Vitamins and nutrients play incredibly important roles in our health. Their influence can be seen in nearly every function ranging from neurological to physiological. Research over the past few years has shown that vitamin D is a particularly potent vitamin that provides bodily benefits supporting longevity and overall wellness.
Interestingly, more recent research developments have found that even though vitamin D is an impressive substance, vitamin K deserves to share in its accomplishments and praises.
Both vitamin K and vitamin D provide unique benefits apart from one another but when working together we benefit from their powerful influence over important health factors such as heart disease, cancers, and bone health.
Kicking it Off with Vitamin K
Vitamin K is a fat-soluble substance that is primarily recognized for its function in regulating blood clotting, synthesizing bone building proteins, and improving vitamin D absorption. As with many vitamins, K is a broad term encompassing multiple substances such as K, K1, K2, and K3. Generally, the two categories you should be most concerned with are K1 and K2. These two types of vitamin K assist in regulating and directing calcium usage.
K1 is primarily found in green leafy vegetables and travels directly to the liver after absorption to assist in regulating blood clotting.
In contrast, K2, which is found in dairy products, enters cell walls, bones, and tissues to help regulate function in areas apart from the liver. After arriving at its various places of work, vitamin K supports the body in multiple ways.
Vitamin K Benefits
Vitamin K provides important benefits and protection for your health. This can be seen in the areas of skeletal and bone health, cardiovascular health, and cancer prevention and treatment.
For your body to properly utilize calcium for bone building a specific protein must be available. Vitamin K promotes the production of this protein, thereby supporting bone building and durability. Not only does this improve skeletal health but it also helps prevent or even halt osteoporosis and bone loss.
One of the major causes of cardiovascular episodes is clogged or calcified arteries. Vitamin K helps improve blood flow and keeps the arteries clear by directing excess calcium to appropriate areas in the body to be used more effectively. Without the influence of vitamin K, excess calcium can build up in the arteries resulting in arterial clogging, plaque, and eventual heart attack.
Prevention is the best method for treating cancer. Research has found that greater levels of vitamin K helps reduce the risk of developing prostate, colon, stomach, nasal, and oral cancers. Furthermore, in the case of liver cancer, vitamin K has shown to improve liver function and aid in overall treatment.
With so many benefits associated with vitamin K it is expected that people are actively maintaining appropriate levels. Unfortunately, according to Dr. Cees Vermeer, a top researcher of vitamin K, nearly everyone has a deficiency of this important vitamin.
Deficiency increases your risk of having brittle weakened bones, tooth decay, heart disease, and various cancers. Most of your vitamin K comes from bacteria in the gut. Therefore,if you have poor gut health or gut imbalances, you are more likely to experience vitamin K deficiency (these substances can help boost your gut health). Those who are chronically malnourished, alcoholics, and those with nutrient absorption issues are also likely to be vitamin K deficient.
Increasing K Intake
Maintaining higher levels of vitamin K can help protect you from developing serious health issues!
By definition, vitamins must be acquired from outside the body. This means that it’s important to keeps track of your vitamin intake and know the best ways of acquiring the ones you need. Increasing vitamin K intake by eating more of the following foods can support your heart, improve bone strength, revitalize oral health, reduce the occurrence of infectious disease, and lower your risk of developing certain cancers.
The best dietary sources of vitamin K are the following foods:
- Natto – fermented soy that is pungent but provides a powerful boost to vitamin K levels
- Green leafy vegetable – Kale, Swiss chard, parsley, and spinach are just some of the options one can slip in to their meals to acquire more vitamin K
- Dairy products – fermented dairy such as yogurt and cheese contain a lot of good bacteria in addition to notable amounts of vitamin K
- Other common foods that contain high levels of vitamin K include brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli (also shown to help with Breast Cancer prevention), prunes, cucumbers, dried basil, and scallions
Boosting Benefits with Vitamin K
As mentioned above, vitamin D is known to be highly beneficial for your health. It is particularly noted for its positive impact on bone strength and development. However, recent research shows that it is vitamin K2, not vitamin D that directs calcium to the skeleton thereby facilitating its impact on your bones. Without the guidance of vitamin K, the increased calcium absorption caused by vitamin D may not effectively aid your body in a meaningful way.
Even though vitamin K is deserving of some of the recognition given to vitamin D, it is still beneficial to be aware of vitamin D’s important role in the body. This steroidal hormone influences nearly an eighth of all the genes found in the body meaning that it impacts the development and prevention of multiple conditions such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Crohn’s disease
- Heart disease
- Age-related conditions
- And many others
Clearly vitamin D has an impressive level of influence over our health. Interestingly, research has shown that the many benefits of vitamin D may be further heightened with greater intake of vitamin K.
Lending a Helping Hand
The powerful combination of K and D, particularly K2 and D3, provides significant benefit in the areas of bone strength and cardiovascular health. Employing a high-quality vitamin supplement such as HoltraCeuticals’ Vitamin D/K into your dietary plan can improve vitamin D’s positive impact on yourbody resulting in healthier bone formation, greater immunity, improved cardiovascular health, and even reduced risk of certain cancers. Supporting the body with vitamin D and vitamin K improves efficacy and impact of both, which leads to greater wellness and disease prevention.