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Vitamin K May Slash Diabetes Risk

Researchers at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands recently conducted a study which found that people with higher dietary intakes of Vitamin K are significantly less likely to develop type-2 diabetes.

Their findings were published in the September 2010 issue of the journal Diabetes Care.

The researchers followed nearly 40,000 Dutch adults for over 10 years. During that time they closely tracked the participants’ diet, health and lifestyle habits.

They found that participants with the highest vitamin K1 and K2 intakes were 19% and 20% less likely to develop type-2 diabetes, respectively, than those with the lowest intake. Vitamin K1 was associated with decreased diabetes risk only at very high doses, whereas every 10 microgram increase of vitamin K2 led to a decrease in risk.

A large influx of new studies showing the necessity of vitamin K has experts urging for the creation of new daily recommendations for vitamin K. The current recommendation is 12 micrograms for men and 90 micrograms for women. Participants in this study with the highest intakes were consuming between 250 and 360 micrograms per day.

Vitamin K actually comes in two main forms: 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 10% of consumption. It is most common in fermented foods like cheese but can also be found in meat and soybeans. Both vitamin K1 and K2 can also be found in supplement form.

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