When we talk about vitamins, we tend to think of vitamins B or C, but rarely vitamin D, especially its bioavailable form: vitamin D3. It is difficult to keep in mind the different vitamins and their respective health benefits. Little reminder:
Among all these vitamins, vitamin D3 is essential for the body. But vitamin K and its bioavailable form vitamin K2 also deserves to better understand its role on the body.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of vitamins D3 and K2 and what their roles are.
Where to find vitamin D3?
Vitamin D3 or cholecalciferol is another form of vitamin D. It is usually obtained from the wool of sheep, although some lichens also produce it. Vitamin D3 is related to testosterone, cortisol and cholesterol.
Food provides us with vitamin D3 through food, in particular thanks to fatty fish, cheese, milk and butter. Our body synthesizes it at the level of skin thanks to the ultraviolet rays of the sun .
It should be noted, however, that the ability of light skin to synthesize UVb rays is not the same as that of dark skin. Indeed, fair skin can absorb enough vitamin D3 by being exposed to the sun for a period of 10 to 15 minutes per week , while dark skin types need much more time to synthesize the same amount of this hormone. In addition, the synthesis time per day is limited to 30 min for fair skin and to a maximum of 3 hours for others. Indeed, prolonged exposure to the sun does not allow the body to synthesize more vitamin D and does not make up for deficiencies.
Cholecalciferol made by the skin is stored in muscles, liver and in the fatty part of the body.
What are the benefits of vitamin D3 in the body?
There are many benefits of vitamin D3. Not only does it make it possible to supplement the deficiencies of the organism, but it also maintains the phosphocalcic balance . Vitamin D3 counteracts the excessive absorption of calcium and phosphorus by the intestine. Indeed, it helps maintain a good level of phosphorus and calcium in the blood.
Vitamin D3 also plays a role in the formation and solidification of bones . Vitamin D3 deficiency can cause disturbances in the absorption of phosphorus and calcium in humans.
One of its many advantages is its intervention in calcification. Vitamin D3 has a calcium binding aspect, hence the importance of this vitamin during the few months following birth. Indeed, vitamin D3 largely contributes to the development of the skeleton . A lack of vitamin D3 in a child can cause rickets which is a deformation of their skeleton. It should be noted that a blood level of less than 5µg / day can be considered a deficiency.
It is also worth knowing that vitamin D3 deficiency can have a dangerous impact on osteomalacia. Its influence on the skeleton persists in adults and too low a level of this vitamin can lead to bone decalcification. This subsequently causes pain in the pelvis and can interfere with a person’s mobility. In adults, a vitamin D3 deficiency can increase the risk of fractures and liver failure.
Vitamin D3 contributes to good muscle function and strengthens the immune system .
It is also involved in the stimulation of the pancreas and its role in the production of insulin.
Why combine vitamin D and K?
First of all, it is essential to define what vitamin K is. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that is virtually absent from our diet . It plays an important role in coagulation. According to Professor Luc Christiaens, head of the cardiology service at the Poitiers University Hospital, vitamin K is really essential for the human body, because it promotes the renewal and growth of bone tissue.
Therefore, vitamin K associates well with vitamin D, thanks to their respective roles in the fixation of calcium in the bones. Indeed, vitamin K ensures the transport and correct use of the calcium absorbed thanks to the action of vitamin D.
Vitamin K is also used to activate essential proteins like GLA protein and MGP matrix protein. It should be noted that when there is a lack of vitamin K2, these proteins are not active and the calcium remains stored in the body while being inactive. Calcium then becomes unnecessary and appears in the form of harmful plaques, which are dangerous for tissues, blood vessels and organs because of the appearance of calcifications . This deficiency can lead to serious illnesses such as kidney stones, heart attacks, etc.
Vitamin D3 K2
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The roles of vitamin D3 + K2 on the body
When vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 work together, they work together to protect bones and help the body maintain healthy muscles . Indeed, their role is to promote the intestinal absorption of calcium in order to guarantee its fixation on the bones.
According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), these 2 vitamins help maintain strong bones and maintain normal teeth. They also participate in good muscle functioning.
Vitamin K2 helps maintain good bones
Vitamin K2 comes in different forms, including MK-7. Having a high level of vitamin K2 means having good bone mass, better bone density as well as an improved mineral content, because vitamin K2 activates osteocalcin, a specific protein. It is the ally par excellence of calcium to benefit from better bone tissue. Indeed, if you have a solid bones during childhood, the risk of fractures will be reduced when you are an adult. This will be possible thanks to the increase in collagen produced by vitamin K2 which constitutes the bone matrix and which strengthens the bones .
Vitamin K2 thus improves the strength of bones by strengthening their density. Thanks to its activation, specific proteins such as osteocalcin make it possible to optimize the binding of the bone structure by calcium.
Vitamin K2 protects the vascular system through normal blood clotting
Vitamin K2 also helps blood clotting. It provides a longer plasma half-life , which allows the human body to benefit from a more regular supply of calcium every day.
Calcium is certainly essential for the cells of the body and it is especially very important for the good health of the artery walls, especially the smooth muscles, but the excessive intake of calcium without vitamin K2 can lead to calcification of the arteries. arteries, which is very dangerous for health. In particular, this leads to the fragility and stiffness of the arteries, which then cause discomfort in the circulation of the blood and increase the risk of cardiovascular events.
According to studies done on various groups of the population, a high rate of calcification in the arteries in young people affects their organism and causes premature biological aging. On the other hand, the absence or reduction of this calcification in the elderly extends their life expectancy by up to 10 years.
Vitamin D3, ally of the immune system
The main role of vitamin D is control and strengthening of the immune system . It activates it and helps in its formation, but its main action consists above all in regulating it. It is therefore an essential and indispensable element for the organism to be resistant.
Vitamin D3 not only regulates the congenital system, but also controls the adaptive immune system. For the congenital system, vitamin D stimulates the production of antibodies such as defensins and catelicidins by amplifying an antibacterial and antiviral action. In addition, vitamin D3 stimulates the breakdown of pathogens by macrophage cells.
Regarding the adaptive immune system, it develops anti-inflammatory action
Vitamin D is not only a fundamental element in the face of acute pathologies, but it also prevents the appearance of chronic inflammatory diseases as well as that of autoimmune diseases. Vitamin D therefore plays a plural role , in particular at the level of the distribution of antibodies in body fluids. It also regulates the immune response to prevent chronic inflammation and moderates the reactivity of the immune system.
Vitamin K2 improves dental health
Vitamin K2 plays an important role not only in bone metabolism, but dental health as well. The mechanism triggered by osteocalcin stimulates the development of dentin or calcified tooth tissue.
Thanks to the combination of vitamins D and K, the latter contributes to the reduction of inflammations and diseases of the gum . To do this, it decreases the production of markers, immune cells of inflammation, but above all it reduces the presence of fibroblast cells.
This is how vitamin K2 helps prevent inflammation of the gums. It shrinks fibroblasts by making scar tissue. It should be noted that the action of fibroblasts on gingivitis has harmful effects and can cause calcification of the periodontal nerve. FGs or gingival fibroblasts make up the majority of structural cells in periodontal tissue. Fibroblasts can act as protective “helper” cells that enhance responses to lipopolysaccharides. These are found in the outer layers of pathogenic microorganisms and promote inflammation and tissue destruction.
Vitamin D3 improves muscle function
According to several studies and clinical trials carried out, it appears that muscle strength and vitamin D are linked. Indeed, vitamin D3 is involved in the physical performance of an individual . Its deficiency can, for example, increase the risk of falls in an elderly person. It is also good to know that according to surveys and epidemiological surveys, the decrease in muscle mass and muscle capacity as well as the lack of strength in the elderly are always linked to a vitamin D deficiency.
The administration of 4000 IU / day of vitamin D3 to a person, carried out for 4 months, resulted in a 30% increase in the intramyonuclear concentration of the vitamin D receptor (VDR ). This is because the vitamin D receptor is present in most of the body’s tissues. This helps to strengthen the development of its various functions.
Vitamin D also contributes to an increase of almost 10% in the size of muscle fibers.
You can also see an improvement in endurance, speed and physical skills in young people with vitamin D supplements or UVB treatment. Because of this, it is proven that vitamin D3 really has a positive effect on muscle strength, especially on the lower part of the body.