The Clever Case of Vitamin D
Creating innovative supplements is a bit of an obsession for us at Pure Synergy. While we aim to help you get your essentials, our goal is to break the mold and give you products that don’t just check the box on your daily nutrients. Sometimes a vitamin’s not a passive player, and it also needs partners to do its best work. That’s why we made D3 + K2 Complex®.
We’re here to tell you how incredibly ingenious this formula is, why it’s so cutting-edge, and why it’s more effective than other vitamin D supplements. But to shed light on our sunshine vitamin, we first need to step back and understand a little bit about this essential nutrient.
Types of Vitamin D
Vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol, is nicknamed the sunshine vitamin because it’s produced in our skin when the sun’s rays shine on it. We also get vitamin D3 by eating oily fish like salmon, mackerel, or sardines, as well as from egg yolks and fortified milk, juice, and cereal.
Vitamin D2, also called ergocalciferol, is another form of the nutrient made by some plants, mushrooms, and yeast. But here’s the thing: before our bodies can use either D3 or D2, both need to be converted into the active form of vitamin D, calcitriol, by our liver and kidneys.
This conversion is important because recent studies have shown that vitamin D3 is more effective at boosting calcitriol levels in the body. In other words, vitamin D3 is converted into a useable form of the vitamin more efficiently than D2.
Vitamin D Supplements
Regardless of the various dietary sources of vitamin D and avenues for its conversion, consistent evidence shows that just about everyone needs more. Supplements are the best way to ensure that we hit our daily quota, but vitamin D supplements are a clever bunch. They’re a chief example of why all supplements are not equivalent.
Many vitamin D3 supplements are made with synthetic cholecalciferol which is derived from the lanolin in sheep’s wool. Lanolin is a fatty substance secreted by the skin glands of sheep to condition their wool, and naturally contains the chemical precursors for making vitamin D3. By processing and concentrating readily available lanolin, an economical source of purified vitamin D3 is made.
Some people, including vegetarians and vegans, may object to using a product that comes from sheep. Thankfully, there are ways to obtain vitamin D from plant-based sources, but even these vegan-friendly options aren’t all alike. The first, least optimal option would be to take vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol). But, again, taking D2 is not as effective as vitamin D3.
Another plant-based option is vitamin D3 extracted from lichen. Lichen looks somewhat like tree moss and can be found living on forest trees or on rocks. It’s a unique organism that is a cross between an algae and a fungus living symbiotically together. But here’s the rub: in order to make vitamin D3 from lichen, it needs to be harvested from the wild and is often over-harvested in an unsustainable way. That’s a no-go for us at Pure Synergy since we refuse to make any product at the expense of an ecosystem.
A Different & Better D3
How about a vitamin D supplement that’s in the right form (D3), vegan, and eco-friendly? We found it. Our vegan vitamin D3 is extracted from organic algae that’s grown in sealed indoor tanks. No wild harvesting necessary! Using cutting-edge technology, the algae is highly concentrated, extracted, and purified with no chemical solvents whatsoever. That means its ultra clean and naturally non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and dairy free. It is truly the crème de la crème of vitamin D supplements, and is a great option for everyone, not just vegans.
Importance of Vitamin D
This is all great news, but why is it so important that everyone can access pure and efficacious Vitamin D supplements? Although theoretically our bodies can synthesize the nutrient, it’s still considered essential because many people don’t get out in the sun enough, especially in winter, or they use sunscreen which can block the light rays that trigger our skin to make vitamin D. There are many other reasons why a large portion of the population may be lacking enough of this essential vitamin.
Vitamin D is both a fat-soluble nutrient and also a pro-hormone, or a precursor of a hormone. It helps regulate hundreds of genes throughout the body and is vital for maintaining healthy bones, muscles, and teeth, healthy immune and cardiovascular systems, a healthy mood and cognitive function, and much more. Research studies continue to pile up discovering more ways the vitamin promotes our well-being. Let’s dig into some of the most important health benefits of Vitamin D:
Vitamin D has long been known to help the body absorb and retain calcium, which is critical for building bone. Without enough vitamin D, the intestines cannot efficiently absorb calcium which can compromise bone health. Because blood calcium is critical for heart and nerve function, the body doesn’t allow blood calcium levels to fall. Instead, if we don’t have sufficient vitamin D and can’t absorb enough calcium, our body can start pulling it from our bones.
There’s another key player for bone health — vitamin K. In fact, vitamins D and K are the Batman and Robin of the nutrient universe. While vitamin D ensures that calcium is properly absorbed, vitamin K makes sure the calcium is integrated into our bones. Without vitamins D and K, calcium cannot do its job effectively — to learn more about this dynamic duo, check out D3 & K2 — The Dynamic Duo of Bone & Cardiovascular Health.
Vitamin D helps keep our immune system balanced and functioning properly, and there are vitamin D receptors on the surfaces of all white blood cells, the warrior cells that seek and destroy unwelcome invaders.
The role that vitamin D plays in keeping us healthy is like that of a tight rope balancing act. If there is too much immune stimulation, immune cells can target healthy tissue. If there is not enough immune system activity, we can be more susceptible to illness. Believe it or not, insufficient vitamin D is linked to each end of this spectrum of immune activity.
Vitamin D supplementation, therefore, is a great idea during the dark winter months, when we are more likely to stay indoors and not get sufficient sun exposure to produce enough of it in our skin. Winter is also when more bugs tend to go around, which is more of a reason to ensure we have enough D vitamin support for healthy immune function.
A growing number of studies has connected the lack of vitamin D to many common cardiovascular conditions. The heart has receptors for vitamin D, plus this vitamin helps promote optimal immune defense of our hearts and blood vessels.
Numerous studies have linked vitamin D levels with brain and cognitive function. For example, studies suggest that vitamin D helps maintain healthy brain tissues by enhancing blood flow to the brain. Vitamin D also activates and deactivates enzymes in the brain that are involved in neurotransmitter production and nerve growth.
The sunshine vitamin has also been connected to a sunny mood. Many individuals experience mood imbalances related to changes in the seasons. The mood effects of low vitamin D typically start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping a person’s energy and making them feel down in the dumps.
Researchers believe that with less daylight in the winter, many people have lower vitamin D levels, which may impact the healthy production of the neurotransmitter serotonin, the “feel-good hormone.”
Get the Sunshine Vitamin on Your Side
With such a broad range of profound health benefits, it’s easy to see why we need vitamin D to maintain full physical and mental wellness. The best way to check your status is by asking your healthcare practitioner for a vitamin D test. Ideally, your vitamin D intake should be personalized to your specific needs and lab results.
If you determine that you need to add a D supplement to your routine, why not consider D3 + K2 Complex? It combines vegan sources of vitamins D3 along with fermented K1 and K2, plus an organic food complex of shiitake mushrooms, camu camu berry, collard greens, spinach, parsley, and cruciferous sprouts. Providing powerful immune and overall health benefits, without any added chemicals fillers or solvents, D3 + K2 Complex is the most innovative and high-quality D vitamin that you’ll find.