For optimal brain health, it’s critical to have adequate supplies of vitamin D. But some people have suggested that taking vitamin D could be harmful unless you also supplement with vitamin K. What’s the truth about these two vital vitamins? I checked in with our Chief Science Officer Dr. Parris Kidd to get the answers.
ABCs of Vitamin D and Vitamin K
First, here are the basics about these two important vitamins:
- Vitamin D, which is known as “the sunshine vitamin,” is best known for building bones and boosting the immune system. It is also essential for brain health, mood, memory, and weight. I recommend that all Brain Warriors have your vitamin D levels checked and optimize them if they are low.
- Vitamin K is the name given to a family of fat-soluble compounds that are involved in blood clotting, the regulation of calcium levels in the blood, and bone metabolism.
Is There a D-K Connection?
The truth is you don’t have to take vitamin K in order for vitamin D to be absorbed. However, it is important to make sure your levels of D and K are optimized.
In my books, The Omni Diet and The Brain Warrior’s Way, I write about how many people have low levels of vitamin D. What you may not know is that it’s also very common for to have suboptimal levels of vitamin K.
What Causes Low K Levels?
There are many reasons why you might have an inadequate supply of vitamin K, including:
- Unhealthy gut: Imbalances in gut bacteria can interfere with the absorption of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin K.
- Eating a poor diet: Eating a Standard American Diet (SAD) means you probably aren’t getting enough nutrients from the foods you eat.
- Consuming a lot of sugar: Eating a lot of sugary snacks or drinking large amounts of sweetened sodas and other beverages disrupts gut function.
- Regularly taking antacids: Decreasing stomach acid promotes small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), which reduces the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. The small intestine is where much of nutrient absorption occurs, so this can have a particularly strong negative effect on your vitamin levels.
The best way to ensure you’re getting the nutrients you need is to eat a brain healthy diet (you can find lots of brain healthy recipes on my website), which helps promote balance in the gastrointestinal tract, and to supplement with high-quality nutraceuticals.
BrainMD’s NeuroVite Plus includes both vitamin D and vitamin K along with more than 50 nutrients and plant extracts for your daily needs, and Vitamin D3 5000 offers 5000 IUs of the all-important sunshine vitamin. You can get 21% off your order with the promo code TANA21.