Most of us are familiar with the benefits of Vitamin D and we know how to get it. The best source of Vitamin D is the sun. Other options include food sources such as fortified orange juice, fatty fish, egg yolks and some forms of mushrooms or cheese. Still a lot of people take Vitamin D supplements hoping to improve bone strength, tooth health, immune health or maybe as a natural energy boost due to lack of options of Vitamin D in most foods.
Vitamin D benefits are great, but what most people do not know is that it has a sidekick, Vitamin K. Yes, you read that right. Without its sidekick, Vitamin D cannot work to the best of its ability. If you are taking one without the other, you are most likely doing your body a disservice by making it work harder, not smarter.
Vitamin K is found in green leafy vegetables and fermented dairy products. Therefore, unless you are eating a lot of kale and/or yogurt, it is possible your body does not have enough Vitamin K to help Vitamin D do its thing.
Together, these two vitamins perform important biochemical changes in the bone on a cellular level. The vitamins make sure that calcium can be absorbed in the intestines, instead of being excreted. Vitamin D is responsible for getting calcium into the bloodstream where Vitamin K directs it where to go in the body. Without Vitamin K directing calcium throughout the body, we run the risk of over-supplementation of Vitamin D and above optimal levels of Calcium in the body (hypercalcemia). Over-supplementation can easily lead to the opposite outcome you were hoping for, including weakened bones, decreased heart function and slower brain function.
When the optimal ratios of Vitamins D and K are taken together, not only do they benefit our bones, they promote great cardiovascular health as well. Heart research has shown a proper Vitamins D and K supplementation plan may improve the strength of vessel walls making it easier for your heart to pump blood throughout your body.
As a recap, we need to take Vitamin D and Vitamin K together to:
- Support Bone Strength
- Support Cardiovascular Health
- Increase Calcium Absorption
- Avoid Over-Supplementation Side Effects
If you are not getting enough Vitamin K in your current diet and/or are currently supplementing Vitamin D and/or Calcium, it is time to consider adding Vitamin K to the lineup. As always, we recommend speaking with a healthcare provider to optimize your nutrition and health. Your body will thank you!