Did you know that not all prostate cancers spell trouble?
In fact, for many men, having prostate cancer will never be a big deal. They will die from something else long before their cancer gets to be a problem.
However, some prostate cancers are very aggressive, and these are the ones that can kill you.
Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to avoid aggressive prostate cancer.
I’ve told you in the past that taking enough vitamin D will help you avoid the aggressive forms of prostate cancer. In reality, it can help you avoid all prostate cancers, and other cancers as well.
Besides vitamin D, however, there's another important vitamin that does the same thing. I'm referring to vitamin K2.
From cell studies, vitamin K2 exerts anti-cancer effects on a variety of cancer cell lines, including prostate cancer cells.
Researchers at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg Germany took a closer look at vitamin K2. They reported last year on their findings regarding vitamin K2 intake and prostate cancer risk. They looked at 11,319 men. What they found is very exciting.
They discovered that those who had the highest intake of vitamin K2 were one-third as likely to develop prostate cancer as those with lower intake levels.
But There’s More to the Story
The same researchers also looked at whether or not K2 intake could influence how aggressive a prostate cancer might be. To do this they looked at the ratio in the blood of undercarboxylated osteocalcin to intact total osteocalcin. Don’t worry about the big words.
Just remember that the higher the amount of vitamin K2 in the diet, the lower this ratio is. And conversely, the lower the intake of vitamin K2, the higher the ratio is. It goes without saying that you want a lower ratio. And their results prove it affects the type of prostate cancer you may get.
The researchers examined the ratio in 250 men with various kinds of prostate cancer.
Some were advanced stage cancers, some high-grade cancers, and some low-grade cancers. What they found was remarkable. For every 0.1 increment in the ratio, there was a 38% increase in advanced-stage cancer, and a 21% increase in high-grade cancer.
This translates out to the more vitamin K these men had in their diets, the less likely they were to have aggressive cancer.
The two major forms of vitamin K in the diet are K1 and K2. About 90% of the vitamin K in our diets is K1. However, increasing your K1 intake does not decrease cancer risk like K2 does. This is true even though your body converts K1 into K2. My guess is that for many people this conversion is not all that efficient. So when I want the benefits of K2 for my patients, that's what I give them.
What Men Should Do
If you’re a man with a strong family history of prostate cancer, or if you just want to play it safe, I recommend that you take a vitamin K supplement in addition to all the other measures I have talked previously about (including vitamin D).
My favorite form of vitamin K2 is MK-7. I recommend 150 mcg of MK-7 for every 5,000 units of vitamin D you’re taking. You can find MK-7 at most health food stores and online.
Nimptsch K, Rohrmann S, Nieters A, Linseisen Serum undercarboxylated osteocalcin as biomarker of vitamin K intake and risk of prostate cancer: a nested case-control study in the Heidelberg cohort of the European prospective investigation into cancer and nutrition. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2009 Jan;18(1):49-56.
Vitamin K and prostate cancer — study supports benefits By Stephen Daniells, 31-Mar-2009. www.nutraingredients.com