A ground-breaking study was released this week documenting the Vitamin K intake of nearly 25,000 people, linking higher intakes of “the Forgotten Vitamin” with lower incidence of cancer, particularly lung and prostate cancers.
Wed, Mar 31 2010
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – People with higher intakes of vitamin K are far less likely to develop or die of cancer, particularly lung or prostate cancers.
A just-released study from Germany, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, appears to be the first to look at the association between Vitamin K intake and the risk of developing or dying from cancer in general.
Vitamin K exists in two natural forms: vitamin K1, or phylloquinone, found largely in green leafy vegetables, as well as some vegetable oils, such as canola and soybean oils; and vitamin K2, or menaquinone, which are found in the most powerful form in fermented soy cheese called “Nattokinase”.
In the current study, Vitamin K2 — was linked to the odds of developing or dying from cancer, whereas vitamin K1 was not.
The findings are based on data from 24,340 German adults who were between the ages of 35 and 64, and cancer-free at the outset. The researchers estimated the participants’ usual vitamin K intake based on a detailed dietary questionnaire.
Over the next decade, 1,755 participants were diagnosed with colon, breast, prostate or lung cancers, of whom 458 died during the study period.
In general, the researchers found, the one quarter with the highest intakes of vitamin K2 were 28 percent less likely to have died of any one of the cancers than the one-quarter of men and women with the lowest intakes of the vitamin. That was with factors like age, weight, exercise habits, smoking and consumption of certain other nutrients, like fiber and calcium, taken into account.
Of the one-quarter of study participants who got the least vitamin K2, 156 — or 2.6 percent — died of one of the four cancers. That was true of 1.6 percent of participants with the highest intakes of the vitamin from food.
SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online March 24, 2010.