Navigating the world of dietary supplements can be challenging, especially with the myriad of choices available. Among the notable combinations is Vitamin D3 + K2. While vitamin D is well-known, many aren't aware of its lesser known, yet equally important, counterpart, K2. When paired, these vitamins offer a symphony of health benefits. Vitamin K2 plays an essential role in vitamin D3's ability to build and maintain healthy bones; without it, the effects of vitamin D3 decrease dramatically.
However, most K2D3 products use the generic form of K2, resulting in a less powerful supplement. How can you be sure you're getting this dynamic duo at its full potential?
We'll show you what you need to look for to fit your needs, what to avoid, and, most importantly, how to find a K2D3 supplement that helps aid in heart health while providing maximum bone support.
Before diving into the specifics of selecting a supplement, it's essential to understand the importance of this powerful duo.
1. Vitamin K2: This vitamin is vital for bone health and heart health. It activates proteins that keep calcium in your bones and teeth and out of your arteries1.
2. Vitamin D3: Known as the "sunshine vitamin," D3 enhances our ability to absorb calcium. However, without K2, the calcium absorbed might be deposited in arteries instead of bones. This is where K2 comes into play, directing the calcium to our bones2.
1. Bone Health: The synergy of K2 and D3 enhances calcium deposition in bones, which may help prevent osteoporosis and fractures3.
2. Heart Health: Vitamin K2 prevents arterial calcification, which can lead to heart diseases. Vitamin D3 supports heart function and reduces inflammation4.
3. Supports Immune Function: Vitamin D3 plays a role in immune modulation and can enhance the pathogen-fighting effects of monocytes and macrophages5.
- Vitamin K2: Look for supplements with the MK-7 form, derived from natto (fermented soybean). It's more bioactive and stays in the body longer than its counterpart, MK-46. MK-7 beats out MK-4 with better accumulation in the bloodstream and absorption rates.
- Vitamin D3: Ensure that D3 (cholecalciferol) is sourced from lanolin in sheep's wool or lichen for vegan options. Avoid D2 (ergocalciferol) as it's less effective in humans7.
- Bioperine: Maximum calcium absorption. Vitamin K2 works by guiding calcium to where it should be, Vitamin D3 is needed for proper calcium absorption, and Bioperine, a patented black pepper extract, helps your body maximize absorption of all these nutrients.
1. Vitamin K2: A common dose is 100-200 mcg, but some individuals might require more or less. Consult with a healthcare provider.
2. Vitamin D3: Dosages can range from 25 mcg to 125 mcg. Blood tests and consultation with a doctor can guide the appropriate dose.
3. Absorption: Opt for that contain Bioperine, which has been proven to increase the absorption of these nutrients.
4. Other Ingredients: Check for fillers, preservatives, and artificial colors. Prefer supplements without these additives. It's also advantageous if the supplement contains black pepper or Bioperine to aid absorption8. Please note, most vegetarian friendly supplements will contain Cellulose, which is simply a vegie capsule.
5. Certifications: Choose products tested by third-party labs for purity and potency. Certifications, like USP or NSF, can provide an additional layer of confidence.
6. Price vs. Quality: While budgeting is essential, it's also crucial to ensure you're getting a quality product. Sometimes, paying a bit more guarantees a purer, more effective product.
7. Brand Reputation: Brands with a history of positive reviews and expert endorsements might be more trustworthy.
8. Allergens and Dietary Restrictions: Ensure the supplement suits your dietary needs. Check for gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, or vegan labels if necessary.
Did you know that supplements aren't required to be tested for things like safety, purity, heavy metals, etc. Unfortunately, since this is not required, many supplement manufacturers simply don't do it! You need to look for something called a "COA" which stands for a "Certificate of Analysis". What is this certificate and why is it important? This certificate is something that all QUALITY manufacturers should get with each and every batch of their supplement they create! This certificate comes from laboratory testing and is given once a supplement meets specific criteria.
These tests also ensure the supplement is below the specifications for things like heavy metals and lead, but they test for more than that. The lab will make sure what the manufacturer says is in the supplement on the label, is actually in the capsule! Why is this important? This is the KEY reason people use the "Proprietary blend" loophole! If you have a proprietary blend and you don't list out how much of each ingredient is in your capsule, it's impossible to test for!
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ForestLeaf's K2+D3 contains MenaQ7, a clinically-studied form of vitamin K2, along with a potent dose of vitamin D3.
However, we felt the lack of absorption-boosting fats kept this product from placing higher on our list.
Additionally, its 60-day money-back guarantee didn't do it any favors. Some won't see major results in their bone and cardiovascular health within that time frame. To make sure you're fully satisfied with your purchase, a money-back guarantee of at least 90 days is best.
Still, this is a strong overall supplement. It contains proper dosages of high-quality ingredients and lacks artificial fillers.
Coming in at number 4 on our list is D3+K2 Gummies by Nordic Naturals. Gummies are a nice option for people who have difficulty taking vitamins in capsule or pill form.
While D3+K2 Gummies aren't formulated with clinically studied vitamin K2, they do use a superior form of the vitamin known as menaquinone (MK-7).
It's worth noting that some consumers found the gummies to be too sugary. If you’re trying to limit your sugar intake, you may want to consider other options.
If you purchase and dislike D3+K2 Gummies and want to return them, you should act quickly, as Nordic Naturals only offers a 30-day return policy.
Vitamin D-3 & K-2 by NOW Foods ranked in our top five list because it contains key ingredients like vitamin D3 and is ideal for shoppers on a budget.
However, that's about where the benefits end. Unlike the others on our list, which use MK-7, this product uses an inferior form of vitamin K2 known as MK-4. While it promotes healthy bones, MK-4 is less potent than MK-7.
It also lacks healthy fats to aid in absorption and offers a brief, 30-day return policy.
Similar to our #4 pick, Swanson made the list simply because it contains key ingredients like vitamin D3 and is ideal for shoppers on a budget.
However, that's about where the benefits end. Unlike the others on our list, which use MK-7, according to their Amazon listing, this product uses Feverfew Extract, it lacks healthy fats to aid in absorption, and they do not mention a return policy.
Vitamin K2 and D3, when combined, offer a plethora of health benefits. However, the key to harnessing these benefits lies in choosing the right supplement. By considering the source, dosage, absorption, additional ingredients, brand reputation, and certifications, you can ensure that you're investing in a product that will serve your health well.