August 26, 2009

Why men need to take more vitamin K2

I've told you in the past that vitamin K2 can prevent some devastating diseases, including osteoporosis and heart disease. Well, that's not all it can do. New research suggests this overlooked vitamin also protects against cancer, especially if you're a man.

Several studies have shown promise in preventing or slowing the progression of several cancers. These include lung, liver, and lymphatic cancers. Now a new study shows how effective it is at preventing prostate cancer.

In this study, the researchers followed 250 men with prostate cancer. They compared the men to 494 matched controls. The results showed what a higher dietary intake of vitamin K2 can do. It reduces the risk of advanced-stage and high-grade prostate cancer.

The researchers used biochemical markers of vitamin K2 activity. They found that the risk of advanced-stage prostate cancer increases your need for higher dietary intake of vitamin K2. That means the higher your risk, the more vitamin K2 you need in your diet. And if you have cancer, you may need even higher doses.

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Vitamin K2 is not that common in your diet. The best source is a gooey substance called natto, which is the source of one of my favorite nutrients, nattokinase. Nattokinase is a natural blood thinner. This fermented soy product is loaded with vitamin K2. You can find natto at most Asian markets. And you can find a relative of K2, vitamin K4, in egg yolks and fermented cheeses.

If you have a high risk for prostate cancer, you may want to take vitamin K2 supplements. For general prevention, 100 mcg is a good dose to start with. Higher doses are rather expensive. But if you have cancer and possibly need pharmacologic doses, it might be worth it. Then, I would suggest you talk to your integrative physician about high-dose vitamin K2.

Yours for better health and medical freedom,

Ref: "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," Nimptsch K, Linseisen J, et al, Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev, 2009; 18(1): 49-56. (Address: Division of Cancer Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center, Im Neuenheimer Feld 280, Heidelberg DE-69120, Germany)."

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