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Vitamin D and K2: Improve Your Heart, Immunity, and Muscle Strength

Vitamin D and K2 are essential for maintaining a healthy heart, immune function, and muscle strength. Vitamin D helps your body absorb calcium and phosphorus, helps manage infections, and reduces inflammation. Meanwhile, vitamin K2 plays a key role in your body’s blood clotting process and helps your bones maintain calcium. Vitamin D and K2 work in synchronicity to help keep you healthy and strong.

In this post, we’ll explore the relationship between vitamin D and K2, how they work together to improve heart health, muscle growth, and immune system functions, and how to ensure you’re getting enough of each of them.

Let’s get started…

Why Vitamin D and K2 Work Well Together

Vitamin D gets a lot of attention—first for bone health, and more recently for improving immune system functions during the pandemic. The presence of vitamin D receptors in almost all tissue types throughout your body suggests it may play a far more diverse and wide-ranging role in your overall health.

Vitamin D3, in particular, plays a vital role in several key biological processes in your body. It can “switch on” genes that are related to certain proteins, including osteocalcin and Matrix Gla protein (MGP), which binds to calcium. However, in order to activate and enhance the effects of vitamin D, you need vitamin K2.

Simply put, by combining vitamin D and K2 in formulations, you’re helping to optimize the benefits of each.

Improved Heart Health

Evidence shows that a combination of vitamin D and K2 may synergistically affect heart health. Studies on humans and animals suggest that optimal levels of both vitamins may benefit cardiovascular health, because they can help reduce the amount of “free” calcium in your bloodstream. Excess calcium in your blood can create kidney stones, weaken bones, and interfere with brain and heart functions.

One review highlighted that a deficiency in vitamin K2, in combination with calcium and Vitamin D supplementation, can lead to long-term cardiovascular disease. This review further suggests how these two vitamins potentially interact.

Similarly, another study found rats were exposed to high doses of vitamin D without adequate vitamin K2, with higher levels of arterial calcification and a substantially higher mortality rate. This study concluded that vitamin D alone isn’t sufficient to prevent harmful calcification levels. There wasn’t enough vitamin K2 to activate the MGP gene, bind the calcium, and prevent it from accumulating in the arteries. When you have enough of each vitamin, you can effectively bind calcium in your vascular system and reduce the risk of vascular mineralization.

Improved Immunity

Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to an increased risk of COVID-19, which made vitamin D supplements very popular during the pandemic. Since then, more and more people have been interested in preventative care.

Several more studies, however, also reported that many adults who were hospitalized with COVID-19 had a vitamin K2 deficiency. Researchers discovered that interleukin (IL)-6 levels in patients experiencing more severe COVID-19 cases were substantially higher than in patients with low L-6 levels. The research also suggested a relationship between vitamin K2 and IL-6, linking vitamin K2 levels with the severity of COVID-19 cases, and was confirmed in a later study.

As with heart health, when you have high levels of vitamin D, but a deficiency in vitamin K2, it can have a negative impact on your immune system. Vitamin D promotes increased calcium absorption, but that’s only helpful when you take enough Vitamin K2 to bind it. When you have enough of both, they work in tandem to improve your immune system’s functionality.

Improved Muscle Strength

Vitamin D is known for maintaining healthy bones and muscles. When its receptors are activated throughout the body, including in muscle tissue, it promotes bone and muscle growth while preventing injury. Numerous studies found that vitamin D supplementation can increase muscle strength, especially if those who are deficient.

If you’ve read the above sections, you probably see where this is going. While vitamin D can improve your workout results and sports performance while reducing injuries, vitamin K2 helps you manage the integration of calcium so that it strengthens your bones and not causing vascular calcification. If you’re deficient in vitamin K2, you may experience diminished bone mass and a higher risk of fractures.

Additional Benefits of Vitamin D and K2

While our focus has been on how vitamin D and K2 promote heart health, muscle growth, and immune system functions, these vitamins can do much more!

Multiple studies show that vitamin D may also:

  • Reduce your risk of heart disease
  • Have anti-cancer properties
  • Reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Protect against cognitive decline

Meanwhile, research shows that vitamin K2 can also:

  • Reduce your risk of heart disease
  • Improve dental health
  • Help fight cancer

Where Can You Get Vitamin D and K2?

Both vitamin D and K2 are prevalent in certain foods. There are also numerous supplements that pair vitamin D3 and K2.

Here are some of the foods rich in each of these vitamins:

Vitamin D Vitamin K2
Salmon, tuna fish, swordfish, and sardines
Cheese (particularly Munster, Camembert, Edam, and aged Gouda)
Orange juice fortified with vitamin D
Dairy fortified with vitamin D
Cod liver oil
Fortified cereals
Egg yolk
Egg yolk
Beef liver
Beef liver

Improve Heart Health, Immunity, and Muscle Growth at Boston Direct Health

From aesthetics to primary care to sexual wellness, Boston Direct Health has everything you need for enhanced, optimal wellness. Whether you’re trying to add more vitamin D and K2 to your diet, deciding on which collagen supplements to buy, or want to learn how to naturally lower your blood sugar, we’re here to help you feel better—inside and out.


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