We Recommend The Following Dosages Of Vitamin K:
45 mcg vitamin K2 per day:
- for people, who take anticoagulant medications
- minimum supply for healthy people under the age of 50, who do not take additional vitamin D3 as a dietary supplement.
100 mcg vitamin K2 per day:
- for healthy people under the age of 50, who do not take any additional vitamin D3
- for all people, who take up to 2500 IU vitamin D per day
200 mcg vitamin K2 per day:
- for people with a family history of cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis
- for people, who have first symptoms of cardiovascular disease or osteoporosis
- for all people, who take more than 2500 IU vitamin D per day
How Does Your Body Get Vitamin K
Vitamin K1 is the form of Vitamin K that is most common in foods. It is mainly found in plant-sourced foods, especially dark, leafy green vegetables. Vitamin K2, on the other hand, is only found in animal-sourced foods and fermented plant foods, such as natto. Foods high in K1 include:
Foods that contain Vitamin K2 include:
- Organ meats
The type of Vitamin K that we get by far the most of through our diet is Vitamin K1. By and large, K2 is found only in some fermented foods, and in limited amounts in certain animal products.
While K2 is what is most often talked about in terms of its benefits for blood clotting and for calcium absorption in conjunction with Vitamin D3, both K1 and K2 contribute mightily to these functions. Since Vitamin K2 is so hard to come by in our diets, its the form that is most often used in supplements, particularly in Vitamin D + K formulations. However, since very few of us are actually getting all the nutrients we need from our food, due to degradation of our soil, air, and water, poor regular eating habits, and other factors, we are likely not getting enough Vitamin K1 either.
Vitamin D And Vitamin K
Maintaining healthy bones is not just about increasing your calcium intake. Did you know that alongside calcium you should also look into vitamins D and K2?
Vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 ensure that calcium is absorbed easily and reaches the bone mass, while preventing arterial calcification. Helping to keep your heart and bones healthy.
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Vitamin D Is Safe Without Vitamin K
It was speculated in 2017 that since vitamin D causes an increase in the production of vitamin K-dependent proteins this interaction could lead to a relative shortage of vitamin K2 in a person, especially when taking a large dose of vitamin D. Now in 2019 we have the proof. In a randomized, placebo-controlled study of people with depressive symptoms 66 people between 60-80 years of age were given 1200 IU of vitamin D3 per day for 6 months and compared with 65 people taking a placebo. When the analysis took into account multivitamin and vitamin K antagonist use, there was a significant difference in functional vitamin K levels at 6 months. The damage would likely have been worse with a useful amount of vitamin D, like 5000 IU per day.
So, there you have it. Vitamin D has been shown in a RCT to cause a relative insufficiency of vitamin K2. It is not actually safe to take large doses of vitamin D without a good source of vitamin K2 as well. Even if you are taking vitamin D for non-bone benefits, you should consider taking vitamin K2 along with it.
So, lets summarize what we have learned here:
Better Together: Vitamin D3 And K2 Maximise Absorption
The combination of vitamin D3 and K2 has gained scientific and public attention recently due to their complementary effects. There has been an increase in promising research on the synergistic effect of combining these two vitamins in everyday supplements.
You might say these two vitamins have a Batman and Robin effect: theyre good on their own, but even better together when they work together.
Both vitamins are fat-soluble and work together to metabolize calcium in your body by activating helpful proteins . While vitamin D3 improves your calcium absorption , vitamin K2 allocates where that calcium can be used.
When you arent getting enough calcium from your diet or supplementation, vitamin D may get the calcium it needs from your bones . So in order to prevent the bones from weakening, vitamin K2 helps promote the calcification of your bones while regulating and reducing the damaging effect of the calcification and hardening of soft tissues .
There is some evidence to suggest that taking the two vitamins together may help reduce the risk of developing conditions such as osteoporosis, or other chronic diseases like kidney or heart disease, though more research is needed in this area.
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Vitamins D And K With Glucose Metabolism And Inflammation
Another pathway that might affect CVD risk is via disturbances in glucose metabolism. Among Iranian vitamin D-deficient women with polycystic ovary syndromea dysmetabolic disordercosupplementation of calcium and vitamins D and K for 8 weeks improved markers of insulin metabolism and lipid concentrations compared to placebo . The joint supplementation of vitamins D and K might improve insulin metabolism through an effect on upregulation of the insulin receptor genes, the regulation of insulin secretion from the pancreatic beta-cell, the enhancement of -cell proliferation, and suppression of parathyroid hormone .
Further, another feature in which both vitamins D and K overlap is on inflammation, which is strongly related to the development of CVD and osteoporosis . In the same Iranian clinical trial among vitamin D-deficient women with polycystic ovary syndrome, the joint supplementation of calcium with vitamins D and K had beneficial effects on endocrine and oxidative stress markers, however no effect on inflammatory markers .
May Reduce Your Risk Of Heart Disease
Vitamin K2 may help prevent calcification that results from calcium buildup in your arteries. This accumulation is associated with atherosclerosis, a risk factor for heart disease. A 2009 study of 16,057 women found that for every 10 mcg of K2 that participants consumed each day, their heart disease risk was reduced by 9%.
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How Much Vitamin D3 Is Enough
As with almost everything having to do with supplementation, there are a wide range of opinions as to how much Vitamin D is the right amount for supplementation. Also as with most of those variances in opinion, economics are often behind some of the more extreme positions. Vitamin D dosing is no different. The US Institute of Medicine suggests that an average daily intake of 400 800 IU of Vitamin D is sufficient for 97.5% of individuals. There are other studies, however, that suggest that the daily intake needs to be higher for people who dont get much sun exposure.
However, to maintain blood levels of Vitamin D that would be considered adequate, that is, greater than 50 nmol/L , a daily Vitamin D intake of 1,000 4,000 IU is more than adequate, and should ensure optimal blood levels.
According to the National Institutes of Health, the tolerable upper intake level, or UL of Vitamin D, is 4,000 IU. We can all assume that, even with limited sun exposure and poor diet, we will be getting SOME Vitamin D every day, minimally a few hundred IU. So while many over the counter Vitamin D supplements will clock in at 5,000 IU, that is likely too much for most people, and before taking that much, one should definitely consult with a physician.
What Protects From Fractures
For older patients at risk of vitamin D deficiency, supplements can have a major impact. They can prevent osteomalacia, a softening of the bone that makes fractures more likely.
A University of Auckland meta-study reported that vitamin D supplements had little effect on bone density.
We would not expect vitamin D supplements to have a large impact on bone density unless the deficiency was severe, he says. Then their impact could be significant.
Improving bone density is not the only way to prevent fractures especially in older patients. Vitamin D can also have huge benefits for muscle function, cognition and falling.
One study found no evidence that vitamin D supplements reduced mortality, or prevented falls or fractures. A different study found no evidence that vitamin D supplements reduced overall mortality. Drilling down into the type of supplement taken, however, vitamin D3 significantly reduced mortality while vitamin D2 slightly increased mortality.
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What To Look For In Supplements
Most research suggests that vitamin D3 supplements are more potent, better absorbed, and more bioavailable than D2 supplements . New vegan vitamin D3 supplements, derived from lichen, are an excellent alternative for anyone who avoids animal products. As for vitamin K:
Youll find vitamin D and vitamin K supplements in a variety of forms. The basics:
- Vitamin D3 , the natural type of vitamin D produced by your body in the presence of sunlight, is the most common form found in supplements. But because its made from animal sources, like lanolin from lambs wool, its not appropriate for vegans.
- Vitamin D2 , the form synthesized by plants, isnt naturally produced by humans. D2 supplements are derived from plant sources, usually irradiated fungus.
- Vitamin K1 is abundant in the diet, so unless you eat few leafy greens, you probably get enough.
- Vitamin K2 is harder to get through dietary sources. Menaquinone is actually a family of compounds, including MK-4 and MK-7, that differ in their biological activity. The MK-7 form is thought to be the most bioavailable, although some products contain a full spectrum of vitamin K2 chains for a wider range of benefits. Youll also see MK-7 as MenaQ7, a patented form that has enhanced bioavailability.
How To Combine Vitamin K With D3
Vitamins D and K are essential for healthy bones, helping your body absorb and safely distribute calcium, though deficiencies, deficits and imbalances can seriously affect your health. To help you get the most from these vitamins, here are several tips on how best to combine vitamin K with D3 as part of a healthy lifestyle:
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How Much Vitamin K Do You Need
Vitamin K is obviously doing some important work in your body, so how much should you be getting? Currently, most health authorities focus on K1 specifically, which is a shame because it seems that K2 is equally important for long-term health. According to the National Academy of Medicine, the daily requirement for vitamin K1 from foods is 90 micrograms for women and 120 mcg for men. The World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization make recommendations that come out to an average of 55 mcg per day for women and 65 mcg per day for men.
But K2 seems like it deserves more attention. And a few health authorities have even gone so far as to state a separate recommendation for it. Some scientists studying the effects of K2 suggest that its health benefits are best seen with a daily intake of between 10-40 mcg.
The Connection Between Vitamin D And K2
Vitamins D and K both play important roles in building strong, healthy bones. This is often why you see them packaged together.
Vitamin D enables the body to absorb calcium from your gut, and vitamin K helps get that calcium into your bones . Problems can happen if calcium builds up in the wrong places, making vitamin Ks job essential.
Getting enough K2 keeps blood vessels healthy by preventing buildups of calcium. Our bodies can usually take care of this buildup, but not like it should people with a vitamin K deficiency .
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Research Is Still Scarce But Current Evidence Suggests That Through Their Effect On Calcium Regulation Some Forms Of Vitamin K Can Help Prevent Osteoporosis And Cardiovascular Diseases
This page is regularly updated, to include the most recently available clinical trial evidence.
Each member of our research team is required to have no conflicts of interest, including with supplementmanufacturers, food companies, and industry funders. The team includes nutrition researchers, registereddietitians, physicians, and pharmacists. We have a strict editorial process.
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Vitamin K is poorly understood, both by the general public and among health professionals. It has a wide range of potential benefits, but their nature and extent are still uncertain.
Why is that?
Some vitamins are more popular than others. In the past, a lot of research went into vitamin C, which became a popular supplement. Nowadays, a lot of research goes into vitamin D, whose popularity as a supplement is steadily growing.
By contrast, research on vitamin K is still scarce, having slowly developed over the past two decades. Further, it is scattered, because there exist several forms of vitamin K. Some of those forms are present only in a few foods. Others exist in various foods, but only in minute amounts. Few have been the subject of human trials.
The human trials that do exist, however, are overall promising. In order to understand their value and limitations, first you need to know a few basic facts. So lets begin:
How To Combine Vitamin D And Vitamin K Properly
Recent studies clearly demonstrate that vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 are essential to good health. Deficiencies in both these vitamins are extremely common, which is why more and more people are taking vitamins D3 and K2 as a daily dietary supplement.
It’s very important to know that if you take vitamin D3 regularly over a long period, you definitely need to take vitamin K2 as well. This raises the question of how these two key vitamins should best be combined in order to promote health and vitality.
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What Does It Take You To Get Your D To 40 Ng/ml
Did you know your health could be greatly affected by making sure you have a vitamin D level of at least 40 ng/ml ? Help us help you.
STEP 1 – Do you know what your vitamin D level is? If not, be sure to test today to find out.
STEP 2 Determine your target level. Are you at your target level? Experts recommend a level of at least 40-60 ng/ml .
STEP 3 Need to boost your level? Use the D*calculator to see how much vitamin D it may take to reach your target. Opt for the Loading Dose for a quicker boost.
STEP 4 Optimize how your body absorbs and utilizes vitamin D with co-nutrients and these simple steps.
STEP 5 Re-Test! This is an important step to make sure you have reached your target level, and to ensure you are not taking too much! Re-testing after 3-4 months is recommended.
STEP 6 Adjust, Repeat
Give your immune system the nutrients it needs to support a healthy you and protect yourself from unnecessary diseases, especially COVID-19.
Putting Safe D3 Dosing In Perspective
Up until recently, the highest dose of vitamin D3 we typically recommended at the Riordan Clinic was 50,000 IU as a convenient once a week dose. Our maximum daily dose was 5,000 IU. This is a very safe dose as is documented on the website of the Vitamin D Council. Children can safely take about 1000 IU for every 25 lbs. of body weight.
That information may not seem reassuring now that the reader knows that vitamin D3 is used to kill rats. But heres the data on the LD50 of vitamin D3the Lethal Dose to kill half of the animals tested: Rats42 mg/kg, Dogs88 mg/kg.
Because an accurate LD50 for cholecalciferol in humans has never been determined most researchers use the LD50 for dogs as an estimate for humans. Using a hypothetical human subject weighing 110 pounds: in order to reach the LD50 dose, that subject would need to consume over 3,500 of the 50,000 IU D3 caps in a 24 hour period in order to have a 50% chance of dying.
I think were all safe! Authors note: I actually had a patient who took too many capsules of various and sundry supplementsand developed a gelatin bezoar that obstructed his small intestine! Dont overdo capsules!
Of course, there are other toxicity and sensitivity issues that can arise in the human consumption of vitamin D3. Generally, these can be avoided by having your 25D level measured once a year and keeping it around 60 ng/dl for optimal health.
Vitamin D Can Help With Weight Loss
Vitamin D supplements may boost weight loss, as supplements with calcium and vitamin had an appetite-suppressing effect and helped subjects lose more weight than the placebo group in one study. Additionally, Vitamin D deficiencies are more common in obese people, so taking vitamin K with D3 may help with your diet plans.