Emerson Ecologics – Vitamin K Linked to Cancer Protection
The value of vitamin K
Vitamin K is found in several forms in our food: Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone), is found in green leafy vegetables. Vitamin K2 (menaquinone) is found predominantly in cheese and meat. This study looked at the role of these different forms of vitamin K in the incidence and mortality risk of cancer and included more than 24,000 participants enrolled in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition–Heidelberg cohort study. Participants were free of cancer at enrollment and were followed for at least ten years. The amount of dietary vitamin K that participants ate was determined through dietary questionnaires. Results showed:
• People who ate the highest amount of dietary menaquinones (of which cheese was the main food source) had a decreased risk of cancer mortality and incidence compared with people who ate the least. This was particularly true in men and particularly for lung and prostate cancer
• Dietary phylloquinone intake was not associated with overall cancer incidence or mortality
The study authors comment that “the findings of our study imply that the consumption of cheese may have a beneficial effect with respect to cancer, particularly prostate and lung cancer in men.” They state, however, that research on vitamin K and cancer is just beginning and that more studies are needed before dietary recommendations for cancer prevention can be made.
It is important to note that people taking certain medications, like the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin), should talk with their doctor about the amount of vitamin K they eat because it can interfere with the effects of their medicine and lead to serious side effects.