Did you know that taking Vitamin D is dangerous? This is the surprising and counterintuitive conclusion of much of the latest research on Vitamin D, something I cover in my page on The Potential Dangers of Overly High Vitamin D. The reason for the poor performance of Vitamin D undoubtedly has to do with the fact that Vitamin D controls calcium metabolism and too much Vitamin D can push calcium into soft tissues such as the arteries, kidneys and brain. Thus this recent research appears to say that even minimal Vitamin D could literally "calcify" you.
However, these results should strike you as very odd. Vitamin D deficiencies have been documented in MANY studies to be related to just about every health evil under the sun - autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, various cancers, etc. So why is that giving someone Vitamin D would not improve health outcomes. That just makes no sense.
The answer probably lies in the fact that Vitamin D needs its sister vitamin (K2) to be given at the same time. Essentially, Vitamin K2 makes sure that calcium gets pushed into hard tissue (bone, teeth, etc.) and NOT into soft tissues - exactly what we want. Thus the ideal situation should result from combining Vitamin D with Vitamin K2, assuming you can get the best of both worlds.
Now, as far as I know, there are no studies on the subject. so I certainly cannot prove that combining Vitamins D and K2 will work synergistically like this. However, I do have a testimonial from the patient - JustAskin on the Peak Testosterone Forum - of one of the premier TRT (testosterone replacement therapy) doctors out there. He wrote me the following:
"Peak, When Dr Shippen put me on Vitamin D3 He also put me on K2 to drive the calcium into the Bones not the Soft Tissue. As I have stated before within a year my Dexa Scan showed I had improved from bones of a 70 year old to the bones of a 23 year old."
I questioned him about some of the details and got his permission to reprint those below:
Q. When you say you had the "bones of a 70 year old" were you actually diagnosed with osteopenia? Or did Dr. Shippen basically note that your bones were older than your chronological age? (I believe you are ~ 67, right?)
A. Yes, I was diagnosed with Osteopenia (Dexa Scan). When Shippen saw the results of the Scan he put me on Vitamin D3 and K2. Yes I am 67.
Q. When you got the test showing that you had low bone mass, was this before you went on TRT or after? If after, how much after roughly? And, if before, I assume you had the low bone mass from low estradiol, right?
A. Before TRT, actually my E2 was 57 pg/ml and my SHBG was 60, Testosterone was 310.
NOTE: Estradiol of 57 is pretty good and would not normally cause bone loss. However, he may have had bone loss from his days before TRT - it's hard to say. Regardless, this is an important topic, because many men with low testosterone also have low estradiol and osteopenia. We have had several men on the with osteopenia on Peak Testosterone Forum. Eventually, men in this situation can end up with osteoporosis which is very dangerous of course.
Q. What form of Vitamin K2 did Dr. Shippen put you on? MK4 or MK7 or both? Can I also ask the brand, as I know he was careful with what brands he used.
A. Life Extension: Super K With Advanced K2 Complex (It has all forms) and Pure Encapsulations Vitamin D3.
Q. Did Dr. Shippen (or yourself) do anything else for bone health that may have increased bone density?
A. Nothing else, I have always worked out.
Q. How long did it take roughly for your bones to go from that of a 70 year old to that of a 23 year old?
A. I had the Scan in January, saw Shippen in March, and had the next scan the following February. So 10 months after seeing Shippen.
Q. Do you take calcium just to play it safe?
A. One other thing about Vitamin D3 and K2, Shippen told me, Men do NOT need to take a Calcium supplement, but to eat lots of Greens and good meals and I would get plenty of Calcium from that.
Q. What 25-hydroxy levels did Dr. Shippen have you targeting?
A. Dr. Shippen says to keep D3 level at 50, and not over 60.