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Large Study Backs Benefits of Vitamin K

Consuming more foods high in Vitamin K may reduce the risk of developing cancer according to recent findings from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition Study (EPIC).

Researchers from the German Research Center for Environmental Health conducted the study which was published in the March 2010 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The study included nearly 25,000 participants between 35 and 64 years of age.

The participants were followed for over 10 years, during which time 1,755 cases of cancer were diagnosed, resulting in 458 deaths.

The researchers found that people with the highest intakes of vitamin K2 had a 14% reduction in cancer risk compared to those with the lowest intakes. They also found a 28% reduction in death due to cancer among people with the highest intakes.

This study adds to a quickly growing body of evidence backing the health benefits of vitamin K. Previous studies have found the most pronounced benefits in relation to bone and cardiovascular health but a number of recent studies are now showing that vitamin K may also reduce the risk of prostate cancer.

Experts are now urging for new daily recommendations for the vitamin due to these new findings, especially because most people are not even meeting the current recommendations.

The two main forms of vitamin K are K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (menaquinones). Vitamin K1 is found in green leafy vegetables and makes up about 90% of the vitamin K consumption in a western diet.

Vitamin K2 is harder to come by and therefore makes up only about 10% of consumption. It is most common in fermented foods like cheese but can also be found in meat and soybeans. You can also get your daily dose of vitamin K2 in supplement form.

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