Most of us are (at least slightly) familiar with the benefits of vitamin D, but there’s another missing link preventing us big time from maintaining optimal health: vitamin K2.
To help you understand the delicate tango vitamin D and vitamin K2 must perform to keep us thriving, let’s do a quick overview of each and then talk about why they’re a powerhouse together.
Vitamin D3: Healthy Bones and More
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays many roles in the body, the most well-known being bone health.
Benefits of Vitamin D3
Vitamin D takes both calcium and phosphorus—essential nutrients for developing bones—and absorbs them into your body to maintain healthy bones.
Besides that, we now know Vitamin D also plays a part in many functions of the body, including:
- Proper muscle function
- Regulating immune function
- Lowering blood pressure
- Maintaining healthy lungs, brain function, and brain health
- Supporting a balanced mood
A deficiency in vitamin D has been linked to type II diabetes, depression, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s, and some autoimmune diseases. A study from the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine in 2014 even showed those with low levels of vitamin D are twice as likely to die prematurely as people with higher levels of vitamin D.
Your body can make its own vitamin D from sunlight, and you can also get it in small amounts in vitamin D foods like wild-caught fish, egg yolks, and mushrooms, or in supplemental form.
Although soaking up sunlight might seem like the most efficient way to get vitamin D, the problem is that during certain times of year, especially October through May, the sun isn’t strong enough in many parts of the U.S. for your body to make sufficient vitamin D.
At the same time, most of the sunscreens we use block almost all of the UVB rays needed to make vitamin D. This makes supplementation the best choice for many people.
Why Vitamin D3 is Better than D2
Did you know there are different forms of vitamin D?
Many supplements use vitamin D2, or calciferol, as their source. The problem is that this form comes from irradiated fungus and is not the same type of vitamin D your body makes naturally.
Vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol, is the natural type your body makes from sunlight. It’s the best form of vitamin D and was found to be twice as effective at raising vitamin D levels than vitamin D2 .
Vitamin K2: Healthy Bones, Arteries, and More
While vitamin D is more widely recognized for its supplemental benefits, vitamin K2 is a largely underrated vitamin, but it’s finally starting to get the attention it deserves. And it’s important to know about to understand the benefits it provides with vitamin D3.
Vitamin K is fat soluble and best known traditionally for its necessary role in helping blood clot properly. It was first discovered in 1929 by the scientist Henrik Dam and reported in the German scientific journal by the name “Koagulations vitamin,” which is where the “K” comes from .
The Different Forms of Vitamin K: K1 vs K2 vs K3
K2 is just one of three different forms of vitamin K, and it’s good to know the differences when looking at which vitamin K supplement is best:
- Vitamin K1 (also known as phylloquinone) is found naturally in some vegetables, especially leafy greens and vegetable oils, but only a small amount of this form is actually absorbed and used by the body.
- Vitamin K2 (also known as menaquinone) is found in both natural sources like fermented foods (created by bacteria during fermentation) like natto and cheese and it’s the most common (and best) form of vitamin K used in supplements.
- Vitamin K3 (also known as menadione) is a synthetic form of vitamin K used in some supplements. We’re often injected with this form of vitamin K when we’re born.
Vitamin K2 has an advantage over K1 because it is likely absorbed better than K1, which is poorly absorbed from its plant food sources [3,4]. It’s best to increase your levels of both K1 and K2.
Benefits of Vitamin K2
Vitamin K is necessary for many reasons, including the following benefits.
Keeps Blood Clotting Normally
Vitamin K helps our blood clot properly. Without blood clotting, we would bleed to death every time we cut or scraped ourselves!
Protects Our Bones
Vitamin K2 helps active osteocalcin, the protein crucial for calcium deposition in our bones that maintains healthy bone density and reduces the chance of fractures. Vitamin K may be able to stop bone loss and reduce fractures in people with osteoporosis as well as possibly reverse it .
Supports the Heart
Research suggests an association between higher vitamin K2 intake and a lower risk of coronary calcification, when plague develops on the lining of heart arteries, which can cause strokes, heart disease, and circulatory diseases .
There is also some research showing vitamin K2 might help lower cholesterol in those with high levels.
May Reduce Cancer Risk
Some population research even suggests more vitamin K2 intake is linked to a lower risk of prostate, breast, liver, and lung cancers [7,8,9].
In a 2008 study looking at the diets of early-stage Alzheimer’s patients found the Alzheimer’s patients had consumed lower levels of vitamin K than the control group .
Vitamin K may also help with:
- Wound healing
- Varicose or spider veins
- Scars, swelling, and stretch marks
Vitamin D3 and K2: Better Together
While both vitamin K2 and vitamin D3 are crucial for health and have many benefits separately, they are both necessary for how they work together.
Vitamin D3 and K2 Benefits
Healthy bones need both vitamin D and K2. While vitamin D is needed for calcium to be absorbed, vitamin K2’s job is to make sure that calcium actually ends up in the bones. Without this special combination, excess calcium might not be utilized correctly and can actually cause harm.
Both vitamins D3 and K2 also make and activate something called matrix GLA protein, or MGP. This protein:
- Is found around the elastic fibers of the lining of the arteries
- Helps protect the arteries from calcification and slow its progression
This is possible with the combination of vitamin D and vitamin K2 together and far more effective than vitamin D alone .
In addition, most of the benefits of vitamin D and K2 mentioned in this article are made possible when there’s a proper balance of both vitamins in your body.
What this all comes down to is: Vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 work synergistically in the body. So taking too much of one can lead to an imbalance in the other.
If you’re considering or already supplementing with vitamin D or vitamin K2 alone, it’s time to think about taking them together for maximum benefit and proper function.
Advanced D-K Spray makes it simple to get your daily dose of vitamin K2 and vitamin D3 benefits without worrying about an imbalance or deficiency. Check it out today: