Jun 2, 2010

Vitamins D3 and K2

Hi everybody! It is June and I am just a little bit late with our newsletter. It looks like the weather is getting better with less rain, more sun and summer will be starting in a couple days.

Today I would like to talk about vitamins D3 and K2. Everybody knows that we get some vitamin D when we are exposed to the sun for at least 15 minutes a day. We can get it also from foods like dairy, egg yolks and oily fish such as wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring. No one in our modern world gets enough vitamin D from their food, and we will all be deficient if we do not get adequate sunshine. The form that we are getting from all these sources is not active. It needs to be converted into the active form by the kidney and liver. That is why people with kidney and liver disease often have vitamin D deficiencies more frequently. Research indicates that the average adult in the world is deficient in vitamin D. The optimum range is 40-60 ng/ml and most people who do not take vitamin D supplements have 10-30 ng/ml. The form of vitamin D used to determine if body levels are adequate is 25(OH)D3.

Low vitamin D levels are associated with heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, autism, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, frequent infections, and autoimmune conditions. It also may be associated with the promotion of chronic pain. Chiropractic patients with chronic pain experience disk problems, degenerative arthritis, spinal stenosis, or fibromyalgia. For the average person it takes about 2,000-4,000IU of vitamin D3 in order to get 25(OH)D3 to the adequate level-40ng/ml.

Another very interesting vitamin is K2. Recent research indicates that low levels of vitamin K2 are associated with heart disease and osteoporosis. Vitamin K1 is the most known - we can get it from green leafy vegetables and is necessary for blood clotting.
Vitamin K2 is very different- it is required in order to activate special proteins that will improve bone density and prevent calcification in the blood vessel walls.

In our diet we can get a subtype of vitamin K2 called MK4-from meat consumption. However, MK7-MK10 are additional subtypes of vitamin K2 which we can get from fermented food such as cheese. The problem is that we have to eat a lot of cheese that are high in calories -about 400/ day in order to get the 80 mcg of vitamin K2. It is much easer to take a supplementation with vitamin K2 and not consume so many calories.

In Japan, a fermented soybean food called Natto is very popular. Natto is known to be the richest dietary source of vitamin MK7. In the areas of Japan where large amounts of Natto is consumed there is greater bone density and fractures are less common.

Supplementation with MK7 appears to be the easiest way to insure an adequate intake of vitamin K2 to support cardiovascular and bone health.

Research indicates that combining vitamins D3 and K2 will create a supplement with additional health benefits.

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