You likely have heard about vitamin D in your lifetime and how important it is for you. In fact, Vitamin D is a vital contributor to overall health.
Vitamin D is famous for its critical role in healthy bone development and maintenance, but it is also an immune supporter and inflammation reducer. Vitamin D comes in two forms; vitamin D2(ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Humans obtain vitamin D3 from a few animal-sourced foods and sunlight. Vitamin D2 comes mainly from plant-based sources.
It is hard to naturally obtain adequate amounts of vitamin D from food alone, and considering our long winters and lifestyle factors which keep us from being outdoors, supplementation of vitamin D is highly recommended.
What is the difference between Vitamin D3 and Vitamin D2 supplements? You may have noticed that vitamin D supplements come in either form. While there has been some debate over which is better to consume as a supplement, research supports that D3 tends to raise blood levels of the vitamin more and remains in the bloodstream longer than D2. Plus, it seems to be preferred among experts as it is the form that is already found naturally within the body.
Without enough vitamin D in the body, calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood start to decrease, which leads to calcium being leeched out of the bones to help maintain levels within the blood. This can lead to rickets in children and osteoporosis (fragile bones) in adults.
For more information on Vitamin D specifically, read our blog All About Vitamin D here: https://doctords.com/blogs/news/all-about-vitamin-d
Vitamin K, in contrast, is one which you may not have heard much about. Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin found in two forms: K1 and K2. Fat-soluble means it can dissolve in fats and oils, which is why it is absorbed in the body along with fats/oils and is able to remain stored in the body’s fat stores and liver (unlike water-soluble vitamins which dissolve in water only and therefore do not get stored in the body the same way). The main dietary form of Vitamin K is K1 (phylloquinone), found mostly in green leafy vegetables (such as kale, spinach and broccoli) whereas Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) is primarily of bacterial origin, present in some animal-based and fermented foods.
Vitamin K is primarily responsible for heart health and bone health. Specifically, the body requires vitamin K to produce a very important protein, prothrombin, which helps blood to clot. Vitamin K2 also provides both an increase in the bone-building process and a decrease in the bone-loss process making it an important component of overall bone health.
For more information on Vitamin K specifically, check out our blog Have You Heard of Vitamin K? at https://doctords.com/blogs/news/have-you-heard-of-vitamin-k
Why Vitamins D and K?! Here is what the research says ...
There has been a lot of research into the health benefits of Vitamin K2, specifically. This may be because studies have shown that vitamin K2 has a more powerful effect on bone health compared to vitamin K1. In terms of bone health, it has been shown that menaquinone-7 (the predominant form of vitamin K2) stimulates something called osteoblastogenesis (meaning the production of osteoblasts, cells that make bone) and decreases something calledosteoclastogenesis (meaning the production of osteoclasts, cells that degrade bone). It has also been shown that the combination of vitamins K and D can significantly increase the total Bone Mineral Density (a measure of how strong your bones are), with a better effect when K2 is used. Another study on postmenopausal women with osteoporosis had similar conclusions, stating that the combined use of vitamins D3 and K2 were useful in increasing Bone Mineral Density in the lumbar spine (in fact, this study found the combination even more protective than vitamin D3, vitamin K2 and calcium supplements alone!). Yet another study (published in October of 2020) suggests that vitamin K2 supplementation may improve bone quality and reduce fracture risk is patients with osteoporosis, potentially even increasing the effectiveness of calcium and vitamin D supplementation.
There is also some research to suggest the important role that K2 plays in heart health. For example, a 2009 study on middle aged men and women found that a higher intake of vitamin K2 was linked with a lower risk of coronary heart disease (whereas there was no association found between K1 and coronary heart disease). Another interesting feature to note about K2 is the protective effect against calcium deposits in the arterial walls. It is widely accepted and beneficial to take calcium in order to promote bone health and prevent osteoporosis. An unfortunate risk of this, however, is that elevated consumption of calcium may increase the risk for heart disease due to the deposit of said calcium into the blood vessels. Vitamin K2 has been found to inhibit this arterial calcification and stiffening. Therefore, an increase intake of vitamin K2 could mean lowering these (sometimes necessary) health risks of calcium supplementation.
Remember- ALWAYS speak to your health care provider to determine your specific benefit and risk analysis before starting or stopping any supplementation! Especially if you are on other medications, such as blood thinners.
Dr. D’s Vitamin D3 plus K2
Because of all the research behind K2, and the combined protective effects of vitamins D and K, we chose to pair the two, vitamins D3 and K2 (menaquinone-7) in our first vitamin supplement. Vitamin D is a vital contributor to overall health.
What is so special about this supplement is that it made with Polyshield Technology™- the first of its kind, GLOBALLY. Polyshield Technology™ stems from the pomegranate peel, which research shows is packed with polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants that exist in certain plant-based foods and contain anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. There are many scientific studies demonstrating the health benefits of pomegranate extracts including antibacterial, antiviral, blood lipid lowering and anti-inflammatory properties. The peel accounts for roughly 60% of the pomegranate fruit, and possesses more antioxidant activity than its seeds, juice and pulp.
Polyphenols extracted from the pomegranate peel are used in this shielding technology to protect the vitamins and minerals. The shield formed protects the core molecules and reduces interaction with the enzymatic reactions involved in metabolism. Due to its optimal stability, the shield allows its nutrients to remain protected as they travel through something called First-Pass metabolism, which is breakdown by the liver.