#49: Nutritional Deficiencies: Vitamin D & K

By , On , In Blog, Nutrition, Podcast

We are back with part 2 of our Nutritional Deficiency Series, if you missed our last one on Calcium and Magnesium check it out HERE

Better idea – if you are not subscribed already –  head over to iTunes and subscribe to our podcasts, so you never miss an episode 😉

Okay so enough about us – lets talk about deficiencies in Vitamin D & Vitamin K. Or listen to the podcast here:


Vitamin D

Most of us think of the sun when we think of Vitamin D, which is correct. We need an adequate amount of exposure to the sun in order to absorb Vitamin D into our body. Depending on where you live and the climate, this may be difficult because it is recommended that you have as much skin fully exposed as you can. Now I am not by any means suggesting to be nude, well unless you live on a lot of acres in the middle of nowhere or hit up your local nude beach – awesome! 

Sadly we now spend more time indoors than we used to, which has lead to an estimated of over 80% of adult population in North America to suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. Make a change and don’t be one of those percentages. 

Just be cautious and slowly start to increase your exposure time. How much time do you need to spend outdoors? Varies, depending on where you live and your skin tone. Those with darker skin tone, need more sun than those with lighter. There is no real clear advice out there, most experts suggest 10-15 minutes daily.

Cool fact if you missed it in the podcast, Zuzana mentioned how we often use sunscreen etc to cover up and limit our exposure so we don’t burn. Yes, our sun is probably a lot more intense than it was 20 years ago. However Zuzana mentioned that if we do easily burn that it could be a good indication that our bodies PH is off, and we may be too acidic. I won’t get into this but if you do have questions/concerns and want to know more feel free to leave a comment or private message us on FACEBOOK or INSTAGRAM and maybe we can help 🙂 

Chronic Diseases Fueled by Vitamin D Deficiency:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Asthma
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Cavities
  • Cold & Flu
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Diabetes 1 and 2
  • Eczema & Psoriasis
  • Hearing loss
  • Heart disease
  • Hypertension
  • Infertility
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Insomnia
  • Macular degeneration
  • Migraines
  • Multiple Sclerosis Crohn’s disease
  • Muscle pain
  • Obesity
  • Osteoporosis
  • Periodontal disease
  • Pre eclampsia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Seizures
  • Septicemia
  • Signs of aging
  • Tuberculosis

It’s no wonder that after we come home from a tropical vacation we feel much better! Yikers thats a long list… and only part of it! 

So a few of the most common ones from Vitamin D deficiency are Bone Health, Heart Disease, Diabetes and some types of Cancer. In our last podcast when we talked about Calcium, we mentioned that Vitamin D also played an important role. So let me explain… Vitamin D is vital for the absorption and metabolism of Calcium and Phosphorus which helps protects us from some of the diseases listed above. Not to mention that you should have enough magnesium in your system so it does not inhibit Vitamin D’s function.

Vitamin D Has Been Found To Also:

  • regulate and support the immune system
  • maintain healthy body weight
  • maintaining brain function as you age
  • reduce severity and frequency of asthma symptoms
  • reduce the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (in women)

Plant Based Sources Of Vitamin D

Besides the sun, mushrooms are the best source. If you see it on any other product, it is most likely fortified. So if it is not feasible to get an adequate amount of sun exposure, supplementing is suggested. Again, as we often mention Zuzana or myself are NOT physicians and share this information from our own education and experiences. With that said, if you feel you are deficient in any of these vitamins, or minerals we may mention, please discuss it with your doctor.

If you are supplementing, please make sure you choose a high quality form of Vitamin D (often liquid is available as well). The recommended dose can range anywhere from 100 IU to 10,000 IU – but use caution because too much can cause headaches and inflammation in the body.  Also, tip – take it in the morning, as taking it at night may cause insomnia or poor quality sleep.

Now let’s move on to Vitamin K, shall we? 

Vitamin K

Known as “The Forgotten Vitamin”. Often Vitamin K’s benefits are overlooked. Let’s face it if I asked you what Vitamin K does, you are probably stumped. That is why Zuzana and I do what we do 🙂 Vitamin K’s main tasks are to help prevent blood clotting, heart disease and strengthen our bones. 

Like I mentioned above that it works hand and hand with Vitamin D. You can’t have one without the other. Why? Vitamin D is the “transporter” of Calcium. It helps strengthen our bones by helping our body absorb calcium by making sure it ends up in the right places. We want calcium to go to our skeleton, not the linings of arteries, heart valves or organs.  So what happens if you don’t have enough Vitamin K with Vitamin D? Calcification. Makes sense now, doesn’t it? 

I have to also mention that Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin, so be sure you consume it with some healthy fats!

Types Of Vitamin K 

K1   Also known as just “K” is the most natural form found in plants, especially leafy greens. It goes directly into the Liver and stays there for about 3-4 hrs. to help protect against blood clotting.

K2 – Made by bacteria that lines our gastrointestinal tract. It goes straight to the blood vessel walls, bones and tissues. 

K3 – This is a synthetic form, and not recommended. 

Are You Deficient? 

Most people should get the recommended amount if eating a diet rich in organic fruits and vegetables. However those who may suffer with Osteoporosis, or Osteopenia should consider supplementing with 50 – 100 mcg. and eat more foods rich in Vitamin K. Warning – If you consume too much you may get numb and tingling extremities. 

Deficiencies can cause the following:

  • arterial calcification (increased amount of calcium)
  • cardiovascular disease
  • brain health – Dementia (still in study)
  • osteoporosis or osteopenia
  • tooth decay
  • various cancers
  • infectious disease (pneumonia) 

Common Contributors:

  • long duration of antibiotics
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • crohns
  • celiac disease
  • intestinal/gut issues

Symptoms Of Vitamin K Deficiency:

  • blood clotting (plus prolonged clot time, leading to hemorrhage or anemia)
  • increased bleeding (excessive menstrual, nose or gums)
  • bruise easily
  • gastrointestinal bleeding 

Plant Based Sources Of Vitamin K


  • green tea
  • swiss chard
  • dandelion
  • kale
  • brussel sprouts
  • parsley
  • broccoli


Fermented Foods:

  • miso
  • natto (Japanese fermented soy dish)

Also if you missed my tip on the podcast – I reveal the best and easiest way to ensure you get 100% of your Vitamin K – so listen up or look for it on our Instagram page 😉 I’ll give you a clue…


Overall, make sure you are consuming healthy fruits and vegetables (especially those leafy greens). Also make sure that you limit processed foods in order to keep you digestion and gut healthy so you can absorb all these nourishing vitamins and minerals. 

Stay tuned for our next episode, we will be discussing the B Vitamins.

Dedicated to your health and wellbeing, 

Zuz and Nik Signature-01

Download the episode HERE

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