Surprise! Superstar vitamin also fights cancer
It’s a vitamin that continues to amaze with all it can do—fighting tooth decay, boosting brain and bone health—the list goes on and on. Well, now there’s one more thing to add to this overachiever’s file of benefits. Fighting off cancer.
It’s a vitamin we’ve written about many times. One that continues to amaze with all it can do. From boosting brain health to fighting tooth decay to alleviating morning sickness, this overachiever just won’t quit.
And now there’s yet another benefit to add to the long list: Fighting off cancer of all kinds.
The superstar in question? Vitamin K.
It’s been linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer before, but a groundbreaking study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition is the first to explore the relationship between vitamin K and cancer in general.
It found that people with higher intakes of vitamin K, specifically vitamin K2, from food may be less likely to die of cancer.
For the study, 24,340 people between the ages of 35 and 64 reported their dietary intake through a detailed questionnaire. Over the next decade, 1,755 of the participants were diagnosed with cancer (colon, breast, prostate, or lung), and 458 died.
Researchers found that the 25% of study participants who had the highest intakes of vitamin K2 were 28% less likely to have died from any one of those cancers than the people in the 25% lowest intake group. Other factors were considered, so K seems to be the major player here.
The strongest link was between K2 and lung cancer or prostate cancer.
The researchers said that vitamin K itself could offer protection against cancer — in the lab, it’s been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth and promote cancer-cell suicide.
Like I said in the beginning of this letter, there’s a long list of reasons to get plenty of vitamin K in your diet. K1 is abundant in deep green vegetables, K2 is in meats and cheeses, and taking probiotics will help because good-for- you intestinal bacteria play a part in producing vitamin K in your own body.
If you’ve missed any of the past good news about vitamin K, don’t worry! You can catch up by searching “vitamin K” at the archive at www.nutritionandhealing.com.
“Higher vitamin K intake tied to lower cancer risks,” MedlinePlus (www.nlm.nih.gov)