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Dr. Spyridon Kanellakis and colleagues in both Greece and the Netherlands recently conducted a first of its kind randomized controlled trial looking at placebo and combinations of vitamin D and calcium, either alone or combined with vitamin K1 or vitamin K2 for 12 months. The four groups looked like this:

  1. Vitamin D, 400 IU, calcium 800 mg (26 Subjects)
  2. Vitamin D, 400 IU, calcium 800 mg, and 100 mcg of vitamin K1 (26 subjects)
  3. Vitamin D, 400 IU, calcium 800 mg, and 100 mcg of vitamin K2 as MK-7 (24 subjects)
  4. Placebo (39 subjects)

Kanellakis S, Moschonis G, Tenta R, Schaafsma A, van den Heuvel EG, Papaioannou N, Lyritis G, Manios Y. Changes in Parameters of bone metabolism in postmenopausal women following a 12-month intervention period using dairy products enriched with calcium, vitamin D, and phylloquinone (vitamin K(1)) or menaquinone-7 (vitamin K (2)): the Postmenopausal Health Study II. Calcif Tissue Int. 2012 Apr.

They used a close to meaningless dose of vitamin D but still got some interesting results. They measured activity with a pedometer (how many steps each subject took every day) and found that the vitamin D and calcium groups (with or without K), all insignificantly increased their activity levels by about 25% over baseline. A number of studies show that vitamin D helps one lose weight, and perhaps this shows the mechanism in that it gives you back your get up and go. However, BMI did not change, so perhaps changes in activity level was simply insignificant, as the statistics show, due to the low dose of vitamin D.

Second, they found that all three of the vitamin D and calcium groups, especially the K2 arm, had a significant increase in IGF-1 (130 to 143). This was significant at the .028 level. IGF-1, or insulin growth factor-one, is used as a proxy to measure growth hormone levels. This may mean that adequate doses of vitamin D, especially with K2, may restore youthful levels of growth hormone without having to resort to daily growth hormone injections. Declining growth hormone levels as one age is involved with age related muscle wasting.

Third, they found that a measure of vitamin K deficiency, uncarboxylated osteocalcin, improved significantly in both the K1 and K2 groups, but  the improvement in the K2 group was double that of the K1 group. This was significant at the .001 level despite the small groups.

As I have written before, your daily 5,000 IU of vitamin D should be accompanied by magnesium, zinc, boron, and K2. You can eat 5-6 servings of vegetables a day, along with seeds and nuts daily to get the first three, but the K2 is hard to get unless you like Natto, hard cheeses or organ meats. That’s why we recommend Bio-Tech’s D-Plus if you think you’re lacking in these nutrients and most Americans are.

Here are some things I’d love to hear from our readers along these lines:

  • If anyone has taken the standard serving size of D-Plus (5,000 IU of vitamin D) for more than a year and is older than 70, get your IGF-1 tested and post the results on the blog site. We’d like to know the results, along with how healthy your muscles are.
  • D-Plus is particularly important for autistic children who often have zinc, magnesium and vitamin K deficiencies, along with very low vitamin D levels. If you use D-Plus for your autistic child and do so in adequate doses (5,000 IU/day or maybe more), we’d like to know their results in this realm as well.


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