(NaturalNews) Deficiencies in vitamin D3 and K2 are a current epidemic in our society today. There are very serious health problems associated with long-term vitamin D3 and K2 deficiencies. Vitamin D3 and K2 deficiencies will impact the development and stability of the immune system, the skeletal muscle system, the nervous system and the endocrine system.
According to Vitamin D expert Michael Holick, 'We estimate that vitamin D deficiency is the most common medical condition in the world (1).' It is clear that most people are not getting enough healthy sun exposure.
Vitamin D is more hormone than vitamin:
Vitamin D more resembles a hormone than vitamin by function. Hormones are chemical messengers that interact with cell receptors to produce specific biological responses. Calcitriol, the active form of Vitamin D, is arguably the most powerful hormone in the body. It has the ability to activate over 1,000 genes (2) which is roughly 5-10% of the human genome.
There are vitamin D receptors throughout the central nervous system and critical regions of the brain including the hippocampus. Researchers have concluded that vitamin D activates and deactivates enzymes in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid that are involved in nerve growth, synaptic density and neurotransmitter synthesis (3).
Vitamin D3 is also shown to boost glutathione production in the neuronal cells protecting them from damage inflicted by oxidative stress. Vitamin D also helps to modulate the immune system to reduce inflammation throughout the body (4).
Vitamin D3 levels are most often understated. In the medical world, levels below 32 ng/ml are considered sufficient. However, much research has shown this level is only sufficient to prevent the development of rickets but not sufficient enough for optimal function (5). Functional medicine doctors look for ranges between 60-100 ng/ml for optimal vitamin D3 levels.
Vitamin K has unique benefits:
Vitamin K1 is necessary for blood coagulation and is produced by green leafy vegetables. The best sources include kale, spinach & collard greens. This form of vitamin K is required for the formation of anticoagulant factors protein C & S.
Vitamin K2 is necessary to convert a critical bone-building protein called osteocalcin. Osteocalcin is a necessary protein that helps maintain calcium homeostasis in bone tissue. It works with osteoblast cells to build healthy bone tissue. Inadequate K2 inhibits osteocalcin production and reduces calcium flow into bone tissue. This leads to reduced bone mass and a weakened bone matrix (6).
Vitamin K2 is found in fermented grass-fed dairy, fermented soy (natto) and some fermented veggies. Additionally, if one has leaky gut syndrome or bad microbial balance in their gut (dysbiosis) they will be unable to synthesize enough vitamin K2 (7). Most people are not are not getting adequate vitamin K2 levels due to a diet deficient in fermented foods and the above mentioned digestive challenges.
D3 and K2 are critical for healthy calcium metabolism:
Vitamin D3 and K2 play an essential role in calcium uptake into skeletal bone tissue. Several studies have shown a synergistic effect of vitamin K2 and D3 (8). These studies show that this combination enhanced osteocalcin accumulation in bone cells greater than any one of these nutrients alone. This increased osteocalcin formation significantly improved bone mineral density (9).
Vitamin K and vitamin D work to increase a substance called Matrix GLA protein (MGP). This protein protects the blood vessels from calcification by congregating around the elastic fibers of the arterial lining and guarding against calcium crystal deposition (10). Some researchers believe that MGP is the most powerful inhibitor of soft tissue calcification presently known.
About the author: Dr David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor and owns and operates Exodus Health Center in Kennesaw, Georgia where he specializes in functional nutrition, functional medicine and corrective chiropractic care to get to the underlying cause of major health problems.
His website features great articles on natural health and incredible recipes. He is the author of the best-selling book SuperCharge Your Brain - the complete guide to radically improve your mood, memory and mindset. He has over 45,000 active followers on his social media and email newsletter and is a big influencer in the Primal Health movement.
Dr. Jockers is also available for long distance consultations and health coaching to help you beat disease and reach your health goals. For more information got to www.drjockers.com