As a Supplement Specialist, I am often asked about the role of vitamins and supplements in overall health and well-being. While a balanced diet and regular exercise are essential for maintaining optimal health, vitamin and mineral supplementation can also play an important role in supporting various bodily functions.
One such nutrient that has received A LOT of attention in recent years (rightfully so!) is vitamin D. Known as the "sunshine vitamin," vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and teeth, as well as for maintaining a healthy immune system. However, many people may not be getting enough vitamin D through their diet or sun exposure alone.
BUT…what’s up with the Vitamin K thing??
To make matters more complicated, vitamin D also requires vitamin K for optimal absorption and utilization. Vitamin K plays a critical role in regulating calcium metabolism and preventing calcium from accumulating in the wrong places, such as arterial walls. When taken together, vitamin D and K can work synergistically to support bone health and cardiovascular health.
So, what are some of the benefits of vitamin D and K supplementation? Here are just a few:
- Bone Health: Vitamin D and K work together to support healthy bone density and reduce the risk of fractures. According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, older adults who supplemented with vitamin D and K showed a significant reduction in the risk of hip fractures.
- Cardiovascular Health: Vitamin D and K may also play a role in maintaining cardiovascular health. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology found that supplementation with vitamin D and K was associated with a reduction in arterial stiffness, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
- Immune System Support: Vitamin D is well-known for its immune system benefits, and vitamin K may also play a role in supporting immune function. A study published in the International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology found that vitamin K supplementation may help regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation.
Did you know, the majority of the population is deficient in Vitamin D? Additionally, functional medicine labs ranges are different from traditional medicine lab ranges. Essentially, the lab ranges you get from your PCP are only to PREVENT disease, NOT to optimize health. You read the right, if you fall outside the traditional range, you might be at risk for developing a disease (for example, rickets with vitamin D). Are you interested in finding out your vitamin D levels from a functional perspective? Order your lab here
Additionally, it's important to choose high-quality supplements from reputable sources, like Metagenics. Look for products that have been third-party tested for purity and potency.
In summary, the majority of the population is currently deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D and K supplementation can play an important role in supporting bone health, cardiovascular health, and immune system function! By working together to support various bodily functions, these vitamins can help promote overall health and well-being.
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- Vitamin D and Health. National Institutes of Health. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Health/
- Vitamin K. National Institutes of Health. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminK-Health/
- Shea MK, et al. Vitamin D and vitamin K supplementation decreases serum concentrations of the pro-inflammatory marker, C-reactive protein, in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the American College of Cardiology. 2013; 62(7): 637-646. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23850931/
- Kim J, et al. Vitamin D and vitamin K co-supplementation improves markers of bone health and cardiovascular risk in postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2017; 102(5): 1171-1180. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28368520/
- Okabe R, et al. Vitamin K deficiency suppresses the production of osteocalcin, but not of thrombomodulin, by a human osteoblastic cell line, MG-63. International Journal of Hematology. 200