The importance of vitamin D and its role in achieving optimum health is indisputable, despite the fact that some mainstream naysayers would like us to believe the contrary. (See our previous article, Vitamin D Testing Takes A Hammering From The Mainstream], about the latest ridiculous mainstream recommendation for vitamin D testing.)
The best way to obtain optimum levels of this critical nutrient is through direct sunlight. Most experts agree that as little as 10 minutes in the sun, per day, is sufficient during the summer months.
However, during the winter, especially in the UK and other countries in the Northern hemisphere, getting enough vitamin D from sunshine is a bit more difficult. Luckily, vitamin D is one of the cheapest supplements available on the market and taking a vitamin D3 supplement is definitely an excellent way to keep your levels high.
Recently, one of our readers called Pete, asked the following question: “I have read many times that if you are taking vitamin D3 tablets over 2000iu you should also take vitamin K2, but at what strength?”
This is a really crucial point: If you are taking an oral vitamin D3 supplement, you need to combine it with a vitamin K2 supplement… or increase your intake of foods like kale, broccoli, mustard greens, beet greens and spinach, and certain cheeses such as Brie and Gouda.
Just about all our dietary intake of vitamin K comes from dark, leafy green vegetables. However, even if you eat spinach or kale every day, you may still be deficient in vitamin K. That’s because green leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin K1, which your body converts into vitamin K2 – the version that has all the health protecting benefits.
However, the process of converting vitamin K1 to K2 is not very efficient ?¦ which is why almost everyone is vitamin K deficient. This means we’re losing out on its amazing ability to keep our bones strong and help prevent osteoporosis, heart disease, arterial calcification and even cancer. In fact, vitamin K2 can do what Big Pharma wishes all its osteoporosis medications could do. Numerous studies out of Japan show that vitamin K2 can not only reverse bone loss, but it can increase bone density. Researchers found that people taking a vitamin K2 supplement had a 60 per cent reduction in fractures of their vertebrae and a whopping 80 per cent fewer hip fractures!
Human studies have shown that vitamin K2 has even more power when taken with vitamin D because they work synergistically to substantially strengthen your bones, protect against diabetes and improve your heart and prostate health, as well as brain function.
This brings me back to Pete’s question: How much vitamin K2 do we need?
According to Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue, a naturopathic physician and author of the book, Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life, the optimal amounts of vitamin K2 must still be determined. However, she says that according to the latest research, it seems likely that 180 to 200 micrograms of vitamin K2 should be enough to reap the bone health and heart benefits of this vitamin.
Many people also take calcium supplements for bone health, and if you do it’s even more important that you get enough vitamin K2 because vitamin K directs calcium to your bones – where it is needed most – instead of places like your arteries.
One last supplement to add into the mix is magnesium. Vitamin K2 and magnesium complement each other, as magnesium helps lower blood pressure, which is an important component in the fight against heart disease. Apart from that, magnesium will also help keep calcium in the cells where it needs to do its job far better. In many ways magnesium serves as a nutritional version of the class of pharmaceutical drugs called calcium channel blockers.
Let’s quickly talk ratios. For most people (those who aren’t deficient), 2,000 IUs of vitamin D3 daily is considered the right amount. While the ideal or optimal ratios between vitamin D and vitamin K2 have yet to be decided, Dr. Rheume-Bleue suggests that about 150-200 micrograms of vitamin K2 will meet the needs for the average healthy person.
So, if you want to protect your health (especially during your old age) be sure to have the correct balance between your intake of vitamin K2, vitamin D, calcium and magnesium. It’s best to work with a doctor skilled in natural medicine to find the right balance and ratio for you.
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