Thursday, April 01, 2010

New way to prevent prostate, breast, lung, and colon cancers....

Today's Post: Thursday, 4-1-2010

Today I found this story online that was actually posted yesterday.:

“Higher vitamin K intake tied to lower cancer risks
Wed Mar 31, 2010 NEW YORK (Reuters Health)

People with higher intakes of vitamin K from food may be less likely to develop or die of cancer, particularly lung or prostate cancers, than those who eat relatively few vitamin-K- containing foods, a new study suggests.

The study, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, appears to be the first to look at the association between vitamin K intake and the risk of developing or dying from cancer in general. A previous report had linked it to lower prostate cancer risk.

“Vitamin K exists in two natural forms: vitamin K1, … found largely in green leafy vegetables, ….; and vitamin K2, or menaquinone, for which meat and cheese are the primary dietary sources.” (Wikipedia also includes eggs and dairy products. So eggs, 1% lowfat milk, and 2% lowfat yogurt may also work. Wikipedia also shows that a form of vitamin K2 is produced by Natto.)

“In the current study, vitamin K2 -- which study participants most frequently got through cheese -- was linked to the odds of developing or dying from cancer, whereas vitamin K1 was not.

The findings are based on data from 24,340 German adults who were between the ages of 35 and 64, and cancer-free at the outset. The researchers estimated the participants' usual vitamin K intake based on a detailed dietary questionnaire.

Over the next decade, 1,755 participants were diagnosed with colon, breast, prostate or lung cancers, of whom 458 died during the study period.

In general, the researchers found, the one quarter with the highest intakes of vitamin K2 were 28 percent less likely to have died of any one of the cancers than the one-quarter of men and women with the lowest intakes of the vitamin. That was with factors like age, weight, exercise habits, smoking and consumption of certain other nutrients, like fiber and calcium, taken into account.

Of the one-quarter of study participants who got the least vitamin K2, the one-quarter of study participants who got the least vitamin K2, 156 -- or 2.6 percent -- died of one of the four cancers. That was true of 1.6 percent of participants with the highest intakes of the vitamin from food.

When Linseisin's team looked at the cancer types individually, there was no clear link between either form of vitamin K and breast cancer or colon cancer. However, greater consumption of vitamin K2 was linked to lower risks of developing or dying from lung cancer -- a disease for which smoking is the major risk factor -- or of developing prostate cancer.

Of the one-quarter of study participants with the lowest vitamin K2 intakes, 47 -- or 0.8 percent -- developed lung cancer, versus 0.4 percent of the one-quarter who got the most vitamin K2 in their diets.

When it came to prostate cancer, there were 111 cases among the one-quarter of men with the lowest vitamin K2 intakes, and 65 cases in the group with the highest consumption.

In theory, vitamin K itself could offer some protection against cancer. It's often used to counteract too-high doses of blood thinners, although this does not have an obvious link to cancer. In lab research, however, Linseisin and his colleagues point out, the vitamin has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth and promote apoptosis -- a process by which abnormal cells kill themselves off.

But whether vitamin K intake itself is responsible for the lower cancer risks in this study is unclear, according to the researchers. One limitation is that they estimated vitamin K intake based on participants' reported eating habits; most of their vitamin K came from eating cheese, and it's possible, Linseisin and his colleagues note, that some other components of that food are related to cancer risk.”

Since meat and eggs have vitamin B12 but not calcium while dairy products have both calcium AND B12, some combination of K2, B12, and calcium from food may work best. And, if it’s the K2 alone, it will be interesting to see if the form of K2 from Natto also works. Clearly, this study suggests the form of K2 from animal products is protective.

Also note that the kind of K2 from animals can come from eggs and lowfat dairy products, it’s NOT necessary to eat a lot of meat and full fat cheese to get it.

“Future studies, the researchers say, should measure people's blood levels of vitamin K and look at the relationship of those levels with cancer risks.

In the U.S., the recommended daily intake for vitamin K, in all forms, is 120 micrograms for men and 90 micrograms for women.

In the current study, men in the group with the highest vitamin K intake from food got 92 micrograms a day or more; their female counterparts got at least 84 micrograms per day.

SOURCE: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online March 24, 2010.”

As we’ve posted on many times, there are many other ways to prevent cancer. Number one on that list is staying completely away from tobacco smoke. But taking 2,000 iu or more a day of vitamin D3 and curcumin or the turmeric that curcumin is in also helps prevent many if not most cancers. Since doing those two things has many other health benefits including preventing Alzheimer’s disease, taking both D3 & curcumin looks like a particularly good idea. Interestingly, it helps your bone strength more to take both vitamin K2 AND vitamin D3 than just taking vitamin D3 alone.

You can currently take vitamin K2 supplements from 100 mcg to 5 mg (5,000 mcg).

Vitamin K2 has two other benefits. Enough vitamin K2 tends to prevent excessive blood thinning and allowing your body to have your blood clot when it should AND to do so without causing excessive blood clots you want to avoid. (That’s what I began to take it for. Between eating fish, taking DHA and omega 3 supplements, a bit of ginkgo biloba, curcumin, and more, I actually thinned my blood a bit too much & got some symptoms from doing so. Taking vitamin K2 stopped that. It’s very nice to find out that it also may protect me significantly from prostate and lung cancer and possibly from colon cancer a little bit too.)

In addition, vitamin K2 – or at least the kind in Natto – prevents your body from depositing calcium in your blood vessels and therefore helps prevent heart attacks and high blood pressure caused by calcified and inflexible blood vessels. In fact, Natto my help some people reverse this calcification of their blood vessels. (I take Natto separately for that reason.)

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