We now know that vitamin D is critical to good health. The best way to get vitamin D is from exposure to the sun, or in a safe tanning bed. To be sure they get enough, many people are taking an oral supplement of vitamin D, but supplementation with vitamin D alone can be problematic.
Vitamin D should always be taken with vitamin K2. Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue, a naturopathic physician and the author of Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox: How a Little Known Vitamin Could Save Your Life, explains:
When you take vitamin D, your body creates more of these vitamin K2-dependent proteins, the proteins that will move the calcium around. They have a lot of potential health benefits. But until the K2 comes in to activate those proteins, those benefits aren’t realized. So, really, if you’re taking vitamin D, you’re creating an increased demand for K2. And vitamin D and K2 work together to strengthen your bones and improve your heart health.
…For so long, we’ve been told to take calcium for osteoporosis… and vitamin D, which we know is helpful. But then, more studies are coming out showing that increased calcium intake is causing more heart attacks and strokes. That created a lot of confusion around whether calcium is safe or not. But that’s the wrong question to be asking, because we’ll never properly understand the health benefits of calcium or vitamin D, unless we take into consideration K2. That’s what keeps the calcium in its right place.
There are so many people on the vitamin-D-mega-dose bandwagon, taking more and more of vitamin D. And it could absolutely be causing harm if you are lacking the K2 to complete the job to get the calcium where it’s supposed to be. We don’t see symptoms of vitamin D toxicity very often. But when we do, those symptoms are inappropriate calcification. That’s the symptom of vitamin D toxicity. And it is actually a lack of vitamin K2 that can cause that…”
While we do not yet know the exact ratio of K2 to D for optimal health, Dr. Rheume-Bleue recommends that 150 – 200 micrograms of K2 will meet the need for a person in average good health. If you have been taking high doses of vitamin D, it may take 200 to 280 micrograms to activate your K2 proteins and adequately support your bones and heart. Fortunately, K2 has no toxicity.
Along with vitamin K2, also consider including calcium in your vitamin D regimen. Before opting for a supplement, add calcium-rich foods to your diet. Foods that are high in calcium include dairy, especially cheeses, and vegetables. As a bonus, dairy foods are also high in K2.
Even more important than calcium is magnesium, which helps keep calcium in the cell so it do its job properly. Magnesium is a natural version of the drugs called calcium channel blockers. Magnesium helps lower blood pressure, thus guarding against heart disease.