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Friday, 16 June 2017

The Importance of Calcium, Vitamins D, and K in maintaining Good Heart and Bone Health

According to health experts, Calcium, Vitamins D and K, are very useful in the optimum functioning of your Cardiovascular Health as well health of your bones.

Neil E. Levin is the Senior Nutrition Education Manager, and a product formulator for NOW Foods; he is also a board-certified clinical nutritionist. He talks about three very important nutrients for both bone health and cardiovascular health. He stresses the great importance of knowing the unquantifiable benefits derivable from calcium, and vitamins D and K. But there is still so much that scientists are grappling with regarding these nutrients. And Neil tries very hard to resolve some of these perplexities as we gain from his insights.
Heart at optimum function

Many years back supplements used to be very different from what we have today. Back in the 70s and 80s the main sources of calcium were cheap calcium carbonate, dolomite limestone and bone meal. People knew they needed calcium and these were some of the first supplement forms that were made readily available. Today we tend to know much more about the various supplement forms, how they work together as well as how to use them even as nutritional support. This stems from how naturally science has revealed these natural nutrients to work together in our systems.
But the functioning and essence of these nutrients were not being fully comprehended in the years past, just as the case has remained till today.
Role of Calcium

Your body needs enough calcium always, and these days it is not readily available because of deficiencies in our diets. But your body needs to break it down, then assimilate and utilise it in the bones and teeth - where it is most needed and keep it away from tissues like the arteries - where it is not supposed to be.

Bone function

From studies it has been found that calcium does not work alone in your body. And you cannot just take some additional calcium by way of supplementation for the purpose of building your bone and expect it will work that way. You need other nutrients as well – such as Vitamins D and K. But again experts say the amount of nutrients in your diet is not just enough these days, and so sometimes you may require supplements. Also, sometimes women are advised to take more calcium (supplements) for strengthening their bones.  Levin says this does not really solve the problem of bone loss.

What you should bear in mind is that most nutrients work together with other nutrients to nourish your body with so many health gains. Whether it is bone health or cardiovascular health you are looking at, you should consider each nutrient for its special benefit. For this reason an admixture of these nutrients is the best way to go. And so it becomes very necessary you pay attention to your diet, to ensure it is complete with the essential nutrient-giving foods. Foods rich in calcium include: skim milk, yoghourt, green leafy vegetables, cheese, broccoli, kale, sardines, etc.
Food for great bones and teeth

Role of Vitamin D

In reality it is amazing to know that some people do not get enough of vitamin D! When you stay away from the sun, and we wear sunscreen as some people have been taught, you deprive yourself of vitamin D. For some people this might be even all year round – like those living in the Polar Regions. Your body needs vitamin D in order to absorb calcium, studies have shown! Two forms of vitamin D exist – D2 and D3, and it is a hormone that is very vital for your overall body health. Natural sources of Vitamin D include: Oily fishes, beef liver, cheese, egg yolks, and of course your natural sunlight, etc.

Rejoice in the Sun

Importance of Vitamin K

There are different types of vitamin K;
K1 (phylloquinine) is present in plant foods like spinach, lettuce and broccoli; it equally plays a very important role in blood clotting. K2 as MK-4 (menatetrenone) – is the type of vitamin K that is present in animal foods like meat and dairy, especially if the animals were fed with vitamin-fortified feed. K2 as MK-7 (megaquinone-7): this is the form of vitamin K present in certain fermented foods like natto. Many types of cheese usually contain K2 as MK-8 or MK-9, which rarely come in supplemental forms.

Meanwhile, K2 is highly needed for your bones and the health of your arteries. This vitamin is basic for transportation of calcium to your bones while keeping calcium away from your arteries. It therefore has double benefits; it is very important for women, it builds your bones as well as secures you from cardiovascular risk.

Heart healthy foods

These nutrients which are obtainable from most green leafy vegetable are so vital to the body because they aid the body to repair and restore structure, and function optimally when you consistently have them in your system. These vitamins or food nutrients nourish your body (heart & bones), and so you need to feed your body with the right diet or load of nutrients as contained in your daily meals. Each nutrient is very important, but when combined, they give your body the best in quality health, repair and restoration.

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