Better Together: Vitamins D3 & K2

A physician discusses a supplement with her female patient.

In the vast universe of vitamins and minerals essential for optimal health, the dynamic duo of Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2 stand out for their unique synergistic relationship.

In the vast universe of vitamins and minerals essential for optimal health, the dynamic duo of Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2 stand out for their unique synergistic relationship.


This post summarizes the importance of each vitamin individually and how they work together to support various aspects of health, particularly bone health and cardiovascular health.

What Is Vitamin D3?

Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a crucial role in maintaining bone health (1), supporting immune function (2), and regulating mood (3).


Unlike other vitamins, Vitamin D3 can be synthesized by the human body when the skin is exposed to sunlight, specifically UVB radiation. However, due to indoor lifestyles and low intake of vitamin D rich foods, many people do not have sufficient amounts of Vitamin D3 (4).


Read more about dietary sources of Vitamin D3: Top Sources of Vitamin D + Kid Friendly Recipes - Dr. Green Mom

What Is Vitamin K2?

Vitamin K2, or menaquinone, is another fat-soluble vitamin that is often overshadowed by its more well-known counterpart, Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) — which is involved in blood clotting. However, Vitamin K2's roles in the body are distinct and equally vital, particularly concerning bone health and cardiovascular health (5).


Vitamin K2 activates important proteins, like osteocalcin and matrix Gla protein that help regulate calcium deposition in the body. Osteocalcin is a protein that helps bind calcium into the bone matrix, thereby strengthening bones. Matrix Gla protein inhibits calcium from depositing in the arteries and blood vessels. These two proteins are crucial for preventing vascular calcification, a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (6).


Dietary sources of Vitamin K2 include fermented foods (like natto), cheese, and certain meat products.

How Do Vitamins D3 & K2 Work Together?

The synergy between Vitamins D3 & K2 is a fascinating aspect of nutrition science. While Vitamin D3 improves calcium absorption in the gut, Vitamin K2 directs calcium to the areas of the body where it's needed, such as the bones, and away from areas where it could cause harm, like the arteries (7).

Do I Need To Take Vitamins D3 & K2 Together?

Considering their synergistic relationship, taking Vitamins D3 and K2 together is a good idea in order to get the best results (8). However, for healthy people not at high risk for abnormal calcification, taking low to modest doses* of Vitamin D3 without added Vitamin K2 is not likely to be problematic.


*We consider low to moderate doses lower than the upper limit described by the National Institutes of Health: Vitamin D - Health Professional Fact Sheet.

Summary

Vitamins D3 and K2 are stellar examples of how certain nutrients work together to amplify their health benefits. Vitamin D3's role in enhancing calcium absorption pairs perfectly with vitamin K2's ability to direct calcium to the bones and away from the arteries. This synergy not only supports strong and healthy bones but also contributes to cardiovascular health by preventing vascular calcification.

References:

  1. Anderson P. H. (2017). Vitamin D Activity and Metabolism in Bone. Current osteoporosis reports, 15(5), 443–449. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11914-017-0394-8

  2. Di Rosa, M., Malaguarnera, M., Nicoletti, F., & Malaguarnera, L. (2011). Vitamin D3: a helpful immuno-modulator. Immunology, 134(2), 123–139. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2567.2011.03482.x

  3. Akpınar, Ş., & Karadağ, M. G. (2022). Is Vitamin D Important in Anxiety or Depression? What Is the Truth?. Current nutrition reports, 11(4), 675–681. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13668-022-00441-0

  4. Cashman K. D. (2020). Food-based strategies for prevention of vitamin D deficiency as informed by vitamin D dietary guidelines, and consideration of minimal-risk UVB radiation exposure in future guidelines. Photochemical & photobiological sciences : Official journal of the European Photochemistry Association and the European Society for Photobiology, 19(6), 800–809. https://doi.org/10.1039/c9pp00462a

  5. Halder, M., Petsophonsakul, P., Akbulut, A. C., Pavlic, A., Bohan, F., Anderson, E., Maresz, K., Kramann, R., & Schurgers, L. (2019). Vitamin K: Double Bonds beyond Coagulation Insights into Differences between Vitamin K1 and K2 in Health and Disease. International journal of molecular sciences, 20(4), 896. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20040896

  6. Jadhav, N., Ajgaonkar, S., Saha, P., Gurav, P., Pandey, A., Basudkar, V., Gada, Y., Panda, S., Jadhav, S., Mehta, D., & Nair, S. (2022). Molecular Pathways and Roles for Vitamin K2-7 as a Health-Beneficial Nutraceutical: Challenges and Opportunities. Frontiers in pharmacology, 13, 896920. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2022.896920

  7. El Borolossy, R., & El-Farsy, M. S. (2022). The impact of vitamin K2 and native vitamin D supplementation on vascular calcification in pediatric patients on regular hemodialysis. A randomized controlled trial. European journal of clinical nutrition, 76(6), 848–854. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-021-01050-w

  8. Billington, E. O., Burt, L. A., Plett, R., Rose, M. S., Boyd, S. K., & Hanley, D. A. (2020). Effect of high-dose vitamin D supplementation on peripheral arterial calcification: secondary analysis of a randomized controlled trial. Osteoporosis international : a journal established as result of cooperation between the European Foundation for Osteoporosis and the National Osteoporosis Foundation of the USA, 31(11), 2141–2150. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00198-020-05500-2

Filter by
Recent Posts
Article recent blog
Apr 12, 2024
Omega Fatty Acids: Nutritional Sources & Health Benefits Explained
Article recent blog
Apr 03, 2024
10 Common Micronutrient Deficiencies & Inadequacies in the United States
Article recent blog
Mar 29, 2024
Vitamin D Deficiency & Premenstrual Symptoms
Article recent blog
Mar 29, 2024
Better Together: Vitamins D3 & K2
Article recent blog
Mar 23, 2024
12 Science-Backed Ways Probiotics Benefit The Immune System
Article recent blog
Mar 15, 2024
What To Look For In A Prenatal Vitamin
Article recent blog
Mar 07, 2024
What Are Hemorrhoids? Plus Tips On Prevention & Management
Article recent blog
Mar 01, 2024
New Study: Prenatal Choline Benefits Attention Span In Children
Article recent blog
Feb 22, 2024
Adrenal Fatigue 101—Plus My Favorite Adrenal Cocktail Recipe
Article recent blog
Feb 15, 2024
5 Common Toxins In Skincare Products
Article recent blog
Feb 08, 2024
The Story Behind VaxClear®
Article recent blog
Feb 02, 2024
When To Take Vitamins For Maximum Benefit
Article recent blog
Jan 26, 2024
Nutrients Depleted By Proton Pump Inhibitors
Article recent blog
Jan 23, 2024
The Connection Between Nutrient Deficiencies & Hair Loss
Article recent blog
Jan 11, 2024
The Vast Health Benefits of Probiotics
Article recent blog
Dec 15, 2023
Our Top Supplements For Achy Joints
Article recent blog
Dec 06, 2023
Choosing A Supplement Delivery Method For Your Family
Article recent blog
Nov 14, 2023
Nutrient Depletion & The Birth Control Pill
Article recent blog
Nov 13, 2023
The Risks of Glyphosate (And Why We're A Glyphosate Tested Company)
Article recent blog
Oct 16, 2023
How To Calculate Supplement Dosages For Kids
Article recent blog
Oct 16, 2023
Herbalism For Adults: My Top 6 Supportive Formulas For Busy Parents
Article recent blog
Oct 15, 2023
Natural Energy Boosters For Exhausted Moms

@drgreenlifeorganics