A study has shown that low vitamin D and K2 levels may be associated with increased mortality and cardiovascular disease risk, a condition that accounts for almost 17 percent of deaths in South Africa.
The study, published in the European Journal of Nutrition, followed 4 742 participants for 14 years and found that low vitamin D and K2 levels were present in 20 percent of participants and were associated with a greater risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular events.
Research shows that at least 30 percent of the population has some form of cardiovascular disease and more South Africans die as a result of cardiovascular disease than of all cancers combined.
Although a lot is known about the importance of vitamin D for health, vitamin K has received less attention.
At least one billion people globally are vitamin D deficient and research shows that the risk of all-cause mortality increased by 25% if deficient in vitamin D.
Vitamin D supports immune function, heart health and increases calcium absorption while vitamin K, of which there are various forms with K2 being the most bioactive, plays a role in blood clotting, strengthening bones and improving heart health. It ensures that calcium obtained from food is deposited in the bones and not the arteries.
A study showed that people who supplemented with vitamin K2 were 50 percent less likely to die from heart disease related to hardened arteries while another study showed that women who had a high intake of vitamin K2-rich foods were less likely to experience heart attacks and strokes.
A growing body of research is showing the synergistic effects of vitamin D and K2 as vitamin D3 plays an important role in initiating several important biological processes while vitamin K2 is essential for its completion and expression. Studies show the pair can help improve bone health, heart health and improve immune function.
Health expert, Vanessa Ascencao said research shows at least 80 percent of deaths caused by heart disease can be prevented by healthier lifestyle choices.
“Follow a healthy diet with increased intake of fruits, leafy green vegetables, healthy fats and fatty fish, and avoid smoking and drinking alcohol,” said Ascencao. “Exercise daily, spend more time outdoors, get your blood levels tested regularly and try high-quality supplements with proven absorption such as BetterYou D+K2 oral spray. Vitamin K2 regulates normal blood clotting while D3 supports a healthy immune system and muscle function. Studies show that nutritional absorption through oral sprays are twice as effective as tablets or capsules,” Ascencao added.