For years doctors have advised people to get more vitamin D in their diet.
Part of that is to help build bones, and the other is to help protect the heart and help reduce inflammation.
The reason for supplementation is because getting it from the sun isn’t always the best idea, or even always possible, and so physicians have begun to recommend that vitamin-d supplements be used instead.
The problem with this is vitamin-d supplementation done in the absence of a very important cofactor can actually create a dangerous environment for the heart.
This cofactor is none other than vitamin K2. Vitamin k2 is not a commonly known vitamin, and it’s less understood than its cousin vitamin-k.
So what does k2 have to do with vitamin d, and how can supplementation with vitamin-d cause an early death?
For years people have been told to take both vitamin-d and calcium for increased bone health.
The problem here is when this is done without k2, calcium can actually cause the arterial walls to calcify which can lead to heart attacks and other cardiovascular conditions.
As Kate Rheaume-Bleue notes in her book “The Calcium Paradox,”
Calcium supplementation increases the occurrence of heart attack and stroke with or without vitamin D, showing that the latter has no protective effect here. Even worse, it’s possible that the soaring popularity of vitamin D might actually be compounding the problem.
Under certain circumstances, vitamin D increases arterial calcification [emphasis added]. Vitamin D specifically accelerates the accumulation of arterial calcification in vitamin K2–deficient conditions. With all the good news about vitamin D, how could this be?
The news about vitamin D hasn’t been all good, just the widely publicized news.
We know vitamin D is beneficial for bone health. When it comes to heart health, the research has been decidedly mixed. The results are so confusing and conflicting that researchers are only just now making sense of it. Many studies indicate that vitamin D deficiency is associated with heart disease, and as vitamin D levels go up, arterial calcification decreases.
Other studies show just the opposite— that higher blood levels of vitamin D are associated with more arterial plaque. This double-edged sword can be partially explained by understanding what vitamin D does and doesn’t do with calcium.
But the most important thing Rheame-Bleue is able to determine is when k2 is present, none of these issues are a problem.
What k2 does is it activates a compounds called osteocalcin along with matrix gla protein (MGP) which scour the body for calcium that would otherwise build up in the heart or the arteries and brings it into the bones and teeth (where they belong).
Should a person be deficient in k2 then osteocalcin and MGP are never set int motion and cardiovascular conditions are likely to set in.
The recommended advice?
Rheame-Bleue says to make sure to have ample k2 in the diet.
Simple enough, especially if you don’t want to die from a heart attack.