For most, the ultimate goal in this world is to attain happiness. But really, the most important thing is your health. Stressful lifestyles, sedentary habits, and lack of exercise can wreak havoc on an individual's health. It can affect nutrient absorption, making you vulnerable to many diseases.
Vitamin D is a micronutrient that is found to be present in extremely low levels in many individuals, especially if you stay indoors the majority of your day. Therefore, it is common among people who are not able to get enough sunlight exposure.
Vitamin K is another nutrient that is usually found to be present in adequate levels in our body, however, its deficiency may lead to serious illness. Fortunately, there are several ways you can increase the levels of these vitamins in your body in a natural way, as well as great supplementation. Let's understand what is vitamin D3 and K2 and how to know if you have a deficiency as well as how to deal with it.
What is Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2
Vitamin D3 is a form of vitamin D that easily gets absorbed by the body. Our body makes its own vitamin D when our skin is exposed to direct sunlight. Our body has a unique ability to convert the sunshine into vitamin D which is further converted to vitamin D3 by the cholesterol present in your skin cells. The fat-soluble vitamin is stored in the body in the fatty tissues and the liver.
Vitamin K2 is a form of vitamin K that is also a fat-soluble vitamin and can be easily obtained naturally from the food. This vitamin is known to be important for mineralization of the bones and for clotting of blood. A deficiency of this vitamin may slow the clotting of blood, so if an injury occurs it may result in excessive blood loss. Therefore, maintaining its level in the body is essential for a better health.
Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2 Deficiency
A deficiency of vitamin D3 over a long period of time may greatly deteriorate your health, leading to conditions such as heart disease, autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, autism and even cancer.
Whereas, a vitamin K deficiency may lead to conditions such as excessive bleeding, painful menstruation and loss of bone density. Intestinal problems, leaky gut syndrome, biliary problems can affect the absorption of vitamin K in the body increasing the risk of its deficiency.
Benefits of Vitamin D3
1. Improves Bone Health
Vitamin D3 is an important micronutrient that is essential for the absorption of calcium by the body. This helps in maintaining healthy bones. It works with other vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, as well as phosphorus to increase the body's ability to absorb calcium. A vitamin D deficiency results in bone softening leading to osteomalacia or rickets. If left untreated, it increases your risk of osteoporosis.
2. Reduces Cardiovascular Diseases
A deficiency of vitamin D3 can lead to high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Therefore, taking vitamin D can help in regulating high blood pressure as well as maintaining healthy cholesterol levels to reduce the possibility of cardiovascular diseases.
3. Regulates Blood Sugar
Some studies reveal that maintaining vitamin D levels in your body may prevent the risk of type II diabetes to a great extent. Since calcium is important for the secretion of insulin, adequate calcium absorption facilitated by vitamin D3 indirectly helps in controlling the condition. A deficiency of vitamin D also increases the risk of diabetes. Therefore, this vitamin can help manage the sugar levels in the blood and help prevent diabetes.
4. Strengthens Immune System
Another way vitamin D helps you to stay healthy is by strengthening your immune system. This vitamin helps in replication of healthy cells that prevent autoimmune disease. Vitamin D3 is also known to reduce inflammation in the body, thereby reducing the risk of rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
5. Improves Focus and Concentration
According to Pubmed, a deficiency in this micronutrient may cause bad mood and affect your cognitive power. Therefore, vitamin D benefits the brain functioning and improves focus and concentration. It also improves moods and increases the quality of your life. Low vitamin D levels in the body may lead to the development of schizophrenia.
6. Cancer Prevention
Low levels of vitamin D in your body increases the chances of development of certain types of cancer. These include breast cancer and ovarian cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Colon cancer is also seen in individuals with low vitamin D levels. Since vitamin D blocks the production of excess estrogen in the body, it reduces the chances of ovarian, breast and colon can cancer in women. Having enough exposure to the sunlight or taking vitamin D3 supplements on a regular basis can prove to be beneficial in protecting you against such health conditions.
Benefits of Vitamin K2
1. Regulates Blood Clotting
The main role of vitamin K2 is to help in clotting of the blood. Its deficiency can lead to conditions where blood clotting is not possible such as HDN or hemorrhagic disease present in newborns. This vitamin helps in stopping the bruising or excessive bleeding caused by an injury by clotting the blood.
2. Makes Bones Healthy
Vitamin K works in a simple way to keep your bones healthy. It stimulates the production of certain proteins that are essential for bone calcium. It also prevents loss of bone and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. Vitamin K works with vitamin D3 to help reach the calcium to your bones and teeth while preventing deposition of calcium in soft tissues.
3. Improves Heart Health
Calcification of arteries is commonly seen with increased absorption of calcium by the body. Vitamin K2 prevents such calcification and helps in removing such deposits from your arteries. It helps in allowing your body to use the calcium in the right way while eliminating the excess of it from your body. Therefore, it is useful in preventing calcification of the arteries promoting a healthy heart.
4. Boosts Brain Health
The anti-inflammatory attributes of vitamin K fight oxidative stress and protect your brain from any free radical damage. Therefore, it can help prevent conditions such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer’s disease, heart failure and even cancer. Vitamin K also promotes sphingolipid metabolism that supports brain functioning.
5. Reduces Menstrual Cramps
Since vitamin K2 has a blood clotting action, it is helpful for women who experience excessive bleeding during menstruation. It can also help relieves the pain and cramps associated with excessive bleeding during menstruation. A deficiency of this vitamin is known to cause menstrual pain and cramps, therefore, maintaining its adequate levels can help you ease your symptoms.
6. Improves Oral Health
Vitamin K helps in maintaining a good oral health by preventing tooth decay and diseases of the gum. It works with other vitamins to make teeth stronger. It also helps in killing the bacteria present in the mouth, thereby, preventing gum diseases and tooth decay.
How Does Vitamin D3 and K2 Work Together to Promote Better Health?
According to a review published in PMC, both vitamin D and vitamin K are helpful in maintaining stronger bone as well as improving the health of your heart. It is also found that vitamin D is helpful in producing a protein that is vitamin K-dependent. The study also reveals that a supplement having vitamin D and K improves the health of bones in postmenopausal women.
The reason why it is important to get these vitamins in recommended amounts lies in its teamwork. It is known that vitamin D3 increases the absorption of calcium by the body. This means it could possibly lead to additional calcium absorption that can cause other health problems. Vitamin K2, when taken with vitamin D3, helps in reducing the risk of calcification.
Therefore, if you are taking calcium as well as vitamin D and are Vitamin K2 deficient, it may worsen your condition and could be dangerous for your health.
How To Obtain Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2 Naturally
Vitamin D can be obtainednaturally by exposing your skin to the sun for at least 15-20 minutes on a regular basis. It can also be obtained from certain food such as raw milk, carp fish, salmon, swordfish, eel, maitake mushrooms, sardines, mackerel, whitefish, tuna, and eggs. The minimum recommended daily intake for vitamin D is 600 IU for children aged 1-8 years, 600 IU for adults up to 70 years and 800 IU for adults over 70 years of age.
Vitamin K2 can be obtained from dairy products that are raw and fermented such as yogurt, raw cheese, amasi, and kefir. It can also be obtained from egg-yolks, grass-fed meat, liver and wild-caught fish. The daily recommended dose of vitamin K2 is 40 mcg.
Vitamin D3 and K2 Supplementation
In view of the above facts, it is clear why you must worry if your vitamin D levels are low. It can cause great damage to your body if left untreated. Although you can obtain these vitamins through sun exposure and diet, you may still be at a risk of its deficiency if you are not getting them in enough quantities.
The best way to maintain its level in your body is to take a chewable supplement that has recommended doses of both the vitamins. Since vitamin D3 and K2 work together to promote a better health, a regular supplement would help you to maintain its level and attain a better health.
VITAMIN D3 and VITAMIN K2 - A powerful combination for a happy and active life
VITAMIN D - an important micronutrient that is essential for the absorption of calcium
VITAMIN K - is important for mineralization of the bones and for clotting of the blood in the body
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