Balancing vitamins for Superhuman health and longevity.
Why balancing the fat soluble vitamins D3, A (not beta carotene) and K2 is essential for Superhuman health, longevity and fertility.
A synergistic balance of D3, A and K2 will help to maintain strong and subtle bones which is critical for healthy strength training; increase insulin sensitivity which enhances Super Human performance, recovery from exercise, muscle building, and reduces soreness after training and will regulate sex and fertility hormone testosterone, oestrogen and progesterone.
In today’s living with all its demands and stresses, we often do not get enough sunlight or eat enough vitamin D3 rich foods such as liver, wild caught oily fish and pasture fed eggs, and because of bone conditions such as osteoporosis it has become increasingly popular to supplement our diets with both vitamin D3 and calcium, in the hope that this will strengthen our bones. A primary function of vitamin D3 is that it facilitates the absorption of calcium through the intestinal wall into the blood stream, but, and this is a big ‘but’ once the calcium is in the blood stream vitamin D3 does almost nothing to get the calcium into your bones. This is essential to understand as too much circulating calcium can then end up being deposited in your arteries causing narrowing and blockages.
The key missing ingredient in the healthy integration of calcium into the body is the fat soluble vitamin K2. K2 activates two special proteins: osteocalcin which moves calcium out of the blood steam into the bones and teeth, and matrix GLA protein which sweeps calcium out of soft tissues like arteries and veins so that they remain elastic and pliable, improving performance. However K2 on its own is inadequate for healthy calcium metabolism, both osteocalcin and matrix GLA protein require the synergistic effects of vitamins A and D3 so that they can be manufactured in bone cells.
There are two types of vitamin K. Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone, often found in cheap supplements or added to processed foods) is found naturally in chlorophyll, the pigment that makes plants green, and when animals eat grass they convert the K1 into the K2 (menaquinone) that we need for Super Human health. This is important as only miniscule amounts of K1 are converted to K2 by the bacteria in human guts. The best nutritional sources of K2 therefore come from animal that eat fresh, green grass, there is little K2 in grain fed animal products. Grass fed lamb and beef, butter and 'pasture fed' chicken eggs are great sources. The egg yolk in a pasture fed egg is bright orangey-yellow, this is because when animals convert the K1 in green plants to K2, beta carotene hitches a ride. For this reason the fat in grass fed animals is a bright orange/yellow colour. Free range chickens are mostly not pasture fed but grain fed, even if organic. Other sources of K2 are hard cheeses like Dutch Gouda and grass fed liver. Natto is good vegetarian source.
Osteocalcin also acts as a hormone that increases insulin sensitivity which is really important for maintaining Super Human health and longevity. Improved insulin sensitivity increases: athletic performance, facilitates better sleep, speeds recover from injury, reduces soreness from muscle soreness after training, and can even help reverse type II diabetes.
Astonishing new research shows that osteocalcin plays a key role in male fertility. Men's bones via the secretion of osteocalcin actually help regulate testosterone production. This impacts sperm production and survival in the testis. Vitamin A (which is not the beta carotene mostly found in plant sources) is also a key requirement for optimal male fertility and the production of testosterone and sperm and is also essential for healthy oestrogen and progesterone production in women and therefore optimal fertility. Vitamin A can be found in, liver, grass fed butter, pastured eggs and fermented cod liver oil.
Superhuman: Integrity, Performance, Longevity.
By Marc Adams, Superhuman Sports Nutrition