Lots of us need it, but is there a safe way to take it?

Vitamin D has many health benefits beyond bone strength including common skin, heart and chest conditions, as well as being protective against dementia.

Supercharging Vitamin D3 with Vitamin K.

Vitamin D3 has many beneficial anti-ageing effects, many of which are boosted by the presence of vitamin K. This key vitamin works alongside vitamin D to make bones stronger. It stops bone reabsorption and increases bone density. It also stops calcium from depositing in artery walls.
It does this by activating osteocalcin proteins, which stimulate osteoblasts, the cells that make bone, to pull calcium into the bones and out of the arteries.
Vitamin K also has a powerful effect on the immune system. Here is a link to a recent article on vitamin K: Vitamin K as a Powerful Micro-nutrient in Aging and Age-Related Diseases: Pros and Cons from Clinical Studies Sept 2019
High vitamin D levels will increase calcium in the body and blood by increasing absorption from the gut.
As long as the diet contains enough calcium, this is fine. The presence of vitamin K, however, is important to keep this calcium “in the right place” to avoid artery calcification.
In summary, vitamin D increases calcium and vitamin K helps to put it to work. There are subtleties to maximising these health benefits and, most importantly, doing no harm.
At high doses of vitamin D, if the diet is deficient in calcium and vitamin K, it will sometimes decrease calcium in the bones, therefore weakening them. When taking vitamin D, take a supplement containing about 250 mcg of vitamin K2 (MK-7 is best for this).
High-quality supplements tend to combine vitamin K2 with vitamin D. Otherwise, this can be taken separately.
If you are a female between 30 and 45, the best protection against osteoporosis (weak bones) in later life is to maximise bone density at this age. A combination of vitamin D and vitamin K2 can achieve this.
As a rule of thumb, if you live north of Paris and have Mediterranean skin or darker skin, you will be deficient in vitamin D during the winter. Taking a supplement will benefit you.

The B vitamins, magnesium and vitamin D.

Vitamin K, B vitamins, and magnesium are also important for improving the function of vitamin D if it is deficient.

How much should I take - what should I aim for?


Optimal levels: Studies have shown that supplementation up to 80nmol/L continues to provide health benefits.
In the UK, the standard laboratory will call a level above 50 normal: this is misleading and is some way below optimal health. This means you won’t show signs of deficiency, like rickets, but you won't feel a range of health benefits at higher levels.
DNA vitamin D levels: At Humanpeople, we test two important vitamin D-related genes. If you have variations in two associated vitamin D genes called “GC” and “VDR,” then your vitamin D levels need to be even higher to get the full range of health benefits.
Get tested: We don’t like guessing or giving supplements you don’t need. That is why we base our approach on tests. Most GPs will agree to do a blood test for free on the NHS and will advise on supplementation.
If your vitamin D levels are below 50nmol/L, then get advice from your GP because you will need more than a normal over-the-counter dose.
But how much? Most people will benefit from a dose of 4000 iu. But, as we always say, "it is better to test first." When using higher doses, it is best to be tested before starting supplementation. Then, at 12 weeks, another test is taken to optimise levels.

Is vitamin D a vitamin?

Historically it was called a vitamin, but it has more in common with a hormone. This is because it is manufactured in the body and fluctuates with the daylight hours / UV exposure. A vitamin is something that cannot be manufactured by the body and has to be ingested. Vitamin D is very similar in structure to some of the sex hormones. It peaks in sunny times probably because thousands of years ago, this was when food was more abundant, so it stimulated the growth of bone and tissue.

Three conditions that vitamin D will improve this winter

Dry skin and eczema: Vitamin D is anti-inflammatory. Along with the correct dose of omega-3 3, it significantly reduces the incidence of eczema.

A study published in Nutrition reviewing Vitamin D and eczema has shown the benefits of reducing symptoms.

Results for eczema improvement are seen after a month, but a minimum dose of 2000iu is required. Some practitioners suggest a much higher dosage.

ENERGY!! The anti-hibernation vitamin. It seems that when vitamin D levels are high, it stops the body from slowing down and going into a slower winter state. Therefore, energy levels are much higher.

Chest infections: Vitamin D supplementation is protective against respiratory infections. If you have children who suffer from asthma, a study in Canada showed vitamin D supplementation caused a 50% decrease in children being admitted to hospital with asthma attacks brought on by infections. A recent study in the Lancet showed it reduced attacks and the need for steroids. There are some simple gummy vitamin D supplements that kids are more than happy to take!

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