Vitamins and Supplements- Vitamin D and K2
By Cheryl Martin, director Gardens Wellness Center
What is Vitamin D?
Vitamin D- This vitamin is sometimes referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” because it is produced in your skin in response to sunlight exposure. Just ten minutes a day of direct sun exposure can go a long way in getting a natural form of this vitamin. It helps prevent the risk of bone abnormalities such as osteoporosis and osteomalacia. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends three sources to ensure adequate levels of Vitamin D:
- Limited daily sun exposure (10-15 minutes on average)
- Foods with natural sources of Vitamin D or fortified with Vitamin D
Foods rich in Vitamin D:
Very few foods contain a natural source of vitamin D, but some foods are fortified with it, which means that the vitamin is added to the food. Foods that contain vitamin D include:
- Fatty Fish (Salmon, Trout, *Tuna(fresh), Sardines, Herring, Pilchards, Eel, Kipper, Whitebait, Anchovies, Bloater, Carp, Cacha, Hilsa, Jack Fish, Katla, Orange Roughy, Pangras, Sprats, *Swordfish, and *Mackerel) *High in mercury.
- Beef liver, egg yolks, shrimp, and mushrooms
- Fortified milk and soy beverages, fortified orange juice, fortified cereals, and fortified yogurts.
(Check the nutrition facts panel on the food label. Most foods made from milk, such as ice cream and cheese, are usually not fortified)
Do you need a supplement?
It can be difficult to get enough Vitamin D from sunlight and food sources alone. Some people may need to take a Vitamin D supplement. Discuss your need for a supplement with your licensed healthcare provider. Fat soluble Vitamin D is in a family of compounds that include vitamins D1, D2, and D3, which can affect as many as 2000 genes in the body. Vitamin D regulates the absorption of phosphorous and calcium and supports immune system function. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) suggests how much of each vitamin an individual should consume on a daily basis:
|Infants (adequate intake of vitamin D)
|Older children and adults
It is important that your medical provider supervises your usage of supplements. Your physician can order lab tests to check for deficiencies and advise you on which supplements your body needs. Periodic testing should be continued to monitor if levels are too high and dosages need to be modified. Vitamin D toxicity almost always occurs from using too many supplements.
High levels of Vitamin D can cause the intestines to absorb too much calcium. This can cause high levels of calcium in the blood which can lead to: calcium deposits in the heart, lungs and soft tissues, damage to the kidneys, and kidney stones. Symptoms of toxicity can include: nausea, vomiting, poor appetite, weight loss, weakness, constipation, and disorientation.
Benefits and Research
Vitamin D is known for its benefits in the growth and development of bones and teeth, preventing bone loss and bone abnormalities, and improving the resistance against certain diseases. Additional research has been ongoing and supports that Vitamin D may positively affect other diseases such as:
- Reduces the risk of multiple sclerosis (American Medical Association, 2006).
- Decreases your chance of developing heart disease (The US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, Circulation, 2008 ).
- Reduces your likelihood of developing the Flu (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2010).
- Research presented in 2015 at the International Stroke Conference found that a deficiency in vitamin D in stroke survivors showed that the deficient patients had a more serious stroke with about two times larger areas of dead brain tissue than patients with normal levels of vitamin D. The vitamin D deficient patients also had a slower recovery and delayed healing.
If I take vitamin D should I also take vitamin K2?
Studies have shown that taking vitamin D without vitamin K2 could actually be risking your health. Vitamin D helps your body to absorb calcium but that can have adverse effects, such as calcium building up in coronary arteries and increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. Vitamin K2 directs the calcium to your skeleton, while preventing it from being deposited in the heart, soft tissues, lungs, and other unwanted areas.
Vitamin K2 activates a protein hormone called osteocalcin, produced by osteoblasts, which is needed to bind calcium into the matrix of your bone. Osteocalcin also appears to help prevent calcium from depositing into your arteries.
In other words, without the addition of vitamin K2, the calcium that your vitamin D helps your body to absorb could be working AGAINST you — by building up in your coronary arteries rather than your bones. If you take calcium and vitamin D but are deficient in vitamin K2, you could be worse off than if you were not taking those supplements at all.
What we recommend at Gardens Wellness Center is a product by Life Extension called, ‘Bone Restore.’
Bone Restore offers Calcium, Vitamin D3, Vitamin K2, and Magnesium. We will discuss the importance of Magnesium to be taken with Calcium in an upcoming issue.
Remember: If You Take Oral Vitamin D, You Need Vitamin K2
Vitamin D Resources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17179460; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18180395?dopt=Citation; http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20219962; Reference* Presented at the International Stroke Conference, Feb 11-13, 2015. Vitamin K Resources: http://ndt.oxfordjournals.org/content/28/suppl_1/i352.abstract; http://ndt.oxfordjournals.org/content/28/suppl_1/i352.abstract; http://www.bmj.com/content/341/bmj.c3691; http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2012/8/potential-danger-of-calcium-supplements/page-01
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410