At first glance you might think this is about two mountains in the Himalayas. No, much bigger than that.
Recent studies have found a correlation between high levels of Vitamin D and reduced mortality from the virus, or any virus for that matter. When Vitamin D is increased in the blood levels it appears to reduce the death rate from COVID 19. In a study in Russia it was found that Vitamin D deficiency made it five times more likely to experience severe COVID 19.
Similar observations were made when older patients were given a relatively low dose of Vitamin D (1000 IU) daily, they were able to reduce the amount of oxygen support to them.
According to an August 2020 article in the International Journal of Infectious Disease, a combination of D3 and K2, as well as magnesium, was seen to reduce the COVID 19 mortality rates. Now it is important to recognize that a) Vitamin D serum levels above 35 ng/ml is the correct amount to make any impact, b) the majority of the Western population is Vitamin D deficient, especially people of color, and c) that the introduction of Vitamin D (with Vitamin K) offers a possibility of reduction of global mortality as a result of the pandemic.
This is exciting news when we look to ways to mitigate the impact of this global outbreak on our health, as well as our economies and social fabric, and reduce fatalities overall.
Vitamin D has already been recognized for its immunoregulating function. D3 is derived from animals, and can be found in oily fish, such as mackerel, or fish oil (think cod liver). It also is sourced from liver, egg yolks, butter and supplements. D2, on the other hand, comes from plants such as mushrooms, or fortified food, and supplements. You produce D3 when your skin is exposed to sunlight, as do the mushrooms grown under UVB light.
However, most of us don’t get enough sunlight exposure because we work indoors, or don’t get much daylight in the winter, depending on where we live. Also people with more melatonin or using sunscreen often don’t get enough Vitamin D, so it is important to get it from your food, or supplement. And try to spend at least 30 minutes per day out in the sunshine.
But what’s the deal with Vitamin K? Vitamin K1 is found in leafy greens, and K2 is in fermented legumes and vegetables, such as natto. It helps with the efficient absorption of calcium from the food we eat, when combined with Vitamin D.
When we don’t get enough Vitamin D, the calcium level in our blood drops and we leach the calcium from our bones to make up for it, causing osteopenia or osteoporosis.
Helper Vitamin K aids the calcification of our bones, by activating the protein osteocalcin, to promote more calcium in our bones and teeth. Conversely, it reduces the calcification of our soft tissues, such as our kidneys (think kidney stones) and blood vessels.
If we take in too much Vitamin D, to the point of toxicity, we can develop hypercalcemia, or excessive amounts of calcium in the blood. This blood vessel calcification can lead to heart disease. It has been found that supplementing with Vitamin K can thwart this process and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. What great synergy between these two nutrients!
On a personal note, last December I found I was seriously deficient in Vitamin D and had to take a megadose for a few weeks to get my levels up. Thank you, menopause!
Since then I have been on a supplement that not only contains Vitamin D, but also Vitamin K1 and K2, as well as calcium and magnesium. I originally took it for my bones, and joint flexibility, not fully realizing the added heart health benefits until later.
You are what you eat, my friends. And if you are not able to get all your nutrients from your food, supplement wisely. Especially now, when it is critical to maintain your optimal health.
Best in heath,