Why You Should Take Vitamin D with Vitamin K
Both vitamin D and vitamin K are essential nutrients for the body. However, there is some evidence to suggest that taking vitamin D supplements is harmful without adequate vitamin K.
This article delves into this topic and breaks down the truth behind these claims.
So, if you are currently supplementing with vitamin D, this article is for you.
Continue reading to understand why you should be ensuring you consume adequate vitamin K – especially when supplementing with vitamin D.
What is Vitamin D and who should take it?
Vitamin D is an essential fat-soluble vitamin. It’s found in certain foods like fatty fish and egg yolks, and it’s also produced by our skin when we are exposed to sunlight.
As a fat-soluble vitamin, it’s best absorbed when consumed with fat.
Although vitamin D has a variety of roles in the body, the most notable benefits are promoting calcium absorption, which in turn supports the development of strong and healthy bones.
What’s more, vitamin D plays an important role in the immune system. Having adequate vitamin D levels has been linked to reduced risk for chronic diseases and even the common cold.
Unfortunately, many people are low in vitamin D. In fact, data suggests that approximately 25% of the US adult population has low vitamin D levels (1).
Because so many people have low vitamin D levels, many adults are taking high doses of vitamin D in the form of supplements.
However, it’s important to consider the effects these high doses of vitamin D may have, such as impacting the body’s vitamin K levels.
The following sections explain what vitamin K is, and why people should consider taking vitamin K when supplementing with vitamin D.
What is vitamin K?
Vitamin K, like vitamin D, is a fat soluble vitamin. It exists in two forms: K1, which is mainly found in green leafy vegetables, and K2, which is found in foods like dairy products, egg yolks, and liver (2).
Vitamin K is necessary for blood clotting. It also helps bring calcium to the bones and teeth (3).
In fact, many studies suggest that inadequate vitamin K intake is linked to low bone density and an increased risk for bone fractures.
Vitamin K also prevents calcium from building up in places where it shouldn’t be – such as the kidney and blood vessels (4).
Why should you take vitamin D with vitamin K
Vitamins D and K work as a team. Taking them together is more beneficial than taking either on their own (5).
These two vitamins work together to support a healthy heart and healthy bones.
This next section explains the connection between vitamins D and K, and suggests why you should take the two together.
Vitamin D and Vitamin K work together in the body
Vitamins D and K are both fat-soluble vitamins that work together with calcium in the body.
Vitamin D promotes the production of certain proteins that need vitamin K to function properly (5).
More specifically, vitamin K turns on a protein called osteocalcin. Osteocalcin helps accumulate calcium in bones and teeth, making them strong.
Let’s break that down:
Vitamin D increases the absorption of calcium in the body. Vitamin K takes this calcium and helps shuttle it to our bones.
Vitamin D without vitamin K may increase the risk for heart disease
High amounts of vitamin D can cause calcium to accumulate in blood vessels. With adequate vitamin K, calcium is shuttled to bones and teeth, therefore not accumulating in our vessels.
In other words, vitamin K helps prevent potential negative effects of overloading with vitamin D.
It’s always a good idea to eat a lot of vegetables – especially the leafy green ones such as kale, spinach, bok choy, broccoli, and collards, for example.
However, if you are someone who supplements with vitamin D, it’s even more pertinent that you eat your vegetables to ensure you are consuming adequate vitamin K.
How to get enough vitamin K in your diet
Some of the best plant sources of vitamin K include broccoli, kale, spinach, brussels sprouts, collards, and swiss chard.
Although you can meet your daily vitamin K needs from incorporating leafy green veggies into your meals, it can be challenging when busy life gets in the way.
If you’re frequently on-the-go, or simply want a quick and easy alternative to chopping and cooking veggies, Naked Greens may be the perfect supplement to add into your wellness routine.
So, how much vitamin K is “enough”?
According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, adult males and females need 120mcg and 90mcg of vitamin K per day, respectively (6).
In just one serving of Naked Greens, you are getting 50mcg of vitamin K, which is about 50% of daily vitamin K needs for both men and women.
Vitamin D and Vitamin K are both essential fat-soluble vitamins.
Although more research is needed, it’s a good idea to ensure you are getting adequate vitamin K, especially if you supplement with vitamin D.
Not only do these vitamins work as a team, but they are more effective together in promoting healthy, strong bones, as well as a healthy heart. Plus, taking high doses of vitamin D without adequate vitamin K may pose some health risks.
You can easily meet your daily vitamin K needs by increasing your intake of leafy, green vegetables, or simply add a scoop of Naked Greens to your morning smoothie for your daily dose of vitamin K.