Vitamins and minerals are vital compounds for all biochemical reactions that keep us alive. Each substance has specific physiological roles that make it indispensable for the body.
Unfortunately, millions of people suffer from vitamin deficiencies that lead to serious complications, especially in the case of severe depletion.
This situation, however, was far worse in the recent past due to poor dietary choices and low socioeconomic status.
One of the suggested solutions by government officials was to fortify common foods with the necessary vitamins and minerals. This will indirectly compensate for any potential deficiencies.
For instance, iodine deficiency leads to goiter and thyroid gland problems, which used to affect millions of people all over the world.
However, and since the fortification of salt with iodine, the incidence of thyroid disease has significantly dropped.
Despite these efforts, thousands of new patients are seen in hospitals and private clinics to address their signs and symptoms of deficiencies.
In this article, we will specifically focus on two crucial vitamins –vitamin K2 and vitamin D3–.
The benefits of vitamin K2
Improves cardiovascular health
Artery calcification is a common condition where calcium deposits in the blood vessels, leading to stenosis, lost elasticity and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Vitamin K2 is thought to prevent this process, which decreases the risk of coronary artery disease and other related maladies.
In one study, researchers found that individuals who consume vitamin K2 supplements on a regular basis had a 52% decrease in intraluminal calcification and 57% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease.
Interestingly, vitamin K1 did not give similar results.
Improves dental health
For a long time, scientists believed that vitamin K2 provides positive effects on dental health. Unfortunately, no human studies ever tested this theory.
With that being said, the role of vitamin K2 in bone metabolism makes it safe to assume that it also impacts dental health.
The hypothesized mechanism of action involves the activation of osteocalcin, which is a crucial protein that regulates the activity of osteoblast-osteoclast.
In the teeth, however, osteocalcin stimulates the growth of dentin to strengthen the tissue and prevent tooth decay.
Researchers also found that taking vitamin K2 with vitamins A and D gives better results due to the synergistic effect of this combination.
Decreases the risk of cancer
Despite the endless efforts to treat cancer, new cases are constantly reported, which is pushing researchers towards finding new preventive methods.
Vitamin K2 was shown to reduce the risk of several types of cancer, including hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) and prostate cancer.
In one clinical study, vitamin K2 reduced the recurrence rate of liver cancer and improved survival rate.
Additionally, an observational study in 11,000 men found that a high vitamin K2 intake was linked to a 63% lower risk of advanced prostate cancer, whereas vitamin K1 had no effect.
However, new clinical studies with high epidemiological standards are warranted before coming up with any conclusions.
The benefits of vitamin D3
Increases bone mineral density
Bone mineral density, or BMD, gradually decreases as we age due to a mismatch in the activity of osteoblasts/osteoclasts.
This process is natural and gets severely exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle, poor food choices, and vitamin D deficiency.
Low BMD also increases the risk of a condition known as osteoporosis, which is an orthopedic disease that’s characterized by recurrent fractures and fragile bones due to hyperactive osteoclasts.
Fortunately, taking vitamin D supplements will make the metabolism of calcium and potassium more efficient, which inadvertently decreases the risk of osteoporosis.
Facilitates hormonal regulation
Despite the separate physiological functions, hormones (e.g., insulin, growth hormones, vitamin D) commonly interact with each other through shared feedback loops.
For instance, scientists believe that vitamin D helps regulate estrogen, insulin, and parathyroid hormones, leading to:
- Improved post-menopausal symptoms
- Optimized calcium metabolism
- Lower serum sugar levels
Vitamins K2 and D3 work in a synchronous fashion to optimize the health of several organ systems.
To get the best out of these compounds, it is recommended to take supplements that contain both vitamins as they work in synergy.
Hopefully, you found this article informative and beneficial, but if you still have any questions about these vitamins, feel free to ask in the comment section below