Supplementation with vitamin D3 and K2 confers not only the benefits that are normally associated with vitamin D and vitamin K but also additional advantages to one’s health that can only be gained by taking these two vitamins together.

New research has investigated these two game-changing vitamins and how they affect our hearts, and bones [1,2,3].

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin that primarily increases intestinal calcium and phosphate absorption. 

Benefits Of Vitamin D3

It is needed for

  • Absorption of intestinal calcium
  • Absorption of intestinal phosphorus
  • Building bones and keeping them strong
  • Improving mood
  • Boosting immunity
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Improving heart function

Vitamin K2

Menaquinone, or vitamin K2, is one of the three vitamin K. Most people are unfamiliar with vitamin K2. This vitamin is uncommon in the Western diet and has received little attention from the general public.

Nonetheless, this potent nutrient is crucial for many aspects of your health. Some believe that vitamin K2 is the missing link between diet and several chronic diseases.

Benefits Of Vitamin K2

It contributes to 

  • Skin health
  • Bone metabolism
  • Proper brain function
  • Preventing heart-related diseases

Its primary function is to regulate calcium metabolism. It aids in bone formation and inhibits blood vessel calcification.        

Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2 In Combination    

Both vitamins, K2 and D3, play an important role in regulating calcium levels, ensuring that the blood contains an adequate amount of calcium for bodily functions for [2,3]: 

  • Building bones 
  • Maximizing bone strength
  • Inhibiting blood vessel calcification

Thus, if we want calcium to be utilized entirely in our body, we need both the vitamins D3 and K2.

How do they work?

The active form of Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is required for intestinal calcium absorption. Without Vitamin D3’s active form, the calcium in our diet would be wasted.

After calcium is absorbed from the intestine into the blood, we want it to be deposited in our bones, which is when Vitamin K2 is required. Osteocalcin is activated by vitamin K2 ( a protein necessary for depositing calcium into the bones). Vitamin K2 also activates matrix GLA protein (MGP), which binds excess calcium and prevents it from being deposited in blood vessels, promoting healthy blood flow and vessel elasticity [1].

Benefits of combining both Vitamin D3 and Vitamin K2

The following are the advantages of combining Vitamins D3 and K2.

  • Promotes bone strength
  • Promotes teeth strength
  • Support normal immune system
  • It can be used during pregnancy
  • Protects blood vessel calcification
  • Vitamin K2 supports normal blood clotting

For increased calcium in the bone

Simply increasing the amount of calcium that you consume will not be enough to ensure that your bones remain healthy. Did you know that besides calcium, you should also think about getting enough vitamin D and K2?

Both the absorption of calcium and the mineralization of bone are helped by vitamins D3 and K2, which also work to prevent arterial calcification. They help maintain a healthy cardiovascular system as well as healthy bones. Calcium is incapable of performing its function effectively in the absence of D3 and K2. While vitamin D3 helps maintain a healthy immune system and promotes healthy muscle function, vitamin K2 is responsible for regulating normal blood clotting [1,2,3].

For reduced calcium plaque in arteries

To bind excess calcium and to promote arterial flow and flexibility, the matrix GLA protein, also known as MGP, must first be activated by vitamin K2 (MK-7) [3].

For Immunity

In recent years, scientists have finally begun studying the potential immune-boosting effects of D3 and K2. There is accumulating evidence that higher levels of vitamin D can reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection [4]… However, could the addition of K2 further improve health outcomes?

In a study published in March of this year, researchers sought to determine the relationship between vitamin D and K status and inflammatory response, elastic fiber degradation, and clinical outcomes in 135 hospitalized COVID-19 patients [5].

Vitamin D3 and K2 Benefits For Skin

One of the health benefits of Vitamin K2 is that it promotes skin health and helps maintain its elasticity, thereby preventing skin wrinkling.

By activating matrix GLA protein (MGP), vitamin K2 prevents calcium deposition in elastin fibers by absorbing excess calcium. In this way, calcium deposition during the aging and wrinkling process does not usually harden elastin fibers. Inadequate Vitamin K2 metabolism has also been linked to severe premature skin wrinkling [6].

Vitamin D3, however, has the following skin benefits:

  • It reduces inflammation and treats psoriasis, eczema, and vitiligo.
  • Vitamin D3 functions as a steroid and regulates the function of the cell nucleus to protect against cancer, particularly skin cancer.
  • Vitamin D3 also functions as an antioxidant and can prevent environmental damage.

Vitamin D3 and K2 For Weight Loss

According to research, participants who were given a daily calcium and vitamin D supplement had a lower body mass index (BMI) than those who were given a placebo [7].

Studies have also shown that individuals with higher BMI and body fat had lower vitamin D blood levels [8]. Before concluding whether vitamin D promotes weight loss, additional research is required.

In a clinical study, researchers also found that supplementation with Vitamin K promotes weight loss, particularly abdominal fat loss [9].

Dosage

According to the National Institute of Health, the average adult who is not deficient in vitamin D, should consume 600 IU (International Units) per day. According to physicians, daily topical application of Vitamin D cream is safe [10].

For Vitamin D to function properly, anyone taking Vitamin D as a supplement should also take Vitamin K, but scientists have not yet recommended a daily dose of Vitamin K2.

Medical professionals, however, recommend a daily Vitamin K2 dosage of 1,000 micrograms or more for healthy adults to maintain normal body function. The majority of individuals consume greater amounts of vitamin K in their diets.

Side Effects

Vitamin D3 is generally considered safe when taken in moderate amounts; however, taking vitamin D3 over 4000 IU for an extended period of time is generally unsafe.

The amount of Vitamin K found in foods is also safe, but excessive consumption can have negative effects.

Excess Vitamin D3 can cause hypercalcemia (high calcium levels in the body), which can manifest with the following signs and symptoms [11,12,13]:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Kidney failure
  • Dry mouth
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood changes, unusual tiredness
  • Increased urination and increased thirst

Serious side effects of Vitamin K2 include:

  • Nausea, heartburn, or stomach upset
  • Severe stomach pain or vomiting
  • Bloody diarrhea

Common and less serious side effects include:

  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Mild nausea, heartburn, or stomach upset
  • Loss of appetite or bad mouth taste

The Bottomline: Vitamin D3 and K2 Combination

Bone and cardiovascular health can benefit from adequate vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 intake. On the other hand, there is a need for further investigation into the functions of vitamins K2 and D3.

Many researchers believe that people who have a history of cardiovascular disease should make it a habit to take vitamin K2 supplements daily. Some people believe that more investigation must be carried out before sound recommendations can be made.

Despite this, it should be no surprise that vitamins K2 and D3 are necessary for proper bodily function.

Be sure to get adequate vitamin D3 and vitamin K2 through the foods you eat to keep your health in good standing.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References and Fact Checking

  • Van Ballegooijen AJ, Pilz S, Tomaschitz A, Grübler MR, Verheyen N. The Synergistic Interplay between Vitamins D and K for Bone and Cardiovascular Health: A Narrative Review. Int J Endocrinol. 2017;2017:7454376. doi: 10.1155/2017/7454376. Epub 2017 Sep 12. PMID: 29138634; PMCID: PMC5613455.
  • Crepaldi G, Maggi S. Epidemiologic link between osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease. J Endocrinol Invest. 2009;32(4 Suppl):2-5. PMID: 19724158.
  • Braam LA, Hoeks AP, Brouns F, Hamulyák K, Gerichhausen MJ, Vermeer C. Beneficial effects of vitamins D and K on the elastic properties of the vessel wall in postmenopausal women: a follow-up study. Thromb Haemost. 2004 Feb;91(2):373-80. doi: 10.1160/TH03-07-0423. PMID: 14961167.
  • Teshome A, Adane A, Girma B, Mekonnen ZA. The Impact of Vitamin D Level on COVID-19 Infection: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Front Public Health. 2021 Mar 5;9:624559. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2021.624559. PMID: 33748066; PMCID: PMC7973108.
  • Visser MPJ, Dofferhoff ASM, van den Ouweland JMW, van Daal H, Kramers C, Schurgers LJ, Janssen R, Walk J. Effects of Vitamin D and K on Interleukin-6 in COVID-19. Front Nutr. 2022 Jan 17;8:761191. doi: 10.3389/fnut.2021.761191. Erratum in: Front Nutr. 2022 Mar 08;9:868324. PMID: 35111793; PMCID: PMC8801698.
  • Cranenburg EC, Schurgers LJ, Vermeer C. Vitamin K: the coagulation vitamin that became omnipotent. Thromb Haemost. 2007 Jul;98(1):120-5. PMID: 17598002.
  • Mason C, Xiao L, Imayama I, Duggan C, Wang CY, Korde L, McTiernan A. Vitamin D3 supplementation during weight loss: a double-blind randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 May;99(5):1015-25. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.073734. Epub 2014 Mar 12. Erratum in: Am J Clin Nutr. 2014 Oct;100(4):1213. PMID: 24622804; PMCID: PMC3985208.
  • Vranić L, Mikolašević I, Milić S. Vitamin D Deficiency: Consequence or Cause of Obesity? Medicina (Kaunas). 2019 Aug 28;55(9):541. doi: 10.3390/medicina55090541. PMID: 31466220; PMCID: PMC6780345.
  • Knapen MHJ, Jardon KM, Vermeer C. Vitamin K-induced effects on body fat and weight: results from a 3-year vitamin K2 intervention study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2018 Jan;72(1):136-141. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2017.146. Epub 2017 Sep 27. PMID: 28952607.
  • Vitamin D – Health Professional Fact Sheet. (2022, August 12). NIH Office of Dietary Supplements. Retrieved November 1, 2022, from https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-HealthProfessional/
  • Masterjohn C. Vitamin D toxicity redefined: vitamin K and the molecular mechanism. Med Hypotheses. 2007;68(5):1026-34. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2006.09.051. Epub 2006 Dec 4. PMID: 17145139.
  • Letavernier E, Daudon M. Vitamin D, Hypercalciuria and Kidney Stones. Nutrients. 2018 Mar 17;10(3):366. doi: 10.3390/nu10030366. PMID: 29562593; PMCID: PMC5872784.
  • Wani M, Wani I, Banday K, Ashraf M. The other side of vitamin D therapy:
  • A case series of acute kidney injury due to malpractice-related vitamin D intoxication
. Clin Nephrol. 2016 Nov;86 (2016)(11):236-241. doi: 10.5414/CN108904. PMID: 27719737.

Dr Faisal is a certified Medical Doctor currently carrying the role of a Senior Medical Officer in the Orthopaedic Surgery Department of his local hospital. With his vast experience and knowledge in the medical field, Dr Faisal is well-equipped to share educational content that helps readers improve their health and wellness. During his hospital shifts, he diligently cares for and treats patients under him. And during his spare time, he enjoys crafting health and wellness content that inspires readers to make positive changes. LinkedIn