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This Vitamin May Provide Prostate Protection

Higher intakes of vitamin K are associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer, according to the results of a study published in the March 2009 Issue of the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center recruited 250 people with prostate cancer, and 494 healthy individuals for the nested case-control study.
In order to determine vitamin K levels, the scientists measured a biomarker of vitamin K called undercarboxylated osteocalcin (ucOC) which is inversely associated with vitamin K consumption.
The researchers found that the presence of higher levels of vitamin K was linked to a lower risk of prostate cancer.
This study adds to the findings of a similar study published last year in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Vol. 87, pp. 985-992). That study included 11,319 participants and found that increased intakes of vitamin K2 (but not K1) were associated with a 35% reduction in prostate cancer risk.
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 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. It needs to be synthesized by intestinal bacteria for your body to use.
The main role of K vitamins in the body is their ability to coagulate blood. Without adequate levels of vitamin K you could bleed to death from even the smallest of cuts. However, recent research has shown that vitamin K benefits go beyond blood coagulation and may include bone and joint health, cell growth, and disease prevention.
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