Originally posted on The Sweat Life
There are three substances referred to as “Vitamin K”: K1, K2 and K3. Vitamin K1 comes from plant sources like broccoli, spinach, and avocado, and is necessary for proper blood clotting. Vitamin K2 is found in animal sources like egg yolk, chicken liver, and beef, as well as fermented foods like sauerkraut. The benefits of vitamin K2 extend far beyond blood clotting: it improves bone health, protects against cardiovascular disease, and helps protect the skin, brain, and prostate. Vitamin K3 is a synthetic form of vitamin K and is not recommended.
Builds and repairs healthy bones
Vitamin D3, vitamin K2, and calcium work together to maintain strong, healthy bones. Vitamin D3 maintains healthy levels of calcium in the blood and increases calcium absorption from the digestive tract; we now know that vitamin K2 works synergistically with vitamin D3 to keep calcium in bones and out of soft tissues like the heart, joints, and kidneys. The two vitamins combined provide powerful support for the whole body (see below to learn why vitamin D3 is the most effective form of vitamin D).
Regulates immune function
A healthy vitamin D level keeps us from getting sick, lowers our risk of developing autoimmune conditions, and is thought to help prevent certain cancers.
Helps to balance hormones
Adequate vitamin D can help women avoid hot flashes and depression during menopause. It is also thought to play a role in fertility and healthy menstrual cycles.
Keeps you sharp and happy
Supports cardiovascular health
Vitamin D3 and K2 work together to ensure proper use of calcium – this includes preventing calcium buildup in arteries that can contribute to heart attack or stroke.
Vitamin D sufficiency is more important for bone health than high calcium intake. If Vitamin D status is sufficient, calcium intake levels of more than 800 mg/day may be unnecessary.
Vitamin D3 supplementation during the winter may reduce the incidence of the flu.
High circulating levels of vitamin D are associated with a lower risk of multiple sclerosis. 25-OH Vitamin D between 90-100 nmol/L were considered optimal in this study.
Vitamin D from diet or sun may lower breast cancer risk. Overall, participating in any outdoor work at any point in life resulted in about a 40% reduction in breast cancer risk. Women with 25 OH Vitamin D levels less than 50 ng/mL were six times more likely to develop breast cancer than those with levels greater than 50.
Vitamin D was found to be protective against melanoma relapse.
Vitamin D supplementation in infancy has a strong protective effect against the autoimmune disease Type 1 Diabetes.
Vitamin D3/K2 is a great supplement to help maintain healthy levels of vitamin D. Optimal vitamin D3 supplementation dosage depends on the individual and is best determined by your physician based on blood results. Common dosing for vitamin D3 is 1000 iu daily, but if a person is very deficient, we may recommend up to 5000 iu daily. Consult your physician before supplementing with vitamin D.
Vitamin D can be easily and accurately measured in the blood. Ask for a 25-Hydroxyvitamin D test next time you are due for blood work. The minimum level is 25-35, but for optimal health, we recommend a level of 50 to 100.
Vitamin D2 (Ergocalciferol) is found in some plant products and is completely inactive in our bodies. Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is produced in the skin under the effects of ultraviolet radiation (sunlight) – this is the active form that our body utilizes in order to carry out many important metabolic processes.
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This article does not establish a practitioner-patient relationship. Consult with your health provider on how supplements may affect your current condition or medications.
Gerald T. Simons is a Physician’s Assistant working at The Morrison Center in NYC where he works with patients to create an immersive program to address persistent infections and rebuild the immune system. Learn more about Jerry and his work at The Morrison Center.
Dr. Jeffrey Morrison is a medical doctor, the author of Cleanse Your Body, Clear Your Mind, and founder of The Morrison Center, in NYC. He partners with patients to find the underlying cause of their symptoms and provide a thorough, individualized treatment and nutritionally-based program to achieve optimal health result. Learn more about Dr. Morrison and The Morrison Center.
Stephanie Mandel is a Nutrition Advisor at The Morrison Center, in NYC, where she partners with clients to optimize their energy, vitality and physical well-being with the use of diet modification, and a balanced, natural approach. Learn more about The Morrison Center’s Nutrition Services.
While we love a good facial or splurging on the latest youth-enhancing serum, we know that life-long beauty comes from the inside out. The way we treat our bodies throughout our lives is written all over our faces. This Harper’s Bazaar article features Dr. Morrison’s diet and lifestyle advice about how to keep inflammation low, energy high, and skin dewy and fresh at every age.