Vitamins are essential for our bodies. Without vitamins, our bodies wouldn't be able to regulate blood sugar levels or maintain healthy bones.* Therefore, it is important to understand the different types of vitamins and what they do for the body.
Vitamins A, D, K are all individually considered to be essential vitamins. Vitamins ADK are also all fat-soluble vitamins. Each of these vitamins has its own unique function and set of benefits.
The fusion of vitamin ADK
Vitamins A, D, and K may work together independently and synergistically to offer specific roles for our body and organism.* Vitamins ADK can also provide various types of vitamins within each vitamin family, such as vitamin K1 and vitamin K2 in the vitamin K family.
Current research helps support the concept of jointly supplementing vitamins D and K as this combination may be more beneficial than individually consuming either alone in order to support cardiovascular and bone health (study).* A study also found a potential positive effect on the combination of vitamins A and D for specific population (study).*
Vitamin A is considered to be an antioxidant that can help support the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals (study).* Beta-carotene can convert to vitamin A.
Vitamin A is often associated with eyes and vision support, overall cell health, and the immune system.* It may also help cells reproduce correctly to support skin, hair, and nails.
Vitamin D helps regulate the absorption of calcium in bones which helps support bone health as well as oral care and teeth (NIH).* It can also help to support the immune system.
Foods that offer vitamin D include fatty fish such as tuna or salmon, fortified milk products, and egg yolks. Vitamin D can also be synthesized through exposure to sunlight (it is often called the "Sunshine Vitamin" for this reason; study).
Vitamin K may play an important role in helping our circulatory system (study).* Vitamin K can also support healthy bones (study).* Vitamin K may help the body absorb calcium from food sources properly as well as cardiovascular health (study).*
Vitamin K is usually found in leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, vegetable oils (soybean oil), fruits such as kiwi fruit, beef liver, prunes, cereals, yogurt, eggs, cheese, pork chops, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, turnips greens, blueberries, grapes, garlic cloves and more.
There are various forms of vitamin K, including vitamin K1 and K2.
Vitamin K1 may also play a role in our circulatory system and blood in some population (study).* Vitamin K1 is sometimes referred as phytonadione. Vitamin K1 might also help the body absorb calcium and other minerals needed to support our bones (study).*
People who eat a balanced diet may get enough of this nutrient from food sources. Still, some people may need to supplement if their dietary intake is inadequate.
There is another form of vitamin K called vitamin K2. Vitamin K2 is important to support our bones (additional information).* Vitamin K2 may also help support heart health (study).* Vitamin K2 can generally be found in animal-based products such as eggs, meat, and dairy products but can also be obtained through supplements. Menaquinone is another name for vitamin K2.
Vitamin K2 MK4 and MK7
MK-4 is considered to be one of the most bioactive forms of vitamin K2 and might potentially be involved in cardiovascular health in some populations (study).*
MK-7. Menaquinone Mk7 is another form of vitamin K2 that can also be important to support the bones in certain populations by supporting the density of minerals (study).*
Vitamin K2 MK-4 and MK-7 may not always be found in the same foods as vitamin K1.
Vitamin K3 is a synthetic form of vitamin K that is not found in nature (an artificial form). Vitamin K3 is also known as menadione.
Vitamin K3 might get transferred and transformed into vitamin K2 by the liver in some cases. ADK supplements will not offer vitamin K3 in most countries of the world.
Knowing the importance of vitamins A, D & K can be helpful for leading a balanced lifestyle. Eating various nutritious foods containing these vitamins can help your body get some of the essential nutrients needed to stay healthy.
Incorporating a balanced diet with these vitamins into your daily life might help you get all the benefits they offer while reducing the chance of potential deficiencies.
Taking supplements may be helpful for those who have difficulty meeting their daily requirements through diet alone. But, as always, talk to your doctor before taking any supplements.
Get professional advice if you think you might need an ADK supplement or are already taking one to ensure you're not exceeding the amounts you may need.