Researchers reviewing data from a 16-year population based study have demonstrated a link between low blood concentrations of vitamins D and K and an increased risk for all-cause mortality.

The research was gathered from the Prevention of Renal and Vascular End-Stage Disease Study (PREVEND), and  was published in the European Journal of Nutrition in August 2020.

Synergistic nutrients

A ground-breaking aspect of the study was the examination of the two vitamins (D and K) working synergistically.

“While vitamins D and K are each correlated with positive health outcomes, the role of combined vitamin D and K status, rather than each status as a standalone, have not been investigated in the general population to achieve any kind of clinical significance,” the authors of the study wrote.

“The importance of investigating the combined vitamin statuses is important, however, due to their biomechanisms.”

In the nutritional supplement industry, these biomechanisms are referred to as synergy. Synergy is defined by Random House Dictionary as: “The interaction of elements that when combined produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements.”

According to Wikipedia, the words synergy and synergetic have been used in the field of physiology since at least the middle of the 19th century.

Study details

The study evaluated the outcomes of 4,742 participants, tracking their results from the time they were examined for the trial between 2001 and 2003.

The length of tracking for each participant varied—either til the date of death or the trial ending date on January 1, 2017.

The median follow-up time of participants in the trial was 14.2 years, with the longest participation being 16 years.

A total of 620 participants in the trial died, of which 142 of those deaths were caused by cardiovascular issues.

In total, 970 participants had low vitamin D and K status, representing 20% of the total population.

Only 28 participants in the trial reported taking vitamin D supplements. After adjusting for potential cofounders, it was determined that those low in both of these vitamins were more likely to die of all causes, by a hazard ratio of 1.46, and by cardiovascular causes in particular with a hazard ratio of 1.42.

Deficiency in both vitamins presents greater risk

“In conclusion, combined low vitamin D and K status was present in 20% of the participants and was associated with a greater risk of mortality after 14.2 year follow-up,” the authors wrote in their summary.

“The association of combined low vitamin D and K status with mortality was greater than one vitamin insufficiency alone, and amplified these risks.”

Optimal Health Systems has been an industry leader in synergistic products for over two decades, having formulated over 100 multi-nutrient products.

Essential DAK1K2 offers a synergistic blend of Vitamin D and both types of Vitamin K (K1 and K2). In addition the formula includes Vitamin A—another critical fat soluble vitamin.

Sources: European Journal of Nutrition / SpringerLink.com, Nutraceuticals World.