medscape, those studies are performed using vitamin D3.³
Vitamin D2 isn’t all bad, however. Vitamin D2 is commonly used in the United States to fortify milk. So if you’re already taking vitamin D2, don’t worry — you may just have other alternatives you haven’t yet considered.
Like with many vitamins, there are ways you can get the maximum benefit of vitamin D in your body. Sometimes, a combined approach of more than one vitamin can help each to benefit your overall health. One such approach is to partner vitamin D3 with a less well-known nutrient, K2.
What about Vitamin K?
Among those well-known vitamins, like D, A, B-Complex, and C, has emerged another important player: vitamin K.
So, what does vitamin K do? Vitamin K is important in activating the proteins that allow your body to use calcium. In addition, it is a key part of many biological processes, including blood coagulation or blood clotting. But like vitamin D, there is more than one form of vitamin K, and one should distinguish between vitamin K1 and K2 and the different roles they play in the body.
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. Your body can convert some K1 into K2. 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.
As mentioned above, vitamin K2 is found in animal products and fermented foods. The types of vitamin K2 in each of these are actually two different compounds. The type of vitamin K2 compound found in animal products like egg yolk, cheese, and liver is known as menaquinone-4 (MK-4). The type of vitamin K2 compound available in fermented foods such as natto or sauerkraut is called menaquinone-7 (MK-7). It can be a challenge to get enough vitamin K2 because it is rarer than vitamin K1.
You can take a vitamin K2 supplement to make sure you are getting enough of this nutrient people are commonly deficient in. If you are concerned about supporting your bone health especially as you age, you may want to consider taking a combined supplement that contains vitamins K2 and D3.
Why Vitamin D3 and K2 are better together.
The common thread between D3 and K2 is their connection to many biological processes. Separately, they support bone health, but together their efficacy may be even stronger. Studies have shown that the combination of a D3 supplement and K2 helps to build healthy bones and support cardiovascular health. There may be a simple explanation for this. While vitamin D helps support your cardiovascular system by ensuring, in part, that you have appropriate calcium levels in your blood, vitamin K helps direct calcium to the right place. So while vitamin D alone may help with your calcium absorption, vitamin K is the nutrient that helps your bones use that calcium effectively and helps prevent cardiovascular disease. You may also find it helpful to take calcium supplements if you are having trouble getting enough calcium in your diet.\
Learn more about HumanN D3.K2 Complex.
Unfortunately, many other vitamin D and K supplements don’t contain enough of either vitamin to actually promote optimal health. Given this and also the importance of vitamins D3 and K2 in the human diet, we have developed a unique product that combines therapeutic amounts of vitamin D3 and K2 in an easy, once-a-day tablet that melts in your mouth. Our formulation was created to work with your calcium intake to support bone health and promote healthy arteries. K2 helps move calcium into your bones where, with the help of vitamin D3, it can do the most good.
To learn more about our D3.K2 Complex, click here.