Vitamin K2 Cuts Prostate Cancer Risk – The Anti-Aging Bottom Line

News, Prevention — By on November 11, 2008 at 8:55 am

Men with the highest intake of vitamin K2, also known as menaquinone, had only about one-third the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer compared to men with low intake of the vitamin, new research by German scientists shows.

Vitamin K2 is synthesized by bacteria in our guts. It is also found in some fermented foods such as aged cheese and yogurt, and in a Japanese soy food called natto.  In this study, the main dietary source was cheese. Vitamin K2 may have greater health impact than K1 for prostate cancer prevention because it is much easier to absorb. Only about 5% to 15% of the vitamin K1, found in green leafy vegetables, is absorbed. Vitamin K2 also circulates in the blood longer, making it more available to develop anticancer activities. And it is stored widely in tissues throughout the body, not just in the liver, as is K1.

Both forms of vitamin K are known to inhibit cancer cell growth for liver, lung, stomach and breast tumors, but this is the first study to examine a link between the dietary intake of vitamin K and prostate cancer protection. (Nimptsch, K. et al. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008;87:985-92.)

The Anti-Aging Bottom Line: It’s hard to get enough of this form of vitamin K from foods.

If you’re at risk for prostate cancer, if you have slow-growing prostate cancer and are doing “watchful waiting,” or if you’re trying to avoid a recurrence, we suggest supplemental vitamin K2. Check with your doctor if you are taking blood-thinning medications. Read more

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