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Is Vitamin K Protective Against Cancer?

What is vitamin K?

Vitamin K is an essential fat-soluble vitamin. It is a group of compounds with two major subunits — K1 and K2.

Vitamin K1 is found mainly in plant foods, such as leafy greens. Vitamin K1 influences your blood clotting ability.

Vitamin K2 is found mainly in fermented foods. However, it is also found in grass-fed animal products and equally produced by the bacteria in your gut.

Vitamin K has several health benefits. But yet a new one has been added to the list. In this article, we will discuss recent research discussing vitamin K and how it can reduce cancer risk.

recent study has found that this vitamin has anti-cancer properties. According to the study, foods rich in vitamin K2 precisely may reduce cancer risk.

Results obtained from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) found that very high intakes of vitamin K2 reduced cancer risk and cancer mortality.

According to the study, the risk of cancer mortality was reduced by about 30%.

There are two primary forms of vitamin K.

There’s vitamin K1, also known as phylloquinone or phytonadione. Then there is vitamin K2. Its other name is menaquinones.

There are various forms of vitamin K2, namely menaquinone-4 (found mainly in grass-fed animal meat) and menaquinones-7, -8, and -9 found in fermented foods such as cheese, kefir, and Japanese soybeans called natto.

According to a particular study, Vitamin K has potent anticancer effects. However, its use in clinics is yet to be embraced by oncologists.

About the study?

The study was a meta-analysis. It included 14 randomized controlled trials that looked into the effect of vitamin K therapy on various stages of liver cancer compared to a control.

There were certain variations in the study in terms of tumor type (e.eg. precancerous lesion, solid, etc.), location and stage of the tumor, vitamin K analog (e.g., vitamins K1, K2, and K3), dose, and duration of treatment. The number of participants ranged from 18 to 54.

Outcomes measured included annual recurrence and mortality following removable cancer liver within three years of treatment, response, and survival, as well as progression-free survival in non-removable liver cancer.

The researchers also conducted a qualitative analysis using a systematic review with a broader selection criterion.

The results from the study showed that vitamin K treatment following removal of liver cancer minimized recurrence by 31% within a timeline of two years and nine trials. In addition, there was a 61% improvement in survival within three years.

The study also showed that vitamin K treatment caused significant improvement in survival of nonremovable liver cancer (over 17%) and progression-free survival by 71%.

The researchers concluded that it exerts anti-tumor effects against many tumor types.

Do you take vitamin K?

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