Many of us have heard about the wonderful benefits of vitamin D3. Over the past few years, doctors have begun to incorporate this vitamin into patient’s diets as an essential component to living a healthy life. Increased levels of D3 have been associated with renewed growth, heightened metabolic activity, better immunity, increased fertility and accelerated tissue repair as well as regeneration. Our patients have begun to evaluate their Vitamin D3 levels as part of their routine blood work with their doctors and have started supplementation when necessary.
Over the past decade, extensive research has come out regarding vitamin K2 and its benefits on the body as a whole. Newer studies have shown that the synergistic effect of both D3 and K2 have a significant impact in reducing cancer rates, improving bone density, increasing joint function and reducing cardiovascular disease. The medical community tends to associate Vitamin K2 as an important factor with blood coagulation. Current research also shows it is essential in activating important proteins in the body.
The Rotterdam study in 2004 demonstrated that patients with the highest intake of Vitamin K2 had a 50% lower risk of death from heart disease than people with the lowest rates of K2 (1). It is an essential vitamin to prevent the calcification of the coronary and carotid arteries. It activates vascular GMP protein MGP (matrix Gla-protein). This protein when activated will bind to calcium and prevent calcium/plaque build up in the arteries, keeping our arteries clear and soft. Animal studies have shown that Vitamin K2 not only prevents atherosclerosis but actually has the potential to reverse arterial calcification by activating MGP (2).
Vitamin K2 is also critical to convert a bone building protein called osteocalcin. Osteocalcin is a necessary protein that helps maintain calcium homeostasis in bone tissue. It works with osteoblast cells to build healthy bone tissue. Decreased levels of K2 lower osteocalcin and reduce calcium flow to bone tissue. This reduces bone mass and weakens the internal bone matrix. By keeping Vitamin K2 levels adequate in the blood you ensure proper deposition of calcium into the bone.
Vitamin K2 plays an important role in joint health. When soft tissue or joints are damaged due to injury or stress, the body responds with inflammation and repair. This process can result in scar tissue accumulation and over many years can build up causing bone spurs and permanent damage. Adequate Vitamin K2 levels help prevent buildup of calcium in these damaged tissues.
Vitamin K2 production in the body is dependent on healthy gut flora and consumption of fermented food. Examples of food with high K2 are fermented soy (Natto), sauerkraut, kimchi, and raw cheese. It may need to be taken in conjunction with a probiotic if you have digestive issues.
As a chiropractic structural corrective care office our main concern is your having proper bio mechanics, healthy function, vitality and limited degeneration. We recommend vitamin D3 and K2 to all of our patients and are happy to help them achieve their health goals. We carry a Vitamin D3/K2 combination supplement at the office. Please call for any questions and we can be specific with you regarding your case.
1: Geleijnse, JM, Vermeer C, Grobbee DE, Schurgers LJ, Knapen MU, Vander Meer IM, Hofman A, Witteman JC. Dietary Intake of menaquinone is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: the Rotterdam Study. J Nutr. 2004 November (11) PMID: 15514282
2: Seyama Y, Wachi H Atherosclerosis and matrix dystrophy. J Atheroscaler Thromb. 2004 PMD 15557705