Vitamin D is a critical nutrient for optimal health and is best obtained from sun exposure or a safe tanning bed. However, many are taking oral vitamin D, which may become problematic unless you’re also getting sufficient amounts of vitamin K2.
Vitamin K2 engages in a delicate dance with vitamin D, and you need both in adequate amounts for optimal health. The importance of this was once again highlighted in a new study…
Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 Slow the Progression of Arterial Calcification
The study was designed to compare the effect of oral administration of vitamin K2 (MK-7) plus vitamin D, or vitamin D alone, on the progression of coronary artery calcification score and carotid intima media thickness (the lining of the main arteries in your neck that feed blood to your brain), which are hallmarks of potentially lethal heart disease and stroke.
The data revealed a slower progression of calcification in those taking both vitamin K2 and vitamin D compared to those taking vitamin D alone.1 The study’s lead author said:
“In this study, the K2 and D protected against cardiovascular calcification, while the D group alone did not. Clearly, this has positive implications for human health.”
This makes sense because whereas vitamin D provides improved bone development by helping you absorb calcium, there is new evidence that vitamin K2 directs the calcium to your skeleton, while preventing it from being deposited where you don’t want it.
For example, in your organs, joint spaces and arteries. A large part of arterial plaque consists of calcium deposits (atherosclerosis), hence the term “hardening of the arteries.”
Moreover, atherosclerosis can progress for many years, even decades, without symptoms, because the opening of the artery (lumen) formed by the arterial lining is still elastic enough to stretch to accommodate a degree of accumulated plaque.
That is, only if the artery has not begun to calcify, as the formation of a calcified fibrous cap on top of the arterial plaque deposit prevents further compensatory luminal expansion and therefore is the final, fatal step in the progression of the fatal disease.
We also know that vitamin K2 activates a protein hormone called osteocalcin, produced by osteoblasts, which is needed to bind calcium into the matrix of your bone. Osteocalcin also appears to help prevent calcium from depositing into your arteries.
In other words, without the help of vitamin K2, the calcium that your vitamin D so effectively lets in might be working AGAINST you — by building up your coronary arteries rather than your bones.
Watch a great 15 minute Youtube movie on the Vit. K2 story –
Dr Mercola interviews Dr Kate Rheaume-Bleue on Vitamin K2
If you remember only one thing from this article, make it this: if you opt for oral vitamin D, you need to also consume in your food or take supplemental vitamin K2.
Dr. Rheaume-Bleue warns:
“There are so many people on the vitamin-D-mega-dose bandwagon, taking more and more of vitamin D. And it could absolutely be causing harm if you are lacking the K2 to complete the job to get the calcium where it’s supposed to be. We don’t see symptoms of vitamin D toxicity very often. But when we do, those symptoms are inappropriate calcification. That’s the symptom of vitamin D toxicity. And it is actually a lack of vitamin K2 that can cause that…”