Understanding Vitamin ADK Benefits: Synergy for Immunity, Bone Health, Gut Integrity, and More

vitamin adk benefits

While the individual effects of Vitamin A, D, and K are well-established, taking them together can provide synergistic benefits.

I’ve explored some of the D3 and K2 connections previously in one of my most-read articles ever, but wanted to expand on the discussion and include Vitamin A as deficiencies in the functions of fat-soluble vitamins in the body overlap.

Benefits of Vitamins ADK When Taken Together

  • In a study following 6894 participants over 4-6 years, a combined deficiency in vitamins D and K amplified the risk of death by all causes by as much as 42-46% (P<.001) (1)

  • Vitamin D and K play central roles to support improved bone mineral density and favorable levels of a marker of bone-building activation; also important for cardiovascular health (2). 

  • Combinations of A, D, and K in the context of other nutrients were associated with improvements in the flexibility of blood vessels, metabolic function, and inflammation. D by itself was associated with improvements in blood pressure. K by itself was associated with reversing calcification of arteries.

    Together, A, D, and K levels are important markers of cardiovascular health (3; 4).

  • A and D also work intricately together to support anti-inflammatory benefits:
    • “​​…vitamin D requires vitamin A for the binding to the vitamin D receptor and exert its anti-inflammatory action. Both vitamins must be supplied to the subjects lacking vitamin D,” (5, [emphasis mine]).

  • We know that many immune cells contain receptors for vitamin D (6; 7), and vitamin D is an important regulator of immune function (8).

  • Vitamin A is also intricately connected to immune function and mucosal health (9). A and D work together in support of immune function and balance. They help regulate when and how immune cells develop and respond depending on the immune needs of the body (10).

  • Clients with inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis are at increased risk of deficiency of fat-soluble vitamins that include A, D, and K (11). These inflammatory conditions deplete the body of some of the nutrients necessary for its recovery.

  • Together A and D regulate microbiome health and diversity, proteins behind the “leakiness” of the gut, and immune responses at the level of the gastrointestinal tract (12).

  • Vitamin A is also important for bone health, yet too much (or too little) can be a negative**, upper limits for vitamin A are 10,000IU per day (13). The vitamin A products we use tend to be 5,000IU per day to find a happy medium, yet make sure you account for combined sources from other supplements and foods.

    • **The negative effect of high amounts of vitamin A on bone may be more reflective of vitamin D deficiency than a direct issue with vitamin A excess.  When you take Vitamin A, your D needs increase, yet another reason to support both together. Vitamin A helps D3 work better, so if you’re taking D3 and your levels are not responding, vitamin A may be the missing link.

      Many are still deficient in Vitamin A, especially vegans and/or those who carry slow genetics in the conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A. A genetic insufficiency of one’s ability to convert beta-carotene to vitamin A is present in some 40%+ of individuals!

So while each vitamin has a track record of deficiency and importance, taking all three together can have a range of synergistic health benefits, inclusive of critical bone, gastrointestinal, immune, and cardiovascular benefits.

Best Vitamin ADK Supplements

The best Vitamin ADK supplement that I take is Vitamin A D K Complete once a day to support my needs. I also carry Micellized Vitamin A Drops (5000IU/day), D3 5000 IU, and MegaQuinone K2-7 for individual vitamin A, D, and K needs.

While A and K are from vegan sources, vitamin D is commonly sourced from lanolin from sheep’s wool. If you desire a vegan-sourced vitamin D3, check out D3 Liquid (vegan) by Pure Encapsulations.

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