Vitamins and minerals are the essential micronutrients, which play several important functions in your body. For example, maintain bone health, support blood circulation, healwounds, and bolster your immune system. They also make a major contribution in the repair of cellular damage and metabolism of macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to yield energy.

What are vitamin D3 and K2?

What are vitamin D3 and K2?Vitamin D3is also commonly known as the sunshine vitamin because your skin can produce it in response to sunlight. It is a fat-soluble vitamin; the other two types are D1 and D2. This vitamin plays many functions in your body, but most important is the absorption of phosphorus and calcium. Also,contribute tomaintaining the functioning of your immune system. So, it is mandatory to consume an adequateamount of vitamin D3 to maintain your body’s normal growth and development.

However, deficiency of these vitamins can cause several health issues such as osteomalacia (softening of bones) and osteoporosis (bones become fragile). The major food sources of vitamin D3 are salmon, sardines, egg yolk, fortified milk, yogurt, cereals, and orange juice.

Vitamin K2, as long-chain Menaquinone (MK7), is another essential fat-soluble vitamin. The MF7 foam of vitamin K has a longer half-life and longer bioavailability in your body. It is important in maintaining your circulatory system, which maintains your heart health, lowers the risk of cardiac disorders such as atherosclerosis, stroke, and vascular diseases. Thus due to its maximum effects, MK7 is considered the best source of vitamin K. The major dietary sources of this vitamin are fermented, dairy, and animal products like cheese, which provide other nutrients as well such as protein, calcium, and vitamin A. Beef liver contain 11 mg of vitamin K2 per 100 mg.

Here are some potential health benefits of vitamin D3 and K2 as MK7:

Health benefits of vitamin D3:

1. Maintains bone health:

Vitamin D3 makes your bones strong and healthy as it regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus by your bones. Moreover, these two minerals provide density and strength to your teeth and skeletal system.

2. Vitamin D3 prevents several diseases:

Besides its basic health benefits, the researchers have found that vitamin D3 also plays a role in preventing chronic diseases. In 2006, study findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested that vitamin D3 helps in improving the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, which is a disabling disease of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord).

Another study published in Circulation Journal has revealed that vitamin D3 lowers the risk of heart diseases. In 2010, another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has claimed that vitamin D3 reduces the development of cold and flu.

3. Helps in reducing stress and depression:

The research depicted that vitamin D3 plays a significant role in regulating your mood. It ultimately wards off depression and stress. In one study, people suffering from depression and stress were given supplements of vitamin D3 for 2 months. And the results revealed that they showed significant improvement in the symptoms of depression.

Another study conducted on people suffering from fibromyalgia (musculoskeletal pain leads to fatigue, mood, memory, and sleep issues), revealed that all individuals were deficient in vitamin D3.

4. Helps in reducing extra body weight:

Several studies have revealed that supplementation of vitamin D3 in your diet is effective in reducing extra pounds present around your body. Experts have claimed that people taking vitamin D3 and calcium during the weight-loss period, reduce more weight than the control group.

Healthcare experts believe that an extra amount of vitamin D3 and calcium acts as an appetite suppressor in your body. Another research has concluded that obese and overweight individuals taking supplements show improvement in the risk markers of heart diseases.

5. Control insulin level:

Vitamin D3 effectively controls your blood sugar levels by regulating the production of insulin in your body. It stimulates the pancreas to increase insulin release, promoting the uptake of glucose by your body cells that leads to lower plasma glucose levels. So, diabetics should consume an adequate amount of vitamin D to manage their blood sugar levels.

6. Lowers blood pressure:

A study conducted at Boston University revealed that people with hypertension experienced a significant decline in their blood pressure by increasing the uptake of vitamin D. D3 is

responsible to suppress the release of renin hormone from your kidneys, which constricts your blood vessels that boosts your blood pressure.

7. Prevents cancer:

Some scientific evidence shows that vitamin D3 helps in reducing the progression of prostate cancer. Moreover, many studies show that when you combine nutrients with fiber reduces the development of polyps, which leads to colon cancer.

Another study suggests that a combination of calcium and vitamin D supplements for postmenopausal women can reduce cancer risk by 60 percent. One more research has found that deficiency of vitamin D is also associated with breast cancer development. In one study, the nutritional screening of 166 women with breast cancer has shown 70 percent of women were vitamin D deficient.

8. Supports heart health:

Lack of vitamin D3 can also affect your heart functions. Two studies found that a low concentration of vitamin D3 in your blood cab enhances the risk of a heart attack. This vitamin acts as a heart tranquilizer, increases the endurance of heart muscles, and prevents abnormal

growth. Furthermore, it also prevents the thickening of the heart walls, which can cause a blockage that leads to atherosclerosis and heart failure.

9Mood:

One of the major benefits of vitamin D3 is its impact on your mood. People with seasonal affective disorder; generally, feel happy when they sit in the sun as their skin produces vitamin D3. An elevated level of this vitamin not only makes you feel better but also reduces anxiety. Along with other treatments, also ensure the proper intake of vitamin D as well to treat mood disorders.

Health benefits of vitamin K2 as MK7:

· K2 as MK7 for your bones:

Vitamin K2 is required for the activation of osteocalcin, which is a protein responsible  for transporting calcium to your bones. The transfer of calcium to your bone matrix reduces the risk of harmful calcium accumulation in your soft bone tissues. It also supports the activation of two important proteins, periostin and protein S, which are important in making your bone matrix.

One recent research reveals that the adequate intake of vitamin K2 can improve your bone and may reduce the healthcare costs linked with osteoporosis. Moreover, this vitamin also enhances the mineralization of your bones that minimizes the risk of fractures.

· K2 as MK7 for your blood vessels:

In blood vessels, it promotes the activation of matrix Gla protein, which are found in your arterial walls’ smooth muscle cells that binds calcium and raises its level in blood. This process is important to reduce the stiffening of your arterial walls. It lowers the risk of hypertension, stroke, lung embolism (blockage of pulmonary arteries), and thrombosis (abnormal blood clotting in your heart arteries).

· Improves your dental health:

Osteocalcin activated by vitamin K2 transfers calcium to your bones and enhances the production of new dentin, underneath your teeth enamel.

· Important for women health:

Most females do not require calcium, but vitamin K2 to direct calcium at the right places. Adequate supplementation of MK7 in the women’s diet helps to prevent bone problems after menopause. Most females enter menopause at the age of 45 to 55, and estrogen levels drop, which leads to rapid bone loss. Women lost 40 percent of their inner, spongy bone and 10 percent hard bone within the 10 years after menopause. Women should ensure their proper intake of MK7 to maintain their bone health.

· Important for older people:

In older age, several diseases are associated with insufficient intake of vitamin K2. It inhibits arterial calcification and lowers calcium-linked heart problems. K2 is an important antioxidant for your brain cells, which prevents damage due to free radicals. Moreover, scientific communities believe that proper supplementation of MK7 in older people’s diet. It reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Is a combination of vitamin D3 and K2 as MK7 good for you?

Yes, vitamin D3 and K2 make a perfect pair for your health. These vitamins work best in the presence of each other. They provide a synergic effect in balancing your blood calcium level that regulates your blood vessels and bones’ health.

What is the best time to take vitamin D and K?

Vitamin D and K are fat-soluble vitamins. It must be consumed with high-fat food to get its maximum absorption. According to one study, individuals taking vitamin D and K with large meals of the day and experienced a 50% increase in their blood vitamins level only after 2 months.

In another study, 50 old people consumed vitamin D and K with a high-fat meal and felt a 32% increase in their serum vitamins level just after 12 hours. Intake of vitamin D and K with meals and high-fat food increases its absorption.

In the bottom line:

Hence, both vitamin D3 and K2 as MK7 are mandatory for your bone and blood vessels health by supporting calcium absorption. Health experts suggest that women should consume 600IU/day and men 800IU daily. Meanwhile, recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin K is 120 mcg for women and 90 mcg for men per day. Consume an adequate amount of vitamins to maintain your overall wellbeing.

References:

  • Jorde, R., Sneve, M., Figenschau, Y., Svartberg, J. and Waterloo, K., 2008. Effects of vitamin D supplementation on symptoms of depression in overweight and obese subjects: randomized double blind trial. Journal of internal medicine, 264(6), pp.599-609.
  • Major, G.C., Alarie, F.P., Doré, J. and Tremblay, A., 2008. Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and fat mass loss in female very low-calcium consumers: potential link with a calcium-specific appetite control. British journal of nutrition, 101(5), pp.659-663.
  • Munger, K.L., Levin, L.I., Hollis, B.W., Howard, N.S. and Ascherio, A., 2006. Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels and risk of multiple sclerosis. Jama, 296(23), pp.2832-2838.
  • Zittermann, A., Frisch, S., Berthold, H.K., Götting, C., Kuhn, J., Kleesiek, K., Stehle, P., Koertke, H. and Koerfer, R., 2009. Vitamin D supplementation enhances the beneficial effects of weight loss on cardiovascular disease risk markers. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 89(5), pp.1321-1327.
  • Judd, S. and Tangpricha, V., 2008. Vitamin D deficiency and risk for cardiovascular disease. Circulation, 117(4), p.503.
  • Urashima, M., Segawa, T., Okazaki, M., Kurihara, M., Wada, Y. and Ida, H., 2010. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 91(5), pp.1255-1260.
  • van Summeren, M.J., Braam, L.A., Lilien, M.R., Schurgers, L.J., Kuis, W. and Vermeer, C., 2009. The effect of menaquinone-7 (vitamin K 2) supplementation on osteocalcin carboxylation in healthy prepubertal children. British journal of nutrition, 102(8), pp.1171-1178.
  • Theuwissen, E., Magdeleyns, E.J., Braam, L.A.J.L.M., Teunissen, K.J., Knapen, M.H., Binnekamp, I.A.G., van Summeren, M.J.H. and Vermeer, C., 2014. Vitamin K status in healthy volunteers. Food & function, 5(2), pp.229-234.
  • Beulens, J.W., Booth, S.L., van den Heuvel, E.G., Stoecklin, E., Baka, A. and Vermeer, C., 2013. The role of menaquinones (vitamin K2) in human health. British Journal of Nutrition, 110(8), pp.1357-1368.
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