You already know that getting enough vitamin D is important for your overall health. But did you know that consuming more vitamin D is not necessarily better, and in fact, can make things worse?
That’s because supplementing with vitamin D “without” two other key nutrients can weaken your bones and even contribute to plaque buildup in your arteries.
So, what are these two nutrients? And how do they help your body use vitamin D properly? This is exactly what we’re going to talk about in this video.
As always, this video is educational and does not constitute medical advice; we are not doctors.
So, the first important nutrient is magnesium.
Even before you consider taking vitamin D supplements, you should ask yourself if you’re getting enough magnesium in your diet.
You see, magnesium is a cofactor in hundreds of enzymes that are involved in important biological reactions. And this includes the enzymes that play a role in vitamin D metabolism.
Now, vitamin D, in either the D2 or D3 form, is considered biologically inactive until it is converted into its active form, calcitriol.
For this conversion to happen, the enzymes present in your liver and kidneys require sufficient amounts of magnesium to draw upon.
This means if you have low levels of magnesium, your body won’t be able to make full use of the vitamin D supplements you’re taking.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the recommended amount of magnesium is 400-420 mg per day for men, and 310-320 mg a day for women.
However, these guidelines only apply to oral supplements such as tablets and capsules. There are currently no upper limit recommendations for transdermal magnesium supplements, which are basically those you apply directly to your skin.
If you experience poor sleep, lethargy and heart palpitations, this could mean that you aren’t getting enough magnesium through your diet.
One of the best ways to replenish your body’s supply of magnesium is by eating foods like almonds, pumpkin seeds, mushrooms, cashew nuts, and spinach.
Plus, getting enough magnesium benefits you in a variety of ways like relieving muscle tension, reducing stress, and helping with your nervous system and your body’s synthesis of proteins.
Now that you know how the vitamin D you’re taking gets metabolized, the second nutrient is something you absolutely cannot ignore.
One study published in 2010 found that older women who consume very high doses of vitamin D alone were prone to more falls and fractures.
This may come as a complete surprise, since vitamin D’s primary function in the body is to help absorb calcium from the intestines.
But calcium absorption is only part of the equation. Too much vitamin D can actually have the opposite effect.
In one study, participants who took either 400 IU, 4,000 IU or 10,000 IU of vitamin D over a three-year period showed no improvement in bone density, and actually showed decreased density in the highest dose group.
What most people don’t know is that vitamin D also facilitates the formation and activation of osteoclasts.
Osteoclasts are a specialized type of cell that removes calcium from bones. Think of them as the first step in a complex loop where bones need to be broken down before they can be rebuilt to allow new bone to develop and to maintain bone strength.
The problem is that the calcium you’re getting isn’t doing you any good if it’s not being transported to the right places like your bones and teeth.
For this to happen, your body requires vitamin K2 in the form of MK-7. We highly recommend that you watch our previous video on this cardioprotective nutrient to better understand its different subtypes.
So, vitamin K2 is the missing piece of the puzzle.
The active form of vitamin D ensures that calcium is absorbed easily. Then vitamin K2 activates the protein osteocalcin, which tells your cells to carry all that calcium into your bones and teeth.
Taking too much vitamin D without vitamin K2 can lead to excessive calcium in the blood, which could end up being deposited into your kidneys, arteries and other soft tissues.
Adults should ensure they are getting between 100 and 300 mcg of vitamin K2 per day.
So, now you know why you need to get enough magnesium and vitamin k2 along with vitamin D3.
Vitamin D is incredibly important to your overall health because it can turn disease-causing genes on and off.
Studies have shown that Vitamin D can switch off cancer-causing genes, and switch on genes vital to immune system function. As you can imagine, this has a positive impact on a variety of bodily systems.
So, how much vitamin D is too much?
The generally recommended safe upper limit is 4,000 IU per day. However, people who are deficient in vitamin D need to take more than this. Make sure to consult a healthcare professional on what dosage you should take.
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And now, over to you. How are you getting your daily dose of vitamin D?
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