Vitamin K2 and D3 are two essential vitamins that work together to support a wide range of health benefits. From bone health to heart health to immune support, these two vitamins can help you stay healthy and vibrant.
But what are they? And why should you take them together? Keep reading to learn all about this ultra-powerful duo!
What is Vitamin K2?
Many people have not heard of this essential vitamin, but it is one that is packed full of benefits. With a typical Western diet, it may be difficult to get enough vitamin K2. It can be found in animal-based foods, such as beef liver and cheese, and its also produced by gut bacteria.
Vitamin K2 is a fat-soluble vitamin and is involved in many bodily functions. There are several types of vitamin K2, but the most important ones are menaquinones (MKs), such as MK-7.
What is Vitamin D3?
Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin.” This essential nutrient is available through sun exposure, but sometimes we could use a little help. In fact, research estimates that nearly 48% of the global population is lacking in vitamin D. That’s where vitamin D3 supplementation comes in.
Vitamin D3 also goes by “cholecalciferol.” It is a fat-soluble vitamin that is also essential for many bodily functions. It is produced in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight, and it can also be found in some foods, such as oily fish, egg yolks, and cheese.
How Do They Work Together?
Vitamins D and K are essential partners in calcium metabolism, ultimately supporting bone health and cardiovascular health.
Vitamin D3 helps the body absorb calcium from the gut. Calcium is transported to the bones, where it is used to build and maintain strong bones. And that’s not all—vitamin D3 also helps to regulate parathyroid production hormone production, which helps to maintain calcium levels in the blood.
Vitamin K2 helps the body direct calcium to the bones where it is needed most, which helps to prevent calcium from depositing in the arteries, which can lead to a handful of health problems, including heart disease.
Benefits of Vitamin K2 & D3
Heart Health Support
Vitamin K2 and D3 play a major role in heart health.
Calcium buildup in the arteries is a major risk factor for heart disease. As we said above, vitamin D3 helps the body absorb calcium while vitamin K2 helps direct it where it is needed most. This is key to preventing calcium from depositing into the arteries. It does this by activating a protein called matrix GLA protein, or MGP. MGP binds to calcium and prevents it from depositing in the arteries.
Inflammation is another major risk factor for heart disease. Vitamin K2 has anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Some studies have shown that those with low levels of vitamin D3 are more likely to get sick.
Vitamins K2 and D3 are two essential nutrients that play a vital role in immune health. Vitamin K2 helps to activate immune cells, while vitamin D3 helps to regulate the production of inflammatory molecules. This helps to keep the immune system in balance and prevents it from overreacting.
Vitamin K2 is essential for the production of proteins that activate immune cells. These proteins, help to protect against infection by stimulating the production of natural killer cells and other immune cells. Vitamin K2 also helps to regulate the production of inflammatory molecules. This helps to prevent the immune system from overreacting and causing inflammation.
Vitamin D3 helps to regulate the production of white blood cells, which are the body's main defense against infection. Vitamin D3 also helps to activate immune cells, such as T cells and B cells. These cells help to fight off infection by producing antibodies and other immune molecules.[7,8]
It is well known that calcium is an essential mineral for bone health. It not only helps build and maintain strong bones, but also helps to prevent bone loss. When you’re lacking in calcium, your bones may become weak and brittle, and you may be more likely to develop osteoporosis.
Vitamin K2 also helps to keep calcium in the bones, where it is needed most. This helps to prevent osteoporosis and other bone diseases. Vitamin D3 helps the body absorb calcium, which is essential for building and maintaining strong bones.
When combined, the two work together to provide powerful support to the bones and make sure calcium goes where it’s needed.[3,10,11]
The information in this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.
Choosing Your K2 & D3 Supplement
There are many options for vitamin K2 and D3 supplements on the market, however, not all are created equal. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the right supplement for you:
- The price: Vitamin K2 and D3 supplements can range in price from a few dollars to over $50. It is important to find a supplement that fits your budget.
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- DiNicolantonio, J. J., Bhutani, J., & O'Keefe, J. H. (2015). The health benefits of vitamin K. Open heart, 2(1), e000300. https://doi.org/10.1136/openhrt-2015-000300
- Cui A, et al. Global and Regional Prevalence of Vitamin D Deficiency in Population-Based Studies From 2000 to 2022: A Pooled Analysis of 7.9 Million Participants. Front Nutr. 2023;10:1070808.
- van Ballegooijen, A. J., Pilz, S., Tomaschitz, A., Grübler, M. R., & Verheyen, N. (2017). The Synergistic Interplay between Vitamins D and K for Bone and Cardiovascular Health: A Narrative Review. International journal of endocrinology, 2017, 7454376. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/7454376
- Theuwissen, E., Smit, E., & Vermeer, C. (2012). The role of vitamin K in soft-tissue calcification. Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.), 3(2), 166–173. https://doi.org/10.3945/an.111.001628
- Harshman, S. G., & Shea, M. K. (2016). The Role of Vitamin K in Chronic Aging Diseases: Inflammation, Cardiovascular Disease, and Osteoarthritis. Current nutrition reports, 5(2), 90–98. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13668-016-0162-x
- Nazli Namazi, Bagher Larijani, Leila Azadbakht, Vitamin K and the Immune System, Nutrition and Immunity, Pages 75-79, 31 July 2019, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-16073-9_4, https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-16073-9_4.
- Baeke, F., Takiishi, T., Korf, H., Gysemans, C., & Mathieu, C. (2010). Vitamin D: modulator of the immune system. Current opinion in pharmacology, 10(4), 482–496. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.coph.2010.04.001
- Nicola Maruotti, Francesco Paolo Cantatore, Vitamin D and the Immune System, The Journal of Rheumatology, March 2010, 37 (3) 491-495; DOI: https://doi.org/10.3899/jrheum.090797.
- Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2011.
- O'Keefe, J. H., Bergman, N., Carrera-Bastos, P., Fontes-Villalba, M., DiNicolantonio, J. J., & Cordain, L. (2016). Nutritional strategies for skeletal and cardiovascular health: hard bones, soft arteries, rather than vice versa. Open heart, 3(1), e000325. https://doi.org/10.1136/openhrt-2015-000325.
- Peter Weber, Vitamin K and bone health, Nutrition, Volume 17, Issue 10, 2001, Pages 880-887, ISSN 0899-9007, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0899-9007(01)00709-2.
- Sato, T., Schurgers, L. J., & Uenishi, K. (2012). Comparison of menaquinone-4 and menaquinone-7 bioavailability in healthy women. Nutrition journal, 11, 93. https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-11-93.
- Cirilli, I, Orlando, P, Silvestri, S, Marcheggiani, F, Dludla, PV, Kaesler, N, et al. Carboxylative efficacy of trans and cis MK7 and comparison with other vitamin K isomers. BioFactors. 2022. https://doi.org/10.1002/biof.1844.
- Zakharov, N.A., Polunina, I.A., Polunin, K.E. et al. Calcium Hydroxyapatite for Medical Applications. Inorganic Materials 40, 641–648 (2004). https://doi.org/10.1023/B:INMA.0000032000.83171.9f.