41% Vitamin D Insufficiency
41% of Americans were found to have insufficient vitamin D levels according to a sample of 4495 individuals from NHANES.
Today 1 in 4 adults over the age of 60 take vitamin D.
There is little debate over vitamin D and it's critical importance to bone health, including reducing risk of fractures and falls in aging individuals.
Vitamin D Crossroads
Today the medical community stands at a research crossroads. There is a well established association between low vitamin D and conditions like cancer, kidney disease, cognitive decline, heart disease, diabetes, colds and infection, psoriasis, and obesity.
Optimizing vitamin D levels beyond those established for bone health remains a hotly debated subject in the medical community with organizations like the Endocrine Society suggesting individuals need more vitamin D.
Synergy: Vitamin D and Vitamin K
Another area of interest is the supplementation of vitamin D and vitamin K in combination. Animal and human studies suggest that optimal concentrations of both vitamin D and vitamin K are beneficial for bone and cardiovascular health supported by genetic, molecular, cellular, and some human studies.
The role of Vitamin D and K overlap in different functions and areas of the body. Vitamin D and K overlap happens with calcium absorption, glucose metabolism, maintaining vascular structure and function, handling oxidation stress and regulating inflammation.
There are few human studies designed to show efficacy of vitamin D and K combo vs individual supplementation. However, initial studies suggest there is a synergistic effect in combo.
Further research is suggested for vitamin D and vitamin K combo therapy such as:
Evaluate the role of vitamin D administration in vitamin K-dependent proteins in human populations
Question the possible long-term consequences of high-dose vitamin D supplementation
Assess the combined role of vitamin K antagonist use and vitamin D in bone and cardiovascular health
Investigate the joint supplementation of vitamins D and K on hard clinical endpoints
More clinical data is needed before broader treatment recommendations can be given.
Vitamin D and K are a powerful combination with great potential. A well-balanced diet is truly the body's best medicine, while supplements provide individuals convenient nutrition at your fingertips, nutritional 'insurance', and support to overcome deficiency.
van Ballegooijen AJ, Pilz S, Tomaschitz A, Grübler MR, Verheyen N. The Synergistic Interplay between Vitamins D and K for Bone and Cardiovascular Health: A Narrative Review. Int J Endocrinol. 2017;2017:7454376. doi:10.1155/2017/7454376
Parva NR, Tadepalli S, Singh P, et al. Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency and Associated Risk Factors in the US Population (2011-2012). Cureus. 2018;10(6):e2741. Published 2018 Jun 5. doi:10.7759/cureus.2741