Health Benefits of Vitamin D and K2
Health benefits of Vitamin D and K2 includes:
- Strong bones
- Better Immune system
- Prevention of heart disease
- Prevention of cancer
- Prevention of diabetes
- Prevention of Autoimmune disorders
Vitamin D3 makes your Bones Stronger
Both, vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 help to incorporate calcium into your bones. In this way, they make your bones stronger.
In medical literature, it’s well established that vitamin D deficiency is a major cause for the weak bones – osteopenia/osteoporosis. A number of studies have clearly shown that people with osteoporosis are often low in vitamin D. In one such study (1), researchers looked at the bone mineral density (BMD), calcium intake and vitamin D level of 4958 women and 5003 men living in the USA. They found that there was a direct correlation between vitamin D level and bone mineral density (BMD): the lower the vitamin D level, the lower the bone mineral density and the higher the vitamin D level, the higher the bone mineral density.
In another study (2), researchers obtained vitamin D levels in 1292 menopausal women with osteopenia or osteoporosis living in France. They found that 90% of these women were low in vitamin D.
The main reason of concern regarding low bone mineral density is that if you have osteopenia or osteoporosis, it increases your risk for fracturing a bone. When you have osteoporosis, even a trivial trauma can cause a fracture.
Vitamin K2 makes your Bones Stronger
Is there clinical evidence to show that vitamin K2 supplementation can reduce the risk of fracture in individuals suffering from osteoporosis? The answer is yes!
In a study (3) from the Research Institute and Practice for Involutional Diseases, Japan, researchers recruited a total of 241 patients with osteoporosis. Fifty percent of these patients received placebo and fifty percent of patients received vitamin K2. These patients were followed for 2 years. The incidence of clinical fractures during the 2 years of treatment in the placebo group was higher than the vitamin K2-treated group.
Effects Of Combination Therapy With Vitamin K2 And Vitamin D3 On the Bones
Both vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 exert beneficial effects on the strength of bone. It makes sense to combine vitamin D and vitamin K2 in keeping our bone healthy. An interesting study (4) from Erciyes University, Turkey investigated the role of combination therapy with vitamin D and vitamin K2 on the bones of children with Thalassemia major, who frequently suffer from weakening of the bones. The researchers enrolled twenty children (12 girls, 8 boys; age varied from 3 to 18 ) with thalassemia major. These children received dietary supplement with vitamin K2 (50 mcg of MK7) and vitamin D (5 mcg calcitriol). Their bone mineral density was evaluated at the baseline, sixth, and 12th month of treatment. The researchers found a significant improvement in the bone mineral density at the lumbar spine of these children at the sixth and 12th month of treatment.
Vitamin D3 with Vitamin K2 may Prevent Heart Disease
Vitamin D Deficiency is Linked to Heart Disease
Excellent clinical studies has shown a clear relationship between vitamin D deficiency and heart disease. One such study (5) was published in 2012 in the American Journal of Cardiology. In this study, researchers from the University of Kansas, USA, studied 25 (OH) vitamin D level in 10,899 patients. Only 3,294 (29.7%) were in the normal vitamin D range (> 30 ng/mL or 75 nmol/L)) and 7,665 (70.3%) were deficient. Vitamin D deficiency was associated with several cardiovascular-related diseases, including hypertension, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy, and diabetes. In addition, vitamin D deficiency was a strong independent predictor of all-cause death. Patients whose 25 (OH) vitamin D level was less than 30 ng/mL (75 nmol/L), were at 2.6-fold increase risk of overall mortality.
Vitamin D Supplementation may Decrease Cardiovascular Mortality
In the same study (5) from the University of Kansas, Kansas, USA, vitamin D supplementation was associated with a 61% increase in survival. The author concluded vitamin D deficiency was associated with a significant risk of cardiovascular disease and reduced survival and vitamin D supplementation was significantly associated with better survival.
Vitamin K2 Supplementation may Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Vitamin K2 prevents the deposition of calcium into the arterial walls. In this way, it prevents the hardening of the arteries, a process called atherosclerosis. Is there clinical evidence to show that vitamin K2 supplementation can reduce the risk of heart disease ? The answer is yes!
In an excellent study (6) from Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam, The Netherlands, the researchers evaluated the effects of dietary intake of Vitamin K1 and Vitamin K2 on coronary heart disease, aortic atherosclerosis and overall mortality in 4807 men and women over the age of 55, who lived in a defined district of Rotterdam in the Netherlands. The study had a mean duration of follow-up of 7.2 years. Intake of vitamin K2, but not vitamin K1, was found to be associated with a decrease in the risk of coronary heart disease, aortic atherosclerosis and overall mortality.
Vitamin D3 with Vitamin K2 may Prevent Cancer
Excellent clinical studies clearly show a relationship between low vitamin D level and high risk of cancer. An excellent study (7) was published in 2007 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. In this study, researchers from the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, USA , investigated if there was any association between vitamin D level and cancer mortality. A total of 16,818 participants in the Third NHANES (National Health And Nutrition Examination Survey) were followed from 1988-1994 through 2000. They found a convincing 72% risk reduction for colorectal cancer mortality for 25 (OH) vitamin D levels of 32 ng/ml (80 nmol/L) or higher compared with levels less than 20 ng/ml (50 nmol/L).
In a review (8) from Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, USA, published in the Annals of Epidemiology in 2009, the author reported there was about 30% reduction in the risk for breast cancer, comparing the highest with lowest levels of 25 (OH) vitamin D. In addition, vitamin D intake was associated with a lower risk of pancreatic cancer.
Can Vitamin D Supplementation Reduce The Risk Of Cancer?
A randomized clinical trial (9) was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2007, in which researchers from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska carried out a population-based, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial in postmenopausal women older than 55, in a 9-county rural area of Nebraska. These women were randomly assigned to receive 1400-1500 mg supplemental calcium/day alone (Ca-only), supplemental calcium plus 1100 IU vitamin D3/day (Ca + D), or a placebo.
They followed these women for 4 years. Results: all cancer incidence was lower in women who took calcium plus vitamin D (Ca + D) than women who took calcium alone (Ca only) or just the placebo. The researcher concluded that improving calcium and vitamin D nutritional status substantially reduces all-cancer risk in postmenopausal women.
Vitamin K2- An Anti-Cancer Agent?
Vitamin K2 appears to be an anti-cancer agent, according to several recent scientific studies. In an experimental study (10) from Tokyo Medical University, Japan, researchers showed that vitamin K2 showed anti-cancer properties against leukemia cells in their laboratory. In another experimental study (11) from Tokyo Medical University, Japan, researchers were able to show anti-cancer properties of vitamin K2 in lung cancer cells in their laboratory. In an experimental study (12) from Showa University, Japan, researchers were able to show anti-cancer properties of vitamin K2 against ovarian cancer cells in their laboratory. In an experimental study (13) from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, researchers were able to show anti-cancer effects of vitamin K2 in liver cancer cells in their laboratory. In an experimental study (14) from University of Illinois, USA, researchers were able to show anti-cancer effects of vitamin K2 in prostate cancer cells in their laboratory. In another experimental study (15) from Kawasaki Medical School, Japan, researchers showed an inhibitory effect of vitamin K2 on the Multiple myeloma cells. In another experimental study (16) from Thomas Jefferson University, USA. researchers showed that vitamin K1 as well as K2 were able to inhibit the growth of pancreatic cancer cells in their laboratory.
In these studies, vitamin K2 was able to either kill cancer cells or stop their further growth or even change their growth into normal cells. These are exciting new studies, although still experimental and done on cancer cells in the laboratory. In any case, vitamin K2 brings a new hope in dealing with cancer. Vitamin K2 does not seem to have any side-effects. It is definitely worth-trying if you are dealing with a cancer.
Other Benefits of Vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 is vital for the normal functioning of the immune system. It can prevent as well as treat infections such as common cold, flu, tuberculosis. Vitamin D3 can be very helpful in the treatment of autoimmune disorders such as asthma, eczema, psoriasis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Graves’ disease, Type 1 diabetes, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, allergic rhinitis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis. etc.
Vitamin D3 can help in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes, hypertension, chronic kidney disease, stroke and dementia.
Please refer to my book, “Power Of Vitamin D” for the details about the benefits of vitamin D, how to treat vitamin D deficiency, and how to prevent vitamin D toxicity. It also includes an in-depth information about Vitamin K2.
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