Numerous studies have suggested LOW Vitamin D levels have been associated with higher rates of many chronic diseases and even an increase for acute infection including viral infection in vitamin D deficient people. Clinical trials also report a protective effect against acute respiratory infections with supplementation.
Vitamin D And Viral IIIness
Respiratory tract infections such as the flu, and colds are more common over the winter, one reason for this may be the seasonal variations in our vitamin levels. We get less sun, which can lead to lower vitamin D production and a potential increase risk of viral infection. Research has shown that infections are more common and more severe in those with deficiency and insufficient D levels speak to an increased risk of a cytokine storm which can worsen severity of some diseases or health issues like a flu or cold.
So What Is The Impact On Immune Function?
It supports immune health by helping:
Optimize immune function that protects from disease
Control overly aggressive inflammatory immune responses, which can inflict cell damage. When excessive levels of immune-system proteins called cytokines provoke attacks on healthy tissues, the result is called a cytokine storm.
The body needs direct skin exposure to sunlight in order to produce its own vitamin D but we also need to be careful as excess sun exposure raises the risk of skin cancer and accelerated aging. Another way to get vitamin D is through diet, but most foods contain only moderate amounts.
It has many roles, including helping with absorption and regulation of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphate; bone health; immune function; growth and development in infants/children; cellular renewal; cognitive health; and nerve function.
The amount of vitamin D that you need daily depends on a number of factors, such as your body weight, age, sex and medical history. As a general recommendation, it is usually suggested by holistic practitioners:
Children younger than 5: 35 units per pound/day
Children ages 5–10: 2,500 units/day
Adults/pregnant women/breastfeeding women: about 5,000 units/day
Too Much Vitamin D?
Vitamin D toxicity is also referred to as vitamin D intoxication or hypervitaminosis D. The reason that taking too much vitamin D can be problematic is because vitamin D (along with vitamins A, E and K) is a fat-soluble vitamin. This means it’s stored in body fat and can remain in your body for a long time.
Taking high doses of vitamin D causes your liver to produce a chemical called 25(OH)D, which makes calcium accumulate in your bloodstream (called hypercalcemia). In rare cases this can result in kidney damage and calcium deposits forming in the kidneys (called nephrocalcinosis). This is a serious condition that causes symptoms like nausea, dehydration, fever and pain.
25(OH)D can be measured via a blood test. A level of 25(OH)D in the blood that is higher than 150 ng/ml is considered potentially toxic.
While it’s rare, several other conditions aside from hypercalcemia can occur if someone experiences vitamin D toxicity, such as hyperparathyroidism, sarcoidosis and a few other rare diseases.
How to Prevent/Treat Vitamin D Toxicity
The best way to avoid experiencing vitamin D toxicity is to not take very high doses of vitamin D in supplement form, such as 10,000 IU per day for more than several days in a row, which should only be done in cases of infection and under advice or a practitioner.
Vitamin D toxicity is most likely to occur when taking high doses of supplement for a couple of months or longer, such as 40,000 IU or more. It may also potentially occur from taking a very high dose only one time, such as more than 300,000 IU in a 24-hour period.
These amounts apply to “average weight adults” who are around 125–200 pounds but are not applicable to children or those who weigh much less. For children that weigh between 25 and 75 pounds, more than 50,000 IU in 24 hours or 2,000 to 6,000 IU/day for over three months may be too much and potentially cause vitamin D toxicity.
Because vitamin D can interact with some medications, vitamin D supplements should not be taken by anyone who takes these prescription drugs:
Epilepsy drugs, such as phenobarbital and phenytoin
The weight loss medication called Orlistat
People who have any of the health conditions listed below should not supplement with vitamin D without being monitored by a doctor:
Metastatic bone disease
Williams syndrome Combination Vitamin D3 and K2: Game Changing Benefits
Supplementing vitamin D3 and K2 comes with all the benefits of vitamin D and vitamin K, but also some unique health benefits that are only unlocked when these two vitamins are used together. New research is revealing this game-changing pair of vitamins and their effect on our hearts, our bones, and our blood sugar. In this day and age, it’s important to invest in your health using the most up-to-date science. That’s where vitamins D3 and K2 enter the scene.
What About K2? Vitamin K2 (specifically menaquinone-7, a form of K2) is actually produced in small amounts by bacteria in your gut. You also find K2 in animal products like fatty fish and grass-fed beef, or in fermented foods like natto. Both forms of vitamin K are vital to your body’s blood clotting process — though K2 may be better at it. Vitamin K2 is an important nutrient apart from K1, as it also helps your body use calcium more efficiently, which impacts the health of bones and teeth. Vitamin K2 also lowers calcium levels in your soft tissues, making for healthy blood vessels and kidneys. So what is vitamin K1? Well, vitamin K1 can be found in common places spinach, kale, and other leafy greens. Also known as phylloquinone, up to 90% of our dietary vitamin K intake is vitamin K1 — even though K1 is poorly absorbed into our system. Vitamin K2 is a fat-soluble vitamin that comes with its own health benefits:
Healthy bones & Heart Health ,Strong teeth, Cognitive function, Neonatal health
How Vitamin D3 and K2 Work Together
Separately, Vitamin D3 and K2 both promote a healthy lifestyle. Together, they could be even stronger.
New research into vitamin D3 and K2 has given way to new multivitamin dietary supplements that could unlock unique health benefits to fight aging from the inside out.
1. Bone Health Half of adults over 50 years of age have low bone mass. Bone health is a real concern as we get older. Fortunately, the pairing of vitamin D3 and K2 seems to improve bone health across the board. A groundbreaking 2017 review compiled over 80 studies that show vitamin D3 and K2 together might be greater than the sum of their parts, when it comes to bone health. This is likely because vitamin D gets the calcium into the blood, then vitamin K tells the calcium where it is most needed. Animal models reveal vitamin K can effectively prevent osteoporosis, but only when paired with vitamin D. Taking vitamin D3 and K2 together actually promotes new bone growth. In 2019, researchers observed that vitamin D3 and K2 worked in tandem to form new osteoblasts, the cells that secrete osteocalcin, which is a biomarker for new bone growth. 2. Cardiovascular Health One in four deaths in the United States is due to heart disease. Lucky for us, it seems vitamin D3 and K2 work together to improve our cardiovascular health. Vitamin D makes sure you have the right amount of calcium in your blood vessels. Too much vitamin D (or not enough vitamin K) means your blood calcium levels will rise. Elevated blood calcium levels can mess with your heart:
Fainting or fatigue
High blood pressure
Heart attack or stroke
However, proper blood levels of vitamin K balance out the high vitamin D levels. Vitamin K2 tells all that calcium intake where it needs to go, and your blood calcium levels are normalized. These vitamins also work in unison to reduce inflammation. Inflammation can lead to not only osteoporosis, but also cardiovascular diseases. Reducing inflammation is beneficial to immune function and heart health. Vitamin D3 and K2 work together in a unique way to soften your arteries and prevent cardiovascular disease. 3. Fights Diabetes One in eleven Americans struggles with diabetes. But there are some new ways of alleviating the effects of diabetes. Taking vitamin D3 and K2 together reduces insulin resistance. Insulin is a hormone that plays a role in blood sugar and the storage of fat — but we’re only concerned with its effect on blood sugar today. Insulin tells your body’s cells to take sugar (glucose) from your blood and use it for energy. However, people with type 2 diabetes have developed insulin resistance. What is insulin resistance? This is when your body does not respond to insulin telling your body to use sugar as energy. This insulin resistance can be alleviated by — you guessed it — vitamin D3 and K2. Both vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 can improve our insulin response. This could be the difference between a healthy life and life in a hospital bed. If diabetes goes untreated, it can lead to:
Cardiovascular system problems
Issues with circulatory system
4. Avoiding a Deficiency
An obvious benefit to supplementing vitamins K2 and D3 is to avoid a deficiency in either.
Two in five Americans don’t get enough vitamin D in their diets. Your kidneys should take vitamin D and turn it into calcitriol — its more bioactive form. In rare cases, your kidneys don’t carry out this process effectively, which also leads to low vitamin D levels.
Since vitamin D is essential to the absorption of calcium, a deficiency can lead to bone loss, osteoporosis, bone fractures, and muscle weakness. Low vitamin D levels have been linked with heart disease.
In children, a vitamin D deficiency can cause rickets.
Vitamin K1 deficiency is rare in adults, but it does occur in almost half of newborns.
If you have a vitamin K deficiency, you can expect to see these kinds of symptoms:
Bleeding that doesn’t stop
Blood clots under your nails
Red or black stool
A 2007 study confirms that, in fact, the majority of people are deficient in vitamin K2. There are many reasons for this, but one obvious one might be the way grass-fed animals produce this vitamin.
All mammals (except for humans) have a necessary enzyme for efficiently converting K1 to K2 in the gut. K1, as discussed earlier, is found in greens — anything that uses chlorophyll for energy.
Since humans don’t possess this enzyme and our gut only converts a little bit of vitamin K1, we have to get the majority of K2 via our diet. However, grain-fed animals don’t offer proteins high in vitamin K2, since they aren’t eating K1-rich foods.
Put simply: to get enough vitamin K2, you must eat grass-fed proteins or dairy products, or natto. Natto is much more difficult to find in the US than grass-fed protein or dairy, but it’s what’s used for most K2 supplements (plus, it’s a plant food and appropriate on a vegan diet).
Side Effects of Vitamin D3 and K2
High doses of vitamin D, without vitamin K to temper it, can cause high calcium levels (called hypercalcemia) in your blood. This leads to blood vessel calcification, which can lead to heart disease or stroke.
These are the most common symptoms of hypercalcemia:
Nausea, abdominal pain
Too much vitamin K may be harmful if you’re receiving dialysis due to kidney disease. Also, very high vitamin D levels have led to kidney failure.
Vitamin D toxicity can also lead to bone loss since vitamin D takes calcium from your bones and sends it into your bloodstream. Too much vitamin D equals too much calcium taken from your bones.
Supplementing vitamin D3 and K2 is one way of improving your quality of life. But be sure to consult your practitioner before starting any vitamin/ supplement regime.
Source: Life Extension and Human Products