Vitamins D and K
As far back as our youth, our caregivers and educators have been extolling the virtues of calcium intake as an essential mineral to keep bones healthy and strong.
But there are two other vitamins that are essential for keeping our skeletal structure in tip top shape, Vitamin D (the ‘Sunshine Vitamin’ which helps your body absorb that essential calcium) and another vitamin very few people have ever heard of – vitamin K.
Vitamin K helps the body form blood clots and is key to the proper functioning of the liver. In addition, and here’s where your bones come in – it also activates a protein called osteocalcin which is found in the bones. If this protein isn’t operating at maximum efficiency then calcium ions can’t bond to the framework that keeps bones healthy and strong.
The bad news is that even the healthiest of people living in the Western world are to a greater or lessor extent deficient in this essential element. The great news is that you can easily remedy this situation with a few simple additions to your diet and some valuable supplements.
Leafy greens and vegetables (which you should be eating in abundance anyway) go some way to help vitamin K do its job. You can also access sources of vitamin K through eating fermented cheeses and other products where bacteria help to produce vitamin K. Unfortunately research has shown that consumption of these foods is rarely enough, a quality supplement is needed to maintain healthy levels of vitamin K and let it do its essential job of keeping bones strong and healthy.
So what should you be doing to ensure that Vitamin K can do its job?
There are a variety of proactive steps that can be taken.
First – don’t wait until you’re in danger of losing bone mass. It’s never to early to start taking a supplement which has vitamin K in it. Those who delay taking such supplements until they are in danger of osteoporosis are increasing the possibility of losing bone mass. The ideal approach would see people taking these supplements in their 20’s and 30″s.
As stated above calcium and vitamin D are essential for proper bone growth – however you can increase their effectiveness by trying to find a supplement that includes both vitamin D, calcium and vitamin K (specifically vitamin K2). By finding all these complimentary components in a single supplement you will increase the likelihood of giving your bones everything they need in a single dose.
The key to keeping your bones healthy is a proactive approach to both nutrition and supplement use. The soonest that you start taking care of your bones the sooner you can be sure that bone health will be maintained in those problematic years where osteoporosis can become a serious issue.
So remember, leafy greens, fresh vegetables, fermented cheeses like Gouda and a great supplement from a well respected manufacturer all contribute to you standing strong throughout your life.