Supreme Vitamin D3 +K2
Vitamin D3 is one of the most buzzed-about supplements in the health industry. It’s estimated that over 85 percent of the population and 95 percent of seniors are deficient in vitamin D, which plays a central role in everything from regulating mood to modulating immune cells in the body and beyond. Not only that, but it’s one of the few nutrients that’s difficult to get from food sources alone, making supplementation absolutely necessary in many cases.
So what’s the difference between vitamin D vs. D3? And what is vitamin D3 good for? Keep reading for everything you need to know about this important micronutrient and how it can impact your health.
What Is Vitamin D3?
So what is vitamin D3, and what does vitamin D3 do? Vitamin D3, also known as cholecalciferol, is a fat-soluble vitamin that is involved in bone health, immune function, cell growth and more. It’s one of the few nutrients that your body is able to produce on its own through the skin cells in response to sun exposure. It can also be obtained through several vitamin D food sources and supplements as well.
Unfortunately, vitamin D deficiency is a common issue, and certain groups are at a higher risk of deficiency. In particular, older adults, those who get limited sun exposure, and people who are overweight/obese or have darker skin are at an increased risk
Vitamin D3 vs. Vitamin D2
So what is the difference between vitamin D and vitamin D3? Vitamin D is available in two forms: vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D3 is primarily found in animal foods, such as fish, liver, eggs and cod liver oil. Meanwhile, vitamin D2 is mostly in mushrooms and fortified foods, such as cereal.
Both are also available in supplement form as well. The biggest difference between vitamin D2 vs. D3 actually lies in the way that they are metabolized in the body. In fact, one study published in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism found that vitamin D3 was nearly twice as effective at increasing vitamin D levels in the blood compared to vitamin D2.
For this reason, it’s generally recommended to select a vitamin D3 supplement whenever possible to optimize absorption and get the most bang for your buck. Taking a vitamin D3 supplement is an effective way to boost calcium absorption, promote bone health, support weight management and more.
The Vitamin D and Vitamin K2 Connection
Another critical point to remember is you shouldn't take any vitamin D supplement without taking vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 deficiency is connected to vitamin D toxicity symptoms, which includes excessive calcification that can contribute to the hardening of your arteries.
One of the functions of vitamin K2 is to direct calcium to areas in your body where it is needed, such as your bones and teeth. It also functions to keep calcium away from areas where it shouldn’t be, including your soft tissues and arteries.
Improves Immune Function
One of the most impressive benefits of vitamin D3 is its ability to enhance immunity and protect against infection. Not only can a deficiency in this important micronutrient slow wound healing and increase the risk of infection, but vitamin D3 is also integral to the function of immune cells in the body. According to one study by Dr. Ginde and colleagues, lower levels of serum vitamin D are actually associated with a higher risk of recent respiratory tract infections, demonstrating just how crucial this vitamin is for immunity.
Promotes Weight Loss
Weight management is one of the most popular uses of vitamin D3. Interestingly enough, studies actually show that vitamin D levels tend to be lower in people with higher amounts of body fat. Some research also suggests that supplementing with vitamin D could enhance weight loss and bump up fat-burning. For example, a study conducted by the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at Laval University in Canada demonstrated that supplementing with calcium and vitamin D increased weight loss and fat loss compared to a control group.
Boosts Bone Strength
Vitamin D is absolutely essential when it comes to bone health. In fact, one of the most serious vitamin D3 deficiency symptoms in children is rickets, a condition characterized by a softening and weakening of the bones. One of the main ways that vitamin D boosts bone strength is by promoting the absorption of calcium, which is essential to maintaining skeletal integrity. Plus, it’s also involved in the metabolism of phosphorus, another key mineral that is important to bone health.
Enhances Mental Health
Some research shows that vitamin D could be beneficial for boosting mental health and brain power. Studies have found that vitamin D status could potentially be linked to issues like depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. What’s more, one study conducted by the Washington University School of Medicine even showed that low levels of vitamin D were tied to low mood and impaired cognitive performance in older adults.
May Help Fight Cancer Cells
Although research is still limited on exactly how vitamin D3 can impact cancer growth in humans, in vitro research suggests that it may affect several aspects of cancer development, including tumor growth and cell death. Other studies have found that vitamin D deficiency may be linked to a higher risk of certain types of cancer, including breast, prostate, colorectal, ovarian, kidney and stomach cancers. However, further research is still needed to determine whether other factors may also be involved besides vitamin D3 levels.
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