Learn how you can benefit today from the NutraBlast Vitamin D3 & K2
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What is Vitamin D3 & K2?
Every fall, leading into winter, the sun sets further and further into the south. The days get shorter and the sun’s rays diminish in duration and intensity. This is when D3—”the sunshine vitamin”—blood levels drop in sun-exposed mammals. That imperceptible signal results in profound behavioral changes that are easily observed in foxes, bears, and many other land roaming creatures: their activity slows while their foraging increases. They are fattening up their calorie stores for the long winter’s hibernation. With the advent of spring, the bright summer sun’s UVB rays once again bathe their skin and fur. This is where abundant D3 is synthesized from the photo-transformation of cholesterol. This hormone-like vitamin slowly absorbs into the blood stream where it is delivered to the liver, then to the kidneys, where it is finally converted into the activated form of vitamin D. Rising levels of activated D signals renewed growth, heightened metabolic activity, better immunity, sharpened reproductive instincts, and accelerated tissue repair/regeneration. For millions of years, rising vitamin D levels were synonymous with health, healing and vitality in our mammalian relatives. Speaking of team work, vitamin D3’s natural partner is vitamin K2. The genius of this combo begins with proper respect for D3’s function of powerfully enhancing calcium absorption. Recent research has shown that excessive calcium intake alone can be harmful to the body. The additional calcium must be correctly utilized or it can show up in the wrong places and cause disease. This is how very high doses of cholecalciferol kills rodents: excessive calcium uptake, deposition, and interference with normal cardiac and renal function. By conscientiously using vitamin K2 in conjunction with D3, this issue of “metastatic calcium” is thoroughly avoided. Vitamin K2 activates several important proteins in the body. Henrick Dam, a Danish researcher, discovered vitamin K in 1939 (and won the Nobel Prize for his discovery in 1943). Because the Danish word for blood clotting was koagulation, Dam named the molecule vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential for the functioning of eight proteins involved in blood clotting.
The History of Vitamin D3 & K2
class="brief_history clearfix The Nobel prize for chemistry for 1928 was awarded to Adolf Windaus “for his studies on the constitution of the sterols and their connection with vitamins” (1), the first person to receive an award mentioning vitamins. What was the contribution Windaus made to our knowledge of vitamins that deserved the highest scientific accolade? The vitamin in question was vitamin D. It had a long history before Windaus appeared on the scene. Rickets, the bone disease caused by vitamin D deficiency, was known in antiquity and was described in detail by F. Glisson in 1650 (2). Many causes and cures for rickets had been proposed. Although cod-liver oil had been used medicinally for a long time, D. Scheutte (2) in 1824 was the first to prescribe it for the treatment of rickets. It was not until 1906 that Hopkins (3) postulated the existence of essential dietary factors necessary for the prevention of diseases such as scurvy or rickets. The first scientific approach to the disease was made by McCollum and his co-workers. In their early research (4) in 1914, they isolated a fat-soluble, nonsaponifiable factor from butterfat, necessary for normal growth and prevention of the eye disease xerophthalmia in young rats. They named this factor “fat-soluble factor A,” later “vitamin A.” The notion of a fat-soluble essential dietary factor for health led Mellanby (5) in 1919 to experiment with puppies in which he succeeded in producing a bone disease by feeding them a diet of low-fat milk and bread. He diagnosed rickets by X-ray examination, bone-calcium assay, and histology of bone, and noted that the gross appearance of the dogs was quite similar to that of rachitic children. Even adding yeast to the dogs' diet (to provide the water-soluble B-vitamins) and orange juice (to prevent scurvy), did not prevent the appearance of rickets within 3–4 mo. Rickets was prevented by the addition of butterfat to their diet or, most effectively, of cod-liver oil. He wrote: “Rickets is a deficiency disease which develops in consequence of the absence of some accessory food factor or factors. It therefore seems probable that the cause of rickets is a diminished intake of an anti-rachitic factor, which is either [McCollum's] fat-soluble factor A, or has a similar distribution to it” (5). A landmark investigation was that of Hariette Chick and her co-workers (6) who, in 1922, working with malnourished children in a clinic in post-World War I Vienna, showed that rickets prevalent in the children could be cured by whole milk or cod-liver oil. In 1920 Hopkins (7) found that the fat-soluble factor A in butterfat could be destroyed by heating and aeration. Butterfat so treated no longer had growth-promoting activity; the rats fed the treated butterfat developed xerophthalmia and died within 40–50 d. The key experiment was performed by McCollum and his co-workers (8) in 1922, when they observed that heated, oxidized cod-liver oil could not prevent xerophthalmia but could cure rickets in the rats. “This shows that oxidation destroys fat-soluble A without destroying another substance which plays an important role in bone growth” (8). They concluded that fat-soluble factor A consisted of 2 entities, one later called “vitamin A,” the other being the newly discovered antirickets factor. Because the water-soluble factors then discovered were termed vitamin B and the known antiscurvy factor was called vitamin C, they named the new factor vitamin D. In the meantime, an entirely different cure for rickets appeared, in the role of UV light. A long-standing tradition held that fresh air and sunshine were good for the prevention of rickets. Hess and Unger (9), in 1921, put forward the explanation of their clinical observations that “seasonal incidence of rickets is due to seasonal variations of sunlight.” In her work with children, Chick and her team (6), mentioned above, observed that sunlight would cure rickets just as well as cod-liver oil. The field received a new impetus when Huldschinsky (10) in 1919 argued that, if sunlight at the seaside or in the mountains can prevent or cure rickets, then artificial sunlight, simulating light at mountain heights (“Höhensonne”) should do the same. He exposed severely rachitic children to irradiation with a quartz-mercury lamp (emitting UV light) every other day for 2 to 20 min for 2 mo and observed great improvement, including fresh calcium deposition, as revealed by X-rays. He was careful to make sure that the children had not been exposed to sunlight or received any supplements to their diet during those months. The thinking at that point was that rickets can be prevented or cured by a component of butterfat or cod-liver oil that was distinct from the fat-soluble factor A (vitamin A). It can also be cured by an entirely different process, by sunlight or UV light irradiation simulating sunlight, perhaps as the result of generally improved health. This dichotomy was jolted by the most surprising observations, made simultaneously in 1924 in 3 different laboratories. Hume and Smith (11,12) found that rats suffering from rickets induced by a low-phosphate diet (13) benefited from irradiation by UV light, not only by irradiation of the rats themselves, but also by irradiation of the “air” in the glass jars from which they had been removed and then put back after irradiation. It turned out that it was the irradiated sawdust, feces, and spilt food left in the jars, which the rats later ate, and not the air that improved the rats' rickets. Goldblatt and Soames (14) observed that livers of irradiated rats were curative when fed to rachitic rats. Steenbock and Black (15) went a step further. They argued that because liver in the living rat is activated by UV light, perhaps liver removed from the animals can also be so activated. Indeed, both liver and muscle tissue from nonirradiated rats, after removal from the body and exposed to UV light “was found to have become activated, being both growth-promoting and bone-calcifying,” when fed to nonirradiated rachitic rats. The third laboratory that simultaneously reported the imparting of antirachitic properties to inert foods, such as wheat, lettuce, or cottonseed oil, was that of Hess and Weinstock (16,17). They also showed that in linseed oil, the antirachitic properties resided in the nonsaponifiable fraction and that activation occurred by UV irradiation in the absence of oxygen (18). The discovery that irradiation of food, in particular of whole milk (containing butterfat), could impart antirachitic potency led to tremendous advances in public health. The procedure, when adopted by producers, caused a rapid decline in the prevalence of rickets in children. It was well known at that time (1924) that certain animal fats, such as butterfat or cod-liver oil, were antirachitic without irradiation. What, then, was the substance in vegetable oils that could be activated by irradiation? In 1925, Hess and his team (19) isolated sitosterol (then called phytosterol) from cottonseed oil, an abundant fraction in the nonsaponifiable portion of the oil. What appeared to the investigators to be sitosterol was inactive against rickets in rats. Upon irradiation by UV light, it became active. Similarly, cholesterol, isolated from rat brain and recrystallized to a state thought by the authors to be pure, was activated to become an antirachitic substance by irradiation. Therefore, at this time (1925), the conclusion was reached that the precursor of the active substance, susceptible to activation by UV light, was cholesterol. With amazing foresight, Hess et al. (19) proposed the hypothesis that “it would seem quite possible that the cholesterol [we now know that this is 7-dehydrocholesterol] in the skin is normally activated by UV-irradiation and rendered anti-rachitic—that the solar rays and artificial radiations can bring about this conversion. This point of view regards the superficial skin as an organ, which reacts to particular light waves rather than as a mere protective covering.” At this moment (1926) some doubts arose as to the purity of the “pure” cholesterol, convertible into the antirachitic substance. Heilbron et al. (20) had observed that the “pure” cholesterol samples showed spectroscopic absorption peaks in the UV region that could not have belonged to cholesterol. Cholesterol was known to have a single double bond and the 3 peaks found by Heilbron et al. (20) would have been due to 2 or 3 double bonds. The suspicion arose that “pure” cholesterol, as obtained from rat brain, contained a small amount of an impurity that may be the precursor of the vitamin. It was at this stage (in 1926) that A. F. Hess (in New York) asked the famous steroid chemist A. Windaus (in Göttingen, Germany) to collaborate on the question of the chemical structure of the antirachitic product formed by irradiation of the substance then thought to be cholesterol (21). A third investigator, who took part in this exceptionally amicable collaboration, was O. Rosenheim in London. Because physical methods, such as recrystallization, left the supposedly pure cholesterol unchanged, chemical methods were tried. Thus, Rosenheim and Webster, at a meeting of the Biochemical Society in London in 1926 (22) announced that “the precursor of vitamin D is not cholesterol itself, but a substance which is associated with and follows ‘chemically pure' cholesterol in all its stages of purification by the usual methods (saponification and recrystallization).” The investigators converted the “pure” cholesterol into its dibromide, recrystallized this, and recovered cholesterol upon treatment with sodium amalgam. When purified by this method, the recovered cholesterol, upon irradiation, had completely lost its antirachitic potency. The authors state (22): “According to information received from Prof. Windaus, a specimen of cholesterol [was] prepared by him at our suggestion [my italics] by the same procedure. Thus purified, cholesterol prepared in this way was no longer rendered anti-rachitic by irradiation with ultraviolet light. It is evident, therefore, that not cholesterol, but [another] substance is the immediate precursor of vitamin D.” From this report, it is clear that, in the close collaboration among Rosenheim, Hess, and Windaus, it was Rosenheim's team that performed the crucial experiment demonstrating that “pure” cholesterol contained an impurity that could be converted into the antirachitic vitamin photochemically. This was the essential clue that led to the identification of the vitamin D precursor or provitamin. Windaus and Hess (21) improved upon the chemical purification of the provitamin by the debromination of the cholesterol dibromide by zinc dust. Rosenheim and Webster (23) emphasized that the work resulted from mutual suggestions emanating from the 3 teams in London, Göttingen, and New York simultaneously, “according to a friendly arrangement.” With the discovery that “pure” cholesterol contained a small amount of an impurity that appeared to be the provitamin, the collaborative research began by the 3 groups on its identification. The impurity had the chemical properties of a steroid, being precipitable by digitonin and displayed a spectrum characteristic of the presence of 3 double bonds. Rosenheim and Webster (23) pointed out that the amount of the impurity must be very small (1:2000) and hence the vitamin itself must be biologically active in very small amounts. The work of the identification of the provitamin was greatly speeded up by the discovery of Heilbron et al. (20), already referred to, that the active impurity had 3 absorption peaks in the UV spectrum (269, 280, 293 nm). Thus, it was possible to purify the provitamin using the UV absorption peaks as a guide instead of the laborious animal tests. Windaus and Hess (21), by means of high-vacuum distillation and charcoal adsorption techniques, obtained the highly concentrated active fraction from “pure” cholesterol. Windaus and Hess (21) tested 30 different steroid preparations with more than 1 double bond from various plant sources for antirachitic activity upon irradiation. They hit upon ergosterol, a fungal steroid from ergot (Fig. 1), which when irradiated, was found to be highly active in curing rats suffering from rickets. The reasons for choosing this steroid for testing were as follows: 1) its UV spectrum matched that of the active fraction from “pure” cholesterol; 2) it was a steroid rapidly destroyed by oxidation, similar to the active fraction from cholesterol; 3) it produced the same color reaction with sulfuric acid as that fraction. Simultaneously and in consultation with Windaus and with Hess, Rosenheim and Webster (23) also determined that ergosterol was the provitamin D, convertible to vitamin D by UV irradiation. Vitamin K2 is a newly discovered essential vitamin that is building a significant body of clinical evidence demonstrating its crucial significance in the fight against the most common and devastating diseases of our time: osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. These conditions contribute to difficulties in the functioning of society and are the most common cause of death worldwide, and both can be linked to a deficiency in vitamin K2. Part of the K family of vitamins, vitamin K2 is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps the body efficiently utilize calcium. By activating different K-dependent proteins, it directs calcium toward bones and away from the arteries. The Vitamin K family consists of a group of fat-soluble vitamins that are divided into vitamin K1 – one molecule (phylloquinone) – and vitamin K2 – a group of molecules (menaquinones). Menaquinones is the group name for a family of related compounds, generally subdivided into short-chain menaquinones (with MK-4 as the most nutritionally important) and the long-chain menquinones, of which MK-7, MK-8, and MK-9 are the most nutritionally recognized. Vitamins K1 and K2 are similar in structure: they share a “quinone” ring, but differ in the length and degree of saturation of the carbon tail and the number of side chains.1 The number of side chains (isoprene units) is indicated in the name of the particular menaquinone. For example, MK-7 denotes 7 isoprene units attached to the carbon tail; and this influences the transport to different target tissues.
The Top 4 Reasons You Need Vitamin D3 & K2
1. Vitamin K2 comes from a certain bacteria that’s found in some fermented foods. You can get it in healthy fats from grass-fed animals (think butter, milk, cheese, egg yolks, etc.) too. It works alongside vitamin d to help the body better assimilate calcium for healthy bones and teeth (Mercola, 2015). There’s always this fine balance or shifting of calcium in your blood stream. If blood calcium levels get too low, vitamin d triggers the bones to release calcium so there’s more of it in the blood. If blood calcium levels get too high, vitamin d triggers the body to absorb some of it and store it back in the bones (Anthony, 2006). 2. Now, I’m not a huge fan of supplements, but as I continue to learn about nutrition and healthy eating, I can definitely see that our diet isn’t perfect and there are areas we may need some help with every now and then. I imagine it’s the same for you. Am I right? We’re not perfect “natural mamas.” We’re striving and pushing forward. Progress over perfection, right? 3. Vitamin D3, vitamin D, cholecalciferol or simply the “sunshine vitamin”: No matter what you call it, this is one of the most essential nutrients for keeping your body fit and healthy. Studies have shown that adequate vitamin D levels in your blood can improve your running performance. But what other benefits does the vitamin provide? 4. The difference between vitamins K1 and K2 was first established in the Rotterdam Study,2 published in 2004. A variety of foods were measured for vitamin K content, and vitamin K1 was found to be present in high amounts in green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and cabbage. Vitamin K2, on the other hand, is only present in fermented foods. It's produced by certain bacteria during the fermentation process. Interestingly, while the K1 in vegetables is poorly absorbed, virtually all of the K2 in fermented foods is readily available to your body. 5 While the importance of vitamin D has become more fully appreciated, another vitamin that is just as important as vitamin D, vitamin K2, needs wider recognition. It's a fat-soluble vitamin most well known for its role in blood clotting. Vitamin K2 is an important adjunct to vitamin D, without which vitamin D cannot work properly. K2's biological action is also impaired by a lack of vitamin D, so you really need to consider these two nutrients together. This means that if you take high doses of oral vitamin D you need to remember to also increase your vitamin K2 intake from either food or a MK-7 supplement. Failing to do so could cause harm, as without K2, your body will not be able to complete the transport of calcium into the proper areas, and arterial calcification could set in. If you get your vitamin D primarily from sun exposure then this issue is largely circumvented, as your body is then able to regulate its vitamin D production. You simply cannot overdose on vitamin D from sun exposure. Vitamins D and K2 also work synergistically with magnesium and calcium, so this quartet should ideally be taken in combination. Unfortunately, most people are deficient in both vitamins D and K, and magnesium insufficiency is also common. At least 50 percent of the general population is at risk of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency, and as many as 97 percent may be lacking in vitamin K2.4 This could very well be due to the fact that we stopped eating fermented foods with the advent of refrigeration and other food processing techniques. While you likely get sufficient amounts of vitamin K from your diet to maintain adequate blood clotting, you're probably not getting enough to protect you from a variety of other health problems that are more specifically associated with vitamin K2, such as: Arterial calcification and cardiovascular disease Osteoporosis Leukemia and cancer of the lung,5 prostate,6 and liver7 Neurological deficiencies, including dementia Infectious diseases such as pneumonia
The Benefits of Vitamin D3 & K2
Vitamin D3 Vitamin D3 is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines and is used amongst the medical community for a variety of purposes. While we can get our vitamin D from the sun, it is difficult to get a sufficient amount through sun exposure. Additionally, as we have become more and more knowledgeable about the risks associated with sun exposure, some people have argued that vitamin D3 supplements may be a better alternative way to get this particular vitamin. Vitamin D3 is used as a treatment for vitamin D deficiency and diseases that result from this deficiency. One of the actions of vitamin D3 is to increase the amount of calcium that the intestines take up, which means that it may be useful for combating low calcium levels as well. Indeed, low blood calcium is often treated with vitamin D3. Here are some of the specific diseases and disorders that may be affected by vitamin D3: Rickets disease. Rickets disease occurs in children and causes bone softening and distortion. The disease usually occurs as a result of extreme vitamin D deficiency, which may occur over an extended period of time. The disease can delay growth lead to muscle weakness, and cause pain in the back, hips, and leg. By aiding with the absorption of calcium, vitamin D3 can help strengthen bones and also prevent rickets disease. Fanconi syndrome. Fanconi syndrome is a kidney disorder that involves inadequate reabsorption of nutrients in areas of the kidney called the proximal renal tubules. The limits on the reabsorption can lead to vitamin deficiencies that need to be treated by replacing those substances that are lost, such as vitamin D3. Hypoparathyroidism. Hypoparathyroidism involves decreased parathyroid hormone function. The parathyroid hormone normally helps with bone remodeling. Research has shown that when people with hypoparathyroidism are given vitamin D3, their serum calcium levels rise which is part of healthy thyroid activity. Familial hypophosphateamia. Familial hypophosphateamia is a rare, genetically inherited disorder that involves impairment in the ability to metabolize vitamin D in the kidneys. Like with Fanconi syndrome, the resulting loss of vitamin D needs to be addressed with replacements. Other: Recent research has also implicated vitamin D3 in colorectal cancer and heart disease. In 2007, a team of scientists investigated data that had been collected on vitamin D for several years. According to their analysis, a daily intake of 1000-2000 international units (IU) per day is sufficient to reduce the likelihood of developing colorectal cancer. The researchers also noted that taking this dose was associated with little risk. Much of the research on vitamin D3 today, however, focuses on its potential power against heart disease, with a specific focus on the impact of vitamin D3 on endothelial cells, which are the cells that line the surface of the blood vessels of the heart (and other parts of the body). When heart attacks and strokes occur, these endothelial cells undergo significant damage. A study that was just published found that vitamin D3 could repair this endothelial damage. The study also showed that vitamin D3 enhanced the amount of nitric oxide in the blood, which protects blood vessels and makes it easier for blood to flow. This type of action could be another way that vitamin D3 could help with heart disease. Vitamin K2 Traditionally, vitamin K2, like other vitamin Ks, has been associated with blood clotting, also known as coagulation. Without enough vitamin K, blood clotting can be inhibited, increasing the risk for excessive blood loss upon injury. Recently, however, research has begun to demonstrate that vitamin K1 is likely more involved in blood clotting than is vitamin K2. Unlike vitamin K1, vitamin K2 appears critical in determining where calcium is distributed within the body. More specifically, vitamin K2 allows calcium to bind to certain proteins. Here are some ways vitamin K2 may be involved in our health: Bone health. Because calcium is an important component of bone, it is perhaps not surprising that current research on vitamin K2 focuses on its potential role in bone strength. Research has started to accumulate to suggest that people with bone diseases like osteoporosis may be able to benefit from vitamin K2. In Japan, vitamin K has been officially recommended for the treatment of osteoporosis following multiple studies on the benefits of vitamin K in Japanese women. Another study conducted in 244 postmenopausal women showed that age-related bone mineral density decreased faster in women who did not take vitamin K2 over a 3-year period than in women who did take the vitamin over that same period. Other trials have pointed to the potential for vitamin K2 to minimize hip, spinal, and other types of fractures. Heart health. While a lack of calcium is detrimental for bones, more calcium is not always better. For instance, when calcium builds up in the arteries that surround the heart, the likelihood of developing heart disease dramatically increases. Vitamin K2 can help prevent this type of calcium buildup. One study found that higher doses of vitamin K2 were associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Another study found that a high intake of vitamin K2 was associated with a lower likelihood of developing artery calcification. Cancer. There is not a large amount of literature on the relationship between vitamin K2 and cancer, but the results of some studies suggest that vitamin K2 may be associated with lower recurrence rates and longer survival times for patients with liver cancer. Another study, which involved observing data from over 10,000 men, found that those men who consumed a high amount of vitamin K2 were less likely to have advanced prostate cancer. Some studies claim that vitamin D and vitamin K2 work synergistically, so it could be beneficial to take supplements that include both vitamins in certain contexts. While more research is required for us to understand the specific health benefits of vitamin D3 and vitamin K2, the data that have been collected thus far have shown that vitamin D3 enhances the absorption of calcium while vitamin K2 enables the body to effectively deposit the calcium.
Why Vitamin D3 & K2 Is The #1
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is different from other vitamins because our bodies can make most of what we need with exposure to sunlight. Vitamin D is more than a vitamin in that is acts as a pro-hormone and effects hormone balance and immune regulation of the body. Most foods, unless they are fortified, are poor sources of vitamin D and there are only a small amount of vitamin D rich foods to choose from. Vitamin D plays a role in calcium absorption into the bones. A deficiency in vitamin D can result in a softening of the bones called osteomalacia or a bone abnormality called rickets. Some of the biggest vitamin D deficiency symptoms include: • Weakened immune system • Seasonal depression • Autoimmune disease • Cancer • Weak bones (osteopenia) • Skin issues eczema and psoriasis • Dementia People most prone to a vitamin D deficiency include those who live in northern regions with little sunlight exposure, people with darker skin, people on low fat diets and those taking steroids and weight loss medications. Vitamin D also helps with cell replication, and may play a role in the development of autoimmune conditions. The RDA for vitamin D is 600 IU/day and the Daily Value is 400 IU. Vitamin K1 is found in leafy greens, though only a small amount is actually absorbed and used by the body. In fact, experts suggest that only 10% of Vitamin K1 from greens is used by the body. Vitamin K2 is found in fermented raw grass fed dairy and certain other fermented foods (like natto). This is because K2 is a product of the fermentation and is created by certain bacteria. In general, these foods contain a proportionately lower amount of K2 (compared to the K1 in greens), though much more is absorbed. (1) Interestingly, studies have shown great health and cardiovascular benefits from K2, but hardly any effect from K1. K1 is necessary for proper blood clotting and is used by the liver, while K2 benefits the bones and controls proper utilization of calcium. In fact, it is helpful to think of them as two separate nutrients with different purposes. There is also a misconception that the body can convert K1 to K2. The research actually showed that while some other animals can effectively convert K1-K2, humans need food or supplemental sources of K2 for good health. (2)
Top 3 Questions People Ask About Vitamin D3 & K2
1.What is a healthy level of Vitamin D3? Nutritional adequacy for Vitamin D is based upon the measurement of the metabolite 25-Hydroxyvitamin D. Leading experts recommend that 25-Hydroxyvitamin D concentrations should be at least 75-80 nmol/L (30-32 ng/mL).
2.What Is Vitamin D3 And What Does It Do? Vitamin D3 is produced naturally in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight, hence its nickname the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’. Although classified as a vitamin, D3 transforms into a hormone within the body. In this form, it is circulated in the bloodstream to help in the absorption of calcium and phosphorous that is received from digested food sources. Calcium is used for building and strengthening teeth and bone mass and is vital for bone development and growth. It can be stored in the body tissue until it is required. In addition, Calcium also has a role to play in the production of hormones in the body by transmitting nerve impulses to the brain. Almost 99% of your Vitamin D supply is used for regulating the calcium in the body; the remaining part is utilised for strengthening the immune system and maintaining muscle strength. Some controversy has arisen whether Vitamin D2 is as active as vitamin D3 when it is ingested, but the consensus is that D3 is two to three times as potent in raising the level of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (the chemical name for Vitamin D3).
3. How Much Vitamin K2 Should You Consume? You can obtain all of the vitamin K2 you need (about 200 micrograms) by eating 15 grams of natto daily, which is half an ounce. It's a small amount and very inexpensive, but many Westerners do not enjoy the taste and texture. If you don't care for the taste of natto, the next best thing is a high-quality K2 supplement. Remember, you must always take your vitamin K supplement with fat since it is fat-soluble and won't be absorbed without it.Although the exact dosing is yet to be determined, Dr. Vermeer recommends between 45 mcg and 185 mcg daily for adults. You must use caution on the higher doses if you take anticoagulants, but if you are generally healthy and not on these types of medications, I suggest 150 mcg daily. 4.Which Form of Vitamin K2 is Best? Vitamin K1 is found in leafy greens, though only a small amount is actually absorbed and used by the body. In fact, experts suggest that only 10% of Vitamin K1 from greens is used by the body. Vitamin K2 is found in fermented raw grass fed dairy and certain other fermented foods (like natto). This is because K2 is a product of the fermentation and is created by certain bacteria. In general, these foods contain a proportionately lower amount of K2 (compared to the K1 in greens), though much more is absorbed. (1) Interestingly, studies have shown great health and cardiovascular benefits from K2, but hardly any effect from K1. K1 is necessary for proper blood clotting and is used by the liver, while K2 benefits the bones and controls proper utilization of calcium. In fact, it is helpful to think of them as two separate nutrients with different purposes. There is also a misconception that the body can convert K1 to K2. The research actually showed that while some other animals can effectively convert K1-K2, humans need food or supplemental sources of K2 for good health.
Tips for a Vitamin D3 & K2
Take a balanced approach to sun exposure. UV radiation from the sun is the best natural source of vitamin D, but too much sun exposure can increase your risk of skin cancer. From May to August in Victoria, get two to three hours of midday sun exposure per week. In Victoria, UV levels fall below three from May to August. At this time, most people need two to three hours of midday winter sun exposure to the face, arms, hands (or equivalent area of skin) over the course of a week. People with naturally very dark skin may require three to six times this amount of sun. Vitamin K is essential for making proteins to regulate normal blood clotting, which helps wounds heal. It is not a single vitamin, but an umbrella term for a group of fat-soluble compounds. Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) is found in plants. Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) is made by bacteria that line the gastrointestinal tract and is found in foods including: soft cheese; egg yolk; chicken liver; and fermented foods like sauerkraut and miso. Vitamin K3 (menadione) is a synthetic man-made form. Vitamin K2 has recently been singled out for scientific investigation and found to play a role far beyond blood clotting, including the protection of both bone and heart health. Vitamin K2 is now available as a supplement. Dr Sarah Brewer says: 'Vitamin K is vital for normal blood clotting. Vitamin K2 supplements may play a role in protecting bone health and maintaining cardiovascular health. Vitamin K1 is most important in the liver to make clotting proteins. Outside of the liver, vitamin K2 is the preferred form used by cells and helps to ensure that calcium is deposited in bones rather than in the arteries or other tissues.