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Better than vitamin D alone?

Posted by Daniel Patrick on

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.

Future Research

Further research is suggested for vitamin D and vitamin K combo therapy such as: 

  1. Evaluate the role of vitamin D administration in vitamin K-dependent proteins in human populations

  2. Question the possible long-term consequences of high-dose vitamin D supplementation

  3. Assess the combined role of vitamin K antagonist use and vitamin D in bone and cardiovascular health

  4. 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.

References:

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

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